Highways and Biways

Talimena Scenic Drive Fall 2013

We went to the Choctaw Nation Hospital yesterday. I took my sister for her appointment.  While I was waiting I got up the courage to get my flu shot.  Now, I'm the person who doesn't like going to the doctor, I rarely go even for preventative care. One of my last visits was when I actually had the flu.  So, I thought a flu shot might be a good idea. 

Ouachita Forest-5934
I'd volunteered to make the drive yesterday mainly because I knew I could probably get a short drive to the mountains in and get to photograph the colorful array of leaves.   I didn't realize that immediately after the flu shot I'd have a massive asthma attack.  

Talimena Scenic Drive in the Fall 2013-5919
It was a short drive, about an hour after the vaccination I felt like I was burning up and sweating despite it only being sixty degrees out and taking Tylenol in the parkinglot of the hospital. 

Talimena Scenic Drive in the Fall -5884
I love the colors of the fall. I know that soon they'll be gone. After about another half an hour of shooting I was feeling sick at my stomach and thinking that the 200 mile drive home would be an incredibly long one.  I pretty much have a fear of needles that has excluded me from the piercing and tattooing fun that many have.  I also avoid doctors, they like needles too much for my liking. 

A Single Leaf-5939
A single leaf shows the beauty of an entire forest, it's as powerful as the distant landscape you can see from the mountaintop.  

Oranges and yellows in the fall -5899
Millions and millions of leaves dotting the forest creating one big show of color. 

Talimena Scenic Drive-6004
I really do love this place, but by the time I got here I was ready to turn around and get off the mountain to go home and find my bed. Which I've been in all day with a fever.  But the real flu was 104 degree fever for nearly a week and one day of misery is a trade off (I hope).  

Talimena Scenic Drive-5967
This was the first time I've been to Talimena drive and it was heavy with traffic. It actually annoyed me, I love it because it's incredibly beautiful and empty, and peaceful. It's an out of the way place. 

Leaves -5902
So beautiful.  

Would You Go With Me-5895
I need someone who wants to go hiking with me in this forest.  Someone slower than me, in case of bears.   

Write Your Name on the Top of The World-5872
Humans instinctively have a desire to write their existence down.  We scratch our names into nature, trees, and rock to show where we have been. This blog is much of the same; I was here.  

The Oklahoma Ouachitas -5868
What a view.  I was excited to take the wide angle lens up on the mountain top.  

Near Talihina Oklahoma-5890
The green of summer is lovely, the fire that comes before the ice is also enchanting.  

Photosynthesis-5923
It's one thing to look at the forest from the highway, it is another thing to walk into the trees. 

Blanketing the ground in death-5944
They lay there in death. 

It's okay to lay down -5952
Photography is like teaching, you can't be afraid to get down on the level that you need to be to reach the audience you want.  You can't be afraid of what others think of you while you're on the ground with your camera.  It is not always comfortable when you're seeking the perspective that you want your audience to see, but you do it anyways because you know it will be just what you want.  

 


Taovaya's Memorial Bridge and Spanish Fort, Texas

Taovayas Memorial Bridge near Spanish Fort-2156
On our way to Gainesville a couple of weeks ago for the hot air balloon festival we drove to Spanish Fort, Texas.  We stopped as we got to the Oklahoma/Texas border to Spanish Fort. So, being on an empty highway I got out and walked across the bridge. 

Red River near Taovayas Memorial Bridge near Spanish Fort-2160
The Red River which divides Texas and Oklahoma.  The Red River in this area was once home to thousands of Taovaya Indians.  

Taovaya's Memorial Bridge-2158

It's interesting that you can go visit the site of an historic place located near but not on a river and your mind doesn't let you imagine how important the river was to the people, but rivers are a life force for people.  

Spanish Fort Nocona -2174
Spanish Fort or Nocona

Spanish Fort Texas-2181
Imagine a village of thousands of people living and farming in this area. 

Spanish Fort Texas-2186
Spanish Fort, Texas is a community located in Montague County, Texas.  Please take a moment and read the history of Spanish Fort, Texas.  I planned on visiting this place sooner than this.  Spanish Fort is a misnomer, it is the site of a Spanish defeat by the Taovayas and the Comanche Indians who were flying a French flag.  

Spanish Fort-2191
This marker was difficult to read but the art was nice. 

Spanish Fort Texas-2199
Now a little something for you to read about Spanish Fort. 

1759 Taovaya victory over Spain at Spanish Fort-2188
So Spanish Fort is not really Spanish Fort, the settlers assumed they found the remains of a Spanish Fort. 

Spanish Fort High School-2178
The city of Spanish Fort is called a ghost town on another website.  While it is sparsely inhabited it is not abandoned.  

Texas -2175
After we left Spanish Fort we headed through Muenster to go to Gainesville.   


Oklahoma along Highway 144

So I took highway 271 from Clayton to highway 144, we were on our way to Beaver's Bend State park and I thought we'd take a highway I hadn't traveled on before. 

Oklahoma along highway 144_ Expedition Oklahoma by Joy Franklin -6140
I like two lane backroads that I haven't traveled down before.  

Oklahoma along highway 144_ Expedition Oklahoma by Joy Franklin -6144
This song suited my mood of the day.

Eastern Oklahoma Thistles and Ouachitas-6152
We are on the back side of the Ouachitas and the Winding Staircase road from Talihina to Mena Arkansas which circles around Rich Mountain.  

Oklahoma along highway 144_ Expedition Oklahoma by Joy Franklin -6148
Abandoned houses are fascinating to me.  

Oklahoma along highway 144_ Expedition Oklahoma by Joy Franklin -6151
There are a lot of thistles all over the state this year. 

Oklahoma along highway 144_ Expedition Oklahoma by Joy Franklin -6153
All of these photos are in the Choctaw nation.   


Loco, Oklahoma

I just had a comment from a reader questioning the existence of Loco, Oklahoma.  I happened to go through Loco on my little drive today and shot a couple of photos.   The photo below is  of the old Methodist Church building. 

Loco Oklahoma -7824
According to Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk this is the information provided about Loco:  "In southeastern Stephens County.  Post office established June 3, 1890.  Took its name from the locoweed, an herb of the pea family, usually poisonous to livestock" (143).

Loco Oklahoma -7826
Loco is located on Highway 53, if you continue west you will end up in the town of Comanche.  

Loco Oklahoma -7828
I was too lazy to attempt a good shot of the old gymnasium.   

 


Agawam Sunset

These were shot on my way home tonight on Highway 81 between Chickasha and Rush Springs,  Ninnekah and Agawam to be exact.  I had the telephoto lens on - my first shot is not zoomed.   

Agawam Sunset of the Wichita Mountains-1846
I love the song "Time is Love" by Josh Turner.  What do you spend your time on?  What do you love?  I guess, I love photography quite a bit, if time is love.   

Agawam Sunset -1838
The Wichita Mountains are a nice drive from Agawam, probably 45 minutes to an hour.  I'm not sure of the mileage.  But this is quite a view.

Agawam Sunset of the Wichita Mountains-1851
  If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe?  The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.  ~Author Unknown

 

Tonight I read an essay titled "Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner" by Elizabeth Cook-Lynne.  I love the writing of Wallace Stegner.   I like the writing of Stegner.  I expected to disagree with this critic's perspective.   I found I did not.   I bought something, just to disagree with -  although-  I do have an affinity for Western culture and history, I feel that there are voices which have been silenced for the sake of white historians and the idea of "Manifest Destiny," our job as academics is to find those voices and disseminate them, to change the future.   

 


Talimena Scenic Drive

Beautiful ouachitas-3796
If you leave Talihina Oklahoma going east towards Mena Arkansas, you can take the Mountain Gateway and go down Talimena Scenic drive which will take you over the Ouachita Mountains into beautiful Arkansas, driving on a ridge that presents a spectacular view that you will be surprised to find in Oklahoma.   

Between Talihina and Mena -3682

I took most of these shots with my fisheye lens (which has not been to visit this drive).   Of course our morning began at the hospital where my cousin met his newest addition to his family, a beautiful baby boy.   I have posted all of those photos here, feel free to like my personal photography page and view these beautiful family moments: 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.478094295551749.120389.206919052669276&type=1

In the middle of the highway -3780
I love this view.  I like taking shots in the middle of the road too.   Obviously.  If you've spent any amount of time looking at my photography.  

Kara and Joy-3737
My brother in law took this shot of me and my baby sister.  Way up high..up on the ridge.   

Kara Clent and the Bumblebee-3760
This is my favorite shot, my sister, brother in law and the bumblebee taken with the fisheye lens, although it wanted to chase me!  

Mena Poteau Broken Bow -3819
We went to Mena, and then to the Little Missouri Falls - which is for another post.  Went swimming and then drove -  a long drive home.  

My Children need to SHUT UP.  -3813
A beautiful drive in July - it was hot at least a 100 degrees but worth it.  

Ouachitas near Talihina-3657
Beautiful summer day. 

Ouachitas-3689
I love the view of the road on top of the mountains.  

Pink pretties-3795
I love summer,  haven't enjoyed enough of it this year! 

Pretty mountains in Oklahoma-3797
Talimena Scenic Drive -3782
This is my favorite view, shot from the middle of the highway. 

Towards Rich Mountain -3786
I am almost finished for this post - promise.. just a few more shots.  

Towards Rich Mountain -3786
I love how the green mountains fade to blue in the distance...  

View of Rich Mountain facing Arkansas -3671

 


Dust Storm on New Years Eve near Blair

Today we decided to take the Kayak to the Altus Lake near Quartz Mountain.  It was supposed to be 70 degrees and we've been enjoying the new Kayak and decided not to battle the celebrating crowds elsewhere.  Beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky on the way over.  When we initially stopped at Blair on our way to the lake it was 78 degrees outside.  Weather we didn't have this summer or very much of this spring.  I will post more about our visit to the lake later, but I wanted to put the photos from this dust storm up.   I've never been in a dust storm, but my fascination with the lives of people during the 30s on the Great Plains has been long lasting.   I've read Steinbeck, Egan and other authors, bought the documentaries and read old accounts of dust bowl survivors.   So, to see this cloud of dust approaching was something else.  It is hard to imagine what it must be like to experience something like that, until you do.  

Dust Storm on the Horizon towards Mangum
On the horizon, we stopped so I could take photos of the cloud which was moving fast. I didn't realize it was moving as fast as it was...

2 miles from Blair_
This is the view towards Blair as the wind was just starting to hit...  

Oklahoma Highway Patrol during NYE Dust Storm_
Not a minute or two later in the other direction...  with a very upset ten year old demanding I get in the vehicle..we left.   He was not pleased about this new weather event.   

Dust Storm Near Altus Oklahoma December 31 2011
I went hoping for a beautiful mountain sunset...and I found the sun blotted out by the dust.  I still wonder what the man who was holding the "End of Times" sign in downtown Altus thought today..when this storm blew in.    

Dust Storm on New Years Eve 2011 near Blair Oklahoma
Outside of Blair, this photo was kind of strange.

Tumbleweeds Tumbling during a dust storm
Tumbleweeds Tumbling...  

Dust Storm near Blair Oklahoma 12 31 2011
This was a "dog shot"  hanging out the window with my camera...  I know, dangerous. I know very well as I was almost the victim of a Buzzard this summer.  But...  what can you do when you need to photograph something.  Oh, the antenna, really was a distraction for the shot.  

Dust Storm blowing the powerlines
This shot shows how the wind was blowing the powerlines...

Blair OK dust storm 2011
Entering Blair Oklahoma..during the New Year's Eve duststorm.  

New Years Eve Dust Storm Blair Oklahoma
The quickstop in Blair during the storm 

NYE Dust Storm Blair Oklahoma-2
A girl running into a store during the dust storm in Blair this afternoon.  

Blair Dust Storm on New Years Eve
a shot of downtown Blair 

Blair Dust Storm on New Years Eve 2
It was something else...  

Can You See the Farm in the Dust
Can you see the Farm in the dust?  More tomorrow


Oklahoma Autumn Leaves

The leaves are turning colors and I knew the window of opportunity was short for getting photographs of the reds, yellows, and oranges.  While the fresh dousing of rain has left new traces of green emerging from this Summer's drought.   Here are a few photos of the Autumn leaves.  All were taken near Lindsey Oklahoma and Lake Fuqua in Stephens County.  

November Leaves at Erin Springs-061
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus

Every Leaf is a Flower-180
For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.  ~Edwin Way Teale

Autumn leaves near Lake Fuqua-122
Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Autumn Leaves -165
Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

Washita River at Erin Springs-078
How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs

Yellowing Leaves in November -072

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.  ~Samuel Butler

Highway 76 to Lindsey-007
There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Red Leaves, Blue Sky-186

The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Oklahoma  Black Top Road in Fall-161
There is something nearly perfect about finding the sun, the leaves, the tree and the bend in the road at the right place, at the right time; all by accident.  

Leaves on the Blacktop-123
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oklahoma Country Road-124
What a pretty scene along this blacktop road that winds around Stephens County's Lake Fuqua.  

Autumn Leaves in the Road -156
It was a crisp day in the 50s.  It feels like Fall now.  It may feel like May next week though, this is Oklahoma.  

Intersection of Highway 29 and 76 -104
Often I am driving down this road thinking when I get to the intersection I am almost home.  Of course almost home for me, is about 15 miles left to go.  But hey, that's country!  

Green and Red Leaves -035
I love the leaves but I know soon they will be gone leaving the shell of the trees naked and cold through the winter. 

Fall Foilage -193

 


Oklahoma Autumn Leaves

The leaves are turning colors and I knew the window of opportunity was short for getting photographs of the reds, yellows, and oranges.  While the fresh dousing of rain has left new traces of green emerging from this Summer's drought.   Here are a few photos of the Autumn leaves.  All were taken near Lindsey Oklahoma and Lake Fuqua in Stephens County.  

November Leaves at Erin Springs-061
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus

Every Leaf is a Flower-180
For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.  ~Edwin Way Teale

Autumn leaves near Lake Fuqua-122
Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Autumn Leaves -165
Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

Washita River at Erin Springs-078
How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs

Yellowing Leaves in November -072

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.  ~Samuel Butler

Highway 76 to Lindsey-007
There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Red Leaves, Blue Sky-186

The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Oklahoma  Black Top Road in Fall-161
There is something nearly perfect about finding the sun, the leaves, the tree and the bend in the road at the right place, at the right time; all by accident.  

Leaves on the Blacktop-123
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oklahoma Country Road-124
What a pretty scene along this blacktop road that winds around Stephens County's Lake Fuqua.  

Autumn Leaves in the Road -156
It was a crisp day in the 50s.  It feels like Fall now.  It may feel like May next week though, this is Oklahoma.  

Intersection of Highway 29 and 76 -104
Often I am driving down this road thinking when I get to the intersection I am almost home.  Of course almost home for me, is about 15 miles left to go.  But hey, that's country!  

Green and Red Leaves -035
I love the leaves but I know soon they will be gone leaving the shell of the trees naked and cold through the winter. 

Fall Foilage -193

 


Rush Springs Wildfire Part 2

Some more photos from the fire at Rush Springs.  

Rush Springs Wildfire view from Grandma's yard (1 of 1)
The fire crept across the road and is at the neighbors houses...

Burning (1 of 1)
When the world is burning all around you.....  

Fire (1 of 1) 

Truly frightening and emotional day...

Fire in Rush Springs (1 of 1)
This was too close to home. 

The Clinic  (1 of 1)
Friends and family were there to evacuate the clinic.  I was documenting.  

Fighting Fires (1 of 1)
The firefighters in the filed trying to keep the fires away from the houses.  

Waiting Watching  (1 of 1)
Friends and family watching and waiting...   they were evacuated soon afterthis.  

Smoke near Rush Springs (1 of 1)
For as many acres as it burned, only one house burned and I believe from what I heard no one lived in it.