Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Connie Gayer for this week’s prompt.

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PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer

Jessie watched her family from the sod house window. Four boys in the yard; a daughter hunched on her hip. Jessie looked older than her 30 years. Life was hard.

In the field, her husband Jack tilled the dried red clay with a hoe. His back forever bent from labor.

The crops would still die.

She clutched a letter from her sister. Come to California, Annie pleaded.

They could stay with her sister until Jack found work. She would talk to Jack tonight.

Jessie placed her hand on her swollen belly. If this one survives, I’ll call her Hope.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photos – May 13, 2018

Cee’s Odd Ball Photos – May 13, 2018

cob-bannerCee’s Oddball Challenge is for those photographs that don’t really fit into a common category. There is no theme to this challenge; what is odd ball is up to the participant. I hope you like the photos I selected this week. 

I took my first photo at Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland, a living museum. My husband and I visited St. Mary’s several years ago because his family entered the United States at the point in the late 1600s.

Odd Ball Photos (3 of 11)

This one came from Medicine Park, Oklahoma, a small resort town constructed out of cobblestones that are native to the area.

Odd Ball Photos (2 of 11)

This is called Thunder Fountain, located at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City

Odd Ball Photos (5 of 11)

Lastly, this is a photo of the Blue Angels as they were practicing for one of their air shows

Odd Ball Photos (8 of 11)

 

 

Prolific Storyteller – Louis L’Amour

Prolific Storyteller – Louis L’Amour

Daily Worth Photo Challenge Prolific
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

When I saw that this week’s Daily Post’s One-Word Challenge was PROLIFIC, I immediately thought of Louis L’Amour, one of America’s most prolific writers. During his life, L’Amour published more than 100 books and 400 short-stories, many that have made their way to the big screen. His popular westerns were fashioned from his experiences of being on the road during the hard-times of the 1930s. What makes L’Amour special for me (besides being my husband’s favorite author) is that he started his writing career in my town of Choctaw, Oklahoma.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/prolific/”>Prolific</a&gt;

 

 

Adding Beauty to Life

Adding Beauty to Life

What can you do today to add more beauty to your life? 

That question was posed to me this morning while journaling. One of the ways I find beauty is through photographs. The photos below were taken early this foggy Autumn morning.

I love how the leaves burst with color. The fog provides an eerie glow in the background.

Fall Morning (2 of 1)
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

I am the first to admit that what I capture through the camera lens cannot compare with what I see with my eye. With a little editing using Adobe Lightroom, however, I can come close.

Fall Morning (3 of 1)
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last nearly long enough and life gets to busy too really enjoy it. Now that it is November,  there won’t be many more days before the weather turns cold and the leaves turn brown and drop.

 

Fall Morning (1 of 1)
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

I hope you find a little beauty in your life today, no matter where you are.

Seminole Justice (Friday Fictioneers)

Seminole Justice (Friday Fictioneers)

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Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

Under the shade of the Execution Tree, the stoic Lighthorseman pinned a white paper heart on Pul-musky’s chest and placed a blindfold over eyes. Killing another man carried the ultimate penalty and Seminole justice was swift. In the gap between life and death, Pul-musky regretted  the night he killed John Proctor in a drunken brawl, if only for his family’s sake. His pounding heart muffled the sound of the executioner’s gun fire. With precision, the bullet hit the white paper target. Pul-musky’s blood soaked the ground, feeding the Execution Tree for the last time.

Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Sandra Crook for this week’s prompt

 This is the story of the last execution of a Native American by the Seminole Tribe police force, the Lighthorsemen. The Execution Tree stood in Wewoka, my Oklahoma home town. It was cut down in the 1920s but salvaged for history and now is on permanent display at the Seminole County Museum. Another symbol of justice, the Whipping Tree, still stands in front of the courthouse. Below is a photo I took during a recent visit.

Seminole Whipping Tree in front of Court House, Wewoka, OK
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
Green Hill Monster (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Green Hill Monster (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Leaves
Photo Prompt: A Mixed Bag

For the past 60 years, the old couple made a pilgrimage to Talihina to watch the changing of the autumn leaves. The tradition started the year they married. Too poor to take a real vacation, the happy couple packed their car with a picnic lunch and blanket, and drove three hours to shores of the Kiamichi River. Although their financial circumstances improved over the years, they continued to return every September.

Today’s banquet included fried chicken and homemade potato salad, and a special bottle of wine. As the couple enjoyed a second glass, a loud squeal echoed through the hills. Without warning, an ugly creature eight-foot tall with long, stringy black hair towered before them. Sharp, pointed teeth filled its mouth and its eyes were black as night.

Seeing the creature, the old man grabbed his chest.

“My God! You know better to sneak up. My old ticker isn’t what it used to be. Have a seat”

The old man pointed to the blanket.

The old woman handed the creature a glass of wine.

“We were wondering when you would show up. Our little excursion would not be the same without you. Hungry?”

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. A Mixed Bag provided this week’s challenging photo.

This week’s story combines a true Oklahoma tradition – the drive along the Talimena – with an Oklahoma urban legend. Here is more on a sighting of Bigfoot in Oklahoma.

Bigfoot – Talihina

Bigfoot stories have been a staple of southeast Oklahoma for decades. In fact, the heavily forested area is said to be one of the most active for Bigfoot sightings in the country. One of the first sightings occurred in 1970, when a group of local high school kids decided to cruise the foggy back roads near Talihina after an evening pep rally. They pulled over and one of the teenage boys wandered away from the group and into the edge of the surrounding forest. It was here that he caught a glimpse of what the locals later dubbed the “Green Hill Monster” of southeastern Oklahoma – a hideous creature several feet taller than a human and covered in long, matted hair.

The boy ran back to the car in fright and the group quickly sped away down the road that lead back to town. After they reported the sighting to the police, the local sheriff investigated the area. He found several dead deer in the vicinity and immediately forbid anyone from going into the woods at night for fear of an attack. The creature was never caught (http://www.travelok.com/article_page/oklahomas-spooky-urban-legends)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coming Storm (Friday Fictioneers)

The Coming Storm (Friday Fictioneers)

closet-shower-2
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Tornados rarely formed during the hot Oklahoma summer, but the still, humid air signaled a coming storm. Joe stood on his porch, watching. Hearing footsteps, he turned and saw a man standing a few feet away, a baseball bat in hand.

“Jesus Boone, you scared the shit out of me. What’s up with the….”

The bat connected with Joe’s head before he could finish the sentence. Toppling off the porch, Joe landed in the dirt, blood pooling in the dead grass. As thunder clapped, Boone raced toward the road.

Standing in the shadows of the front door, a small figure watched everything.

<<count 102>>

This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s . Thanks to Rochelle for providing this week’s photo.

 

Oklahoma Spring

Oklahoma Spring

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In spite of my splitting headache due to either allergies or a sinus infection, Oklahoma spring is almost here and I am glad.  Dingy browns from dead leaves and barren ground is being replaced with pops of color from blooming redbud trees and yellow jonquils. The days are mildly warm and with the change to daylight saving time, longer as well. A perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy life.  I am ready for spring cleaning, resuming my diet and exercising more. I want to take day trips, sleep outdoors and catch fish.

Spring does come with its share of risks. Lack of winter rain and hot days are the perfect combination for wildfires and strong thunderstorms can spawn killer tornados. But Okies are resilient when it comes to nature. We pick ourselves up and start all over again.

I am concerned that our state budget is in such bad shape that our legislature will actually close down 13 of our State parks. The park system provides a wonderful way for families to enjoy the outdoors, free of charge in most cases. I can’t imagine the savings from closed parks is going to do much to solve our budget woes.

One of the things I enjoy during the spring is yard sales and the Farmer’s market. The Farmer’s market is a great way to support local business and get something good to eat in return. Yards sales are just fun. It’s like rummaging though my grandparents old sheds when I was a kid. They kept everything.

Spring doesn’t last long in Oklahoma. Soon it will turn too hot to really enjoy being outdoors. Unless you like standing in front of an oven door, because that is what it feels like on hot windy days.  All the more reason to enjoy spring.

 

Landscapes and Cropping (Day 15)

Landscapes and Cropping (Day 15)

I love landscapes,  although I rarely do justice to the beauty that captivates the natural eye.  For this assignment, I chose several of my favorite landscape photographs to showcase, including a few that were used for previous Photo 101 themes.

My first two photos were taken last summer (August 2015) in The Badlands National Park, South Dakota. This stark area earned it’s name. The rock formations were formed from wind and rain erosion and there is little vegetation.  If you ignore the greenery in the foreground, I imagine this is what the moon would look like.

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On this same trip, we drove through the Colorado Rockies. The towering peaks never cease to amaze me.

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As we drove down the highway, we came across a creek of melted mountain snow.

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Several years ago we visited The Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. The sandstone formations are incredible.

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The golden grassland of Nebraska.

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Waves breaking on the shore of Galveston Bay, Texas

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An Oklahoma Sunset

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Photo101 Week in Review

Photo101 Week in Review

To recap the week, here are some photos that I took earlier today, trying out all the different techniques. Even if the subjects aren’t exactly exciting, it was fun practicing.

Establishing Shot – This is at a local cemetery (to capture the feeling of solitude). I took a long-angel photo down a line of head stones, using the ornately decorated one as the foreground focal point.

Wk1_Establishing Shot

 

Orientation – This picture was taken at a local park. The man sitting on the picnic table was feeding one of the geese. The first picture was taken vertically, the second horizontally. I can’t choose which one I like more.

Wk1_Orientation_VeriticalWk1_Orientation_Horizontal

Rule of Three – The same goose from the previous photograph. I placed him in the upper third of the photo. I was actually standing behind a tree because he wasn’t too happy to have his picture taken.

Wk1_Rule of Thirds