Washington, D.C. – the Expected and Unexpected

October 8, 2017 at 5:00 am (National Parks) (, , , , , , )

The long-over due memorial to the influential civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., was dedicated Aug. 28, 2011 on the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington.

It was there that MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

This memorial, as well as all of them on the National Mall and surroundings, are part of the National Park Service. I was fortunate to work at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta several years ago as a National Park Ranger.

This was the view from the Lincoln Memorial where MLK gave the groundbreaking speech.

It’s appropriate that the Lincoln Memorial is nearby.

Lincoln freed the slaves, but it was another 100-plus years that the descendants of slaves had full civil rights. MLK and hundreds of others worked tirelessly toward that goal.

I was with two other people, and we began our tour of D.C. at 9 a..m. on Sunday.

There were already plenty of folks out touring, people from many different states and countries. But one of the most unexpected visitors was Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who was recognized coming down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As soon as I found out, I got a few super-telephoto images as he and a tall man with gray hair and two Secret Service agents walked out of view.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis

If anybody recognizes the man he’s with, let me know!

The venerable Washington Monument is a focal point of anyone visiting D.C.

This is also where Forrest Gump made his “speech.” I imagined Jenny running out into the Reflecting Pool shouting, “Forrest!”

The observation deck in the Washington Monument is closed for repairs. The monument was damaged by an earthquake several years ago.

As with many works of art, its power lies in its simplicity.

This chopper has the words “United States of America” on the side. It apparently had important VIPs on board.

Of course, a glimpse of the White House is a DC “must see.”

My 12-year-old (then) son and I had our photo taken with Bill and Hillary during our visit 20 years ago. The cardboard versions, anyway. I had absolutely no desire to see the current occupant.

I just HAD to do something a little cheesy. Apparently the Park Police didn’t mind me snatching the Washington Monument for a souvenir. ūüôā

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Washington, D.C. War Memorials

October 7, 2017 at 5:00 am (National Parks) (, , , , )

The World War II Memorial on the National Mall was dedicated in 2004, and is between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

Reflections of the Gold Stars

One portion is dedicated to the war in the Pacific, and the other to the Atlantic theatre.


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as the Wall, is one of the most powerful memorials ever erected. It chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives during this controversial war.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Anything left as a tribute at the wall is removed every night. Eventually a museum will be erected to exhibit some of the items left there over the years.

While I personally do not know anyone whose name is on the wall, the Vietnam War was the constant backdrop of my childhood.

Several days earlier, I had watched the final episode of Ken Burns’ series “The Vietnam War.”

The Three Servicemen

This statue is part of the Vietnam memorial.

There is one dedicated to service women, too, and even though I am a former member of the Women’s Army Corps, I missed that one. A sane person can’t help but wonder why world leaders think war is so important. The thirst for power, wealth and land causes so much misery.

If only that energy and passion could be put toward creating justice and peace.

Until then, we need our military, and we need to keep it strong and effective. God bless our service members and civilians who dedicate themselves to defense, and those who have given their lives.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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Road Trip Lagniappe

October 11, 2016 at 7:13 am (National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography)

Rt. 51 near Canton, Okla.

Rt. 51 near Canton, Okla.

What more appropriate introduction to a road trip blog than a cool photo of a hilly road at dawn’s early light?

Plainview, Okla.

Plainview, Okla.

I love country roads. Little traffic. Wide open spaces. Safe to pull over for photo opps. Western Oklahoma has a bunch of country roads.

Old farmstead, Talonga

Old farmstead, Talonga

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.

Freedom, Okla. at dawn

Freedom, Okla. at dawn

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.

Freedom, Okla.

Freedom, Okla.

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.

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Cherokee, Okla.

Cherokee, Okla.

I’ve always loved old wall signs.

Broomcorn

Broomcorn

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!

Broomcorn-sorghum

Broomcorn-sorghum

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.

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Homemade election signs seemed appropriate in the far-flung farmlands.

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I take it Stan has been in office quite awhile.

Sodhouse, Washita Battlefield

Sodhouse, Washita Battlefield

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.

salt-plains-nwr-ok-6-copyIt looks like Badwater in Death Valley and the salt bed at Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Digging selenite crystals

Digging selenite crystals

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.

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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.

Osage orange

Osage orange

The osage orange fruit looks really funky, but isn’t edible.

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This little drama shows a scary-looking jumping spider with its mayfly prey.

Jumping spider and mayfly

Jumping spider and mayfly – a closeup!

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?

Blotched water snake

Blotched water snake

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.

Major County Historical Society choo choo

Major County Historical Society choo choo

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Beef cattle and irrigation sprinklers.

Hay bales

Hay bales

So there. That concludes my Okie Road Trip that I took six weeks ago.

All photographs and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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October Explodes With Color in the Wichitas

October 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm (Autumn, Birds - Oklahoma, Butterflies, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildflowers)

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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.

Maximilian Sunflowers

Maximilian Sunflowers

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 »

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Carrizo Plain National Monument

January 9, 2016 at 5:07 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Carrizo Plain National Monument

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.

State Rt. 58

State Rt. 58

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 »

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Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona

December 14, 2015 at 6:00 am (National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Landscapes) (, , , , )

Organ Pipe cactus, Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona

Organ Pipe cactus, Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona

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 »

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Riders in the Sand

November 28, 2015 at 8:54 am (National Parks, Video) (, , , )

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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 »

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White Sands National Monument – Evening

November 28, 2015 at 6:01 am (National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

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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 »

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White Sands National Monument – Dawn

November 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm (National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , , )

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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 »

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Mule Deer

November 1, 2015 at 11:55 am (California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

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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 »

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