Mother's Day 2012, or the coercing my children into group photos wearing matching shirts.
and a perfect sunset over the lake
Mother's Day 2012, or the coercing my children into group photos wearing matching shirts.
and a perfect sunset over the lake
So while I was in the middle of the insanity that was my first year of graduate school we have a butterfly invasion, butterflies everywhere, fluttering over the massess of wildflowers that are filling the fields and lush green landscape.
I decided to start running again on finals week. Running kills my anxiety and causes me to procrastinate. I procrastinate anyways. Butterfly photos cause me to edit butterfly photos. What a beautiful spring after last Summer's misery. I'm loving it. I want to be out in it every afternoon now.
of course when I was shooting that day, I had seven dogs with me (yes seven) - I wouldn't have so many dogs if people would quit dumping them on the side of the road (your public service announcement). Now, dogs aren't very still and they like lots of attention. So these peaceful moments really aren't so. I have told you that photography is an illusion. It is, you see what I want you to see, no more no less. It is my illusion. I hope you enjoy it.
I love the butterflies, so pretty. I've never seen so many butterflies at once in my life as I have this spring. Nature is amazing. It was so harsh and unforgiving last summer with the parched earth that I thought would never be green again. We had such a beautiful green winter and a lush spring.
If you don't know, I'm currently working on my Masters degree at the University of Oklahoma. I'm studying Native American Studies. It has been an intense year filled with learning. I attended the Pow-Wow at OU last weekend. My Great Grandfather was a full blood Choctaw, and my Grandfather was born in Indian Territory and was an infant on the Dawes Roll, he was unfortunately raised without his Choctaw Culture because his father passed away prior to his birth, in 1904. So, I'm interested in that aspect of my heritage and enjoy attending events such as these, despite not being raised with the heritage.
I don't have the patience or attention span to learn beadwork. The beadwork and detail on the dress for the pow wow is incredible. I can't imagine the time that it takes to create the beautiful beadwork that adorns so many of the people who were here dancing. I can't imagine sitting still and working with tiny beads.
My first teaching job was in the Pueblo of Zuni in Western New Mexico. Many of my students did not like showing their faces or being photographed. So, these photos will not show peoples faces. People such as Edward Curtis and early photographers in the American West, photographed Native Americans and used their culture as a means of study and profited from Native Culture.
At one time in American History Native American dances were banned by the Federal Government. Religion was not protected and expressing this aspect of culture was illegal. It was banned by legislators whose ancestors came to this "New World" to find their own "religious freedom." These Intertribal Pow-wows are an expression of Tribal Sovereignty.
Yeah, more rodeo pictures from the Chisholm Trail Stampede Rodeo in Duncan, OK.
Do you want to go to a rodeo now? Here is the calendar for the PRCA...
A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort. ~Sydney Smith
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary
The speed is amazing!
Last night we went out to experience night two of the PRCA Rodeo in Duncan Oklahoma. The rodeo is great to watch and fun to photograph! Not the best lighting, indoors and at night so a lot of my shots are blurred. I enjoy watching a rodeo much more than any other sport. Last night we watched the second night of the rodeo which ended with the bull riding.
The photos speak for themselves. I am not a "sports" fan of any type of sport. Hockey is okay, football doesn't excite me, I like photographing sports. But the Rodeo, I've discovered is something I really like to watch!
It's amazing how fast this is... and the amount of movement. Not an easy thing to photograph indoors without a flash, so the blur is all action. The ISO on my camera was about 3200. I hope to photograph a rodeo outdoors in the future to get better shots.
Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. ~Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
A couple of weeks ago the Department of Labor recommended more stringent rules on Family owned farms and agricultural related businesses which would ban activities as I am going to be showing below. My 11 year old driving a tractor (I will add my Dad started to try to teach me how to drive farm equipment from as early as 9). I am against this Nanny State government- further putting their noses into the private lives of family farmers. If you compare the rates of farm kids injured or killed in farm accidents to sports injuries and sudden deaths while playinlg sports in public schools it is apples to oranges. I'm sure someone reading this would sit and blast me for being a horrible parent for allowing my father (who was also raised on a farm, and his father was a farmer and his father before that...etc.... ) is teaching my son how to drive a tractor. My father who taught vocational agriculture in the 1960s and 1970s and has farmed and gardened into his mid 70s.
Justin Edmond and his Papa Edmond, out driving the tractor. The fact that these Department of Labor regulations, not only would make this illegal. The Dept of Labor wanted to remove the ability of the FFA and 4H clubs to teach farm safety to kids. When I was a kid growing up in Nebraska Farm safety was always taught in the schools. It was a part of life. Knowledge of safety of course is important to farm parents, after all children are OUR greatest commodities. Which our Government is INSULTING farm parents, with Hilda Solis at the Department of Labor, who was not raised on a farm. People who were not raised on a farm should have no voice in regulating our children. I taught in a farming community and I believe that the Government could learn from the rural people in America, rather than discounting them like the huge slap on the face the Obama administration just gave them. The Government could take a little lesson in hard work and ethics if they realized how farmers are stewards of the land (did you know that the EPA wants to regulate DUST ON GRAVEL ROADS)????? Yes, the people who live in Washington D.C. and who obtain their schooling from the Academy - living without practical knowledge in their smog, filled cities want to regulate agriculture.
Why is continued awareness of the rules the department of Labor rescinded important? Because they will return, they won't go away, they just backed off on them until after the election. These are regulatory rules, they don't require a vote. They just require a signature of a pen on a paper, for the government to step onto your farm and tell you how to raise your children. Your children that you would most likely die for. The Government now wants to tell you that what you're doing is wrong, what your father did was wrong, the parenting of your grandparents is wrong. The Department of Labor is essentially saying the culture that you have been raised in is wrong. I look at it as the American Government is against our farmers, they are telling us that our Childhood is wrong. It is a step for the government to steal my Child's childhood, to steal their memories. The nanny state with their continued rhetoric of fear has already stolen the childhood of many children. Parents are too afraid to feed their kids raw cookie dough, let them play in the mud, to play with each other unsupervised. Do we realize what fear is doing to our society? Not fear of a real threat but fear of everything. We aren't afraid of H-Bombs and the Russians, we're afraid to go outside barefoot! We're afraid of germs to the point that some people can't touch a shopping cart with out antibacterial wipes. What kind of America is this, where we need the government to come in and tell us what common sense is, how we treat our most precious loved ones. Does the Department of Labor really think rural people are that stupid?
Hilda Solis of the Department of Labor, A welfare worker at the Dept of Human Services, a Representative in Congress... none of these people would die for my child. I would die for my child, his grandfather would die for him. But I won't raise my child in an atmosphere of fear, or raise him saying he can't learn these skills. He has skills that many adult men do not have. While adult men in urban settings declare their masculinity with the ability to change a flat tire, my 11 year old knows the basic principles of growing food. He knows how to garden. How many people in Washington D.C. have picked food they helped plant from a garden? Who is really losing out on life?
I'm proud that my child has this childhood. I'm glad he can drive a tractor. We're not "farmers" on our place anymore, but serious gardeners. The produce is for our family, like it was 100 years ago on family farms. These are not "chores" these are memories. The best thing you can give your children is experiences our fear, deep rooted in our incredibly secular society is fear, fear of everything. But fear of death is the root of our problems in America, without realizing that there is more to life - our fear of death and loss creates an intense fear that governmental regulation is the "answer" to "protect" people from themselves. While addictions and society is filled with problems the Government has chosen to "protect" the group of people who is probably the most competent group of people to care for themselves and raise their children without interventions.
As an adult I know that some of my best memories from the last few years are photographing my youngest child with his Papa, who most suitably is his namesake. I truly love watching them together outside.
There are people who are afraid to question the actions of our Government. There are people who are afraid to go against what everyone says is right or wrong. There are people who fear repercussions from speaking out. You should stand up for what you believe in.
When you have a child who hates school. Who is filled with anxiety about school, having skills like this builds his confidence, self esteem and character. He is a kid who is connected with the earth, he's country.
So I don't generally let my libertarian politics flow like I did on this post, but I believe it is not the Government's job to tell me how to raise my children at home. I don't believe it is the Government's job to tell me to tell my kid that what he's already learned how to do is wrong. I don't believe making a false economy out of over-regulating the nation and giving "inspectors" jobs is the right way to run a nation. I don't believe the Government should be so large that they should have TIME to worry about what every single individual is doing on their own time. I don't believe it is the Government's job to be running local schools. I don't believe the worth of my child is based on a public school curriculum or test. I don't believe the Government's continuation of Nanny State policies is good for the self-esteem of our nation. I am hoping for a change in November.
Why, you ask am I doing a post titled "Cowboys and Indians"- Simple. I'm behind on posting photos and I attended a pow-wow at OU last week, and last night I went to the rodeo. I need to mow the lawn, go exercise, put up laundry, cook dinner and maybe go to the rodeo again tonight. Finish a paper, take a final and edit some more photos. So I definitely am short on time this week. We can argue, history, culture, wrongs by one group of people to another, but instead we should sit and enjoy the beauty of the culture that surrounds us in Oklahoma. Instead of going to a movie and watching something created out of the imagination of Hollywood you can go enjoy the beautiful expressions of culture that living in Southwest Oklahoma allows us. What can you enjoy about your culture?
This was the Rodeo in Duncan, the PRCA Rodeo.
We are who our ancestors were. Whether we were born with the culture or we have to learn it.