What more appropriate introduction to a road trip blog than a cool photo of a hilly road at dawn’s early light?
I love country roads. Little traffic. Wide open spaces. Safe to pull over for photo opps. Western Oklahoma has a bunch of country roads.
By the time I get around to editing the photographs from a trip, I tend to forget the feelings and thoughts I had during the trip. Plus I’m just so anxious to get the images posted that I tend not to say much. So my blog posts are heavy on photos.
As a photographer, I love being out early, and staying out until the sun sets. The best light, the best moods, happen at those times.
It’s hard to photograph a vista in Oklahoma without some sign of the oil and gas industry, as you can see in this photo.
I’ve always loved old wall signs.
I think state tourism agencies should ask farmers to post signs in their fields to identify crops, since many times I have no idea what is growing and, like many people, I’m just darned curious. This is my first sighting of broomcorn. I had no idea what its purpose was and (don’t laugh) even wondered if the odd stalks that replace edible ears of corn were growing popcorn!
After I googled it, I learned it is sorghum! And lo and behold, it CAN be popped like popcorn. It’s also crushed like sugar cane for syrup, used as livestock feed, and also for ethanol.
Homemade election signs seemed appropriate in the far-flung farmlands.
I take it Stan has been in office quite awhile.
The Washita Battlefield and museum gave an insight into a sad event of American history, when the peaceful Cheyenne were blamed for the actions of a band of renegades and massacred by the U. S. Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. George Custer. Not only were the men, women and children slaughtered, but 800 ponies were also killed. It can’t help but make decent people angry. Reminded me of watching “Dances with Wolves” when Kevin Costner came to appreciate the native peoples and then the crude, hateful hicks of the cavalry arrived and started killing the Indians and wolves without ever attempting to appreciate them. At least Custer got his just rewards at Little Big Horn. (Too bad about the Soldiers, though.)
This was a very unusual part of Oklahoma, a flatter-n-a-pancake salt bed where you could dig selenite crystals.
It looks like Badwater in Death Valley and the salt bed at Carrizo Plain National Monument.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service has a large area set aside where you can dig for the crystals, as well as signs that tell you how to do it and what the most prized crystals look like. Unfortunately some scofflaws were out in off-limits areas, which always makes me sizzle. In winter this area is flooded over for migrating waterfowl.
I wasn’t interested in getting a perfect crystal with the hour-glass opacity in the center. These looked pretty good to me and I didn’t even have to dig for them. They were in the tailings piles.
The osage orange fruit looks really funky, but isn’t edible.
This little drama shows a scary-looking jumping spider with its mayfly prey.
I just had to put in a Halloweenish touch since it IS October. Oh, and did I show you the blotched water snake at Boiling Springs State Park?
Someone on the trail said it had tried to make a frog its meal. They said it was a venomous copperhead, which shows that people often want things to be more dramatic than they really are. This guy is non-venomous.
Beef cattle and irrigation sprinklers.
So there. That concludes my Okie Road Trip that I took six weeks ago.
All photographs and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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I didn’t realize the fall wildflowers in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge rivaled those of spring. There are patches of brilliant yellow Maximilian sunflowers that grow along a single stem like hollyhocks. And the purple liatris is everywhere amid the prairie grass and prairie broomweed. I’m not sure what species it is exactly (gayfeather something I think) but even the wildflower lady at the refuge has a bit of a time narrowing it down, so I’m not gonna worry about it.
I haven’t been able to do much blogging as my computer was in the hospital for a month. It’s got a new 1TB hard drive, and some other upgrades. So now I can get back to my photo editing! Read the rest of this entry »
The nice thing about being in Oklahoma in winter is that the cold, dreary days make it easy to stay inside and catch up on my photo editing. Although I miss California, I needed some down time and a chance to stop spending several hundred dollars a month in gas traveling to beautiful places year-round. Editing is a way of revisiting these places, such as the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
April 2015 was past-peak flower season in many areas of California, but enroute to the coast the hills were still kelly green in central California. Read the rest of this entry »
The distinctive organ pipe cactus is so sensitive to freezing temperatures that its northernmost range is in very southern Arizona in and near Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. However, the most noticeable cactus is the saguaro. Read the rest of this entry »
I just happened to be in a great spot to photograph these trail riders returning from an extended ride at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. I had been looking for a vantage point to photograph the sunset without any of the numerous people in the picture. But I didn’t mind these people, not one bit. Read the rest of this entry »
I am going in a sort of reverse chronological order of my latest trip from Southern California to Oklahoma. These photographs were taken the night before the previous post images. Read the rest of this entry »
I have moved to Oklahoma for a better job, and enroute I spent a little time visiting national parks and wildlife refuges. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico was the last place I visited, and a big plus was visiting with Jim and Marlene who I knew as volunteers at Big Bend National Park. The chief ranger there was also in Law Enforcement at Big Bend, so it was old home week for us, remembering the magic of that wonderful park and the people who made it special. Read the rest of this entry »
Deer tend to come out when the light is low – early morning or at dusk. These mule deer were in and near Pinnacles National Park, California. Some are “artsy” blurs. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
Light is everything in landscape photography, and I made the drive along California’s Route 25 at just the right time. The low angle created dramatic shadows and a warm tone that makes the “golden hour” the best hour of the day. Read the rest of this entry »
Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley National Park has a fascinating history, which you will hear on a tour by National Park rangers dressed in period costume. Our guide was a “newspaperman” from the 1930s. Read the rest of this entry »