A Tornado Kind of Day

October 22, 2017 at 11:52 am (Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Time-lapse, Video) (, , , , )

Funnel cloud forming

We didn’t actually see a tornado, but we almost did. This funnel cloud shaped up very nicely as viewed from Chattanooga, Oklahoma around 6 p.m., Oct. 21. My photographer friend recognized a storm spotter vehicle and we turned around to follow. As the squall line came in, it looked like some snaggle-toothed clouds were trying to make themselves into tornadoes, which had been predicted. (Technically, they aren’t tornadoes until they touch the ground.)

This funnel took about 3 minutes to form in the video, but I condensed it to 30 seconds. It didn’t quite have the energy to reach the ground, but we received a tornado warning on our phones as we watched it. The spotter (you can see the vehicle on the horizon to the right) may have called it in. We made it back to Lawton before severe thunderstorms hit, but this squall line formed around five small tornadoes in the area before the evening was over.

Thunderclouds from Hackberry Flat

Our initial plan that day was to visit Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge to see the sandhill cranes, but the dire weather predictions made us stay closer to home. I’m glad we did. We visited a small state park an hour north, then headed to Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area.

My friend is doing a photo collection of Oklahoma murals, so we stopped in Cordell so he could add this one.

Ornate box turtle

This ornate box turtle, Terrapene ornata, was found wandering in a cemetery. The red eyes mean it’s a male. Female eyes are yellowish brown.

He checked me out every so often to decide if I was safe.

We also saw a coyote on top of hay bales.

Red tail hawk

At Hackberry Flat we began to hear thunder in the distance. It was sunny and breezy and we looked around, surprised. The skies took on a great deal of drama as the cold front met with the warm, humid air to the north and west of us.

The red-tailed hawk added its own flair to the wind-blown backdrop.

Cotton fields surrounded the area, and at times looked like snow.

The skies changed by the minute. We knew we should head home, but we squeezed in as much photography as we could. The severe weather was to our north and moving away from us.

Little tails threaded down from the wall cloud now and then, then were reabsorbed. We made it back to Lawton before we were hit with thunderstorms from this supercell. The KSWO-7 meterologists were busy busy busy last night keeping track of the little tornadoes and large hail in our viewing area, but thankfully all we got at my house was wind and rain.

Another Oklahoma experience!

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com




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Scissortail Ballet

October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildlife)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

One look at the impossibly long tail of the scissor-tailed flycatcher might make you wonder if handicaps this bird by its excess. But once you see the owners in flight, you realize the tails have a purpose.

They act as rudders of sorts, allowing the birds to dart after flying insects with finesse. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

October 6, 2017 at 4:52 am (Photography) (, , , )

Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

One of the most reverent and ritualistic ceremonies performed by the U.S. Army is the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The tomb is guarded every minute of every day. The guard is changed every hour (every half hour April to September) for the public to witness. This is the soldier who is coming on guard. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Touch of Nature in Maryland

October 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm (Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bugs, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Photography) ()

I’m visiting Maryland at the moment, and had a chance to visit the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center  during some down time. Several sweet whitetail does posed pretty for me. This gal has a floppy ear for some reason. Read the rest of this entry »

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

September 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm (Nature, Nature photography, Night Sky, Photography, Time-lapse, Video) (, , , , )

Solar eclipse as viewed from the Rowe Audubon Sanctuary along the banks of the Platte River, Gibbon, Nebraska, August 21. I used a Nikon D750 with an 80-400mm lens for the stills and the video of the eclipse’s ending, and a Nikon D600 and Canon SX60 for landscape videos. A solar filter was used on the lens prior to totality.

Since I live a day’s drive from the path of totality of the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, I decided to make the trip to near Kearney, Nebraska to see what may be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nighthawks and Pauraques

May 29, 2017 at 8:12 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Birds - Texas, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Southwest Birds, Wildlife) (, )

Common nighthawk

Nighthawks are among the birds of my childhood. Their “buick buick” calls at dusk, the quick wingbeats followed by a glide, remind me of warm Southern nights. I remember being outside when it was nearly dark, and a nighthawk flew past my head.

I took off after it in my bare feet. (My feet were perpetually black in summer from running on pavement). Read the rest of this entry »

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Greater Prairie Chickens

April 27, 2017 at 5:50 am (Bird photography, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Greater prairie chickens battling for dominance

It’s been a month since I saw the greater prairie chickens doing their spectacular mating calls and dance, but I’ve finally gone through all the photos and here are some of the best ones.

There were about two dozen males on the lek on the Switzer Ranch in Burwell, Nebraska late last month. They spent a lot of time “booming” and challenging each other. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hackberry Flat in Spring

April 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Wildlife) (, )

American Badger

I figured I’d start with the badger since it’s the most unusual animal of the day. It’s technically not in the boundaries of Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in Southwest Oklahoma, but pretty close. Read the rest of this entry »

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