See all my pictures from this trip here.
I’ve seen the Wichita Mountains from afar, when driving through Lawton, Oklahoma. I’ve also been on the outskirts of this southwestern Oklahoma mountain range, like Quartz Mountain State Park. But this was my first venture into the depths of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, and it was like I’d suddenly left Oklahoma completely.
I’ve seen Oklahoma’s flat plains, and spent lots of time in the state’s woodsy and hilly east. Due to my experience with other parts of Oklahoma’s west, I thought I knew what to expect when turning off I-44 to head into the Refuge – that is, much of the same.
But, instead, I found myself not in Oklahoma. I was in Arizona, or New Mexico or Utah – some other state where rock formations and mesas are the norm. It was definitely strange. We had driven only two hours but it felt much farther. It was very unexpected.
The next unexpected thing was suddenly being confronted by grazing buffalo almost immediately after entering the Refuge. I mean, I guess I should have known, this being a wildlife refuge and all, but it still caught me off guard. As we drove through on our way to our trailhead, we saw many more buffalo as well as longhorns, sometimes blocking the road.
View all my pictures from this trip here.
A couple of months ago, I bought this book: Oklahoma Hiking Trails. I bought it as a way to get more exercise, to take part in an activity that I love but have previously only undertaken in places like Colorado or other countries, and to see more of my state. It was a foolproof plan.
Then came the summer from Hell. No way was I going to venture out into consistently 100+ degree weather. So the book just sat on the shelf all summer, until last week’s beautiful 80-degrees allowed me to finally dust it off on Saturday. I recruited two friends, chose one of the few trails within two hours of Oklahoma City and set off early in the morning.
Roman Nose State Park, named after a Native American chief, is in the northwestern part of the state just outside of Watonga. It’s an interesting area, geologically. It’s not as far west as the flat dusty plains of western Oklahoma, the kind of landscape you’d also see in the Texas Panhandle. That’s why it’s surprising to be suddenly confronted with trees, mesas and canyons rising out of regular farmland. There’s nothing like it anywhere around it. It’s very beautiful, in a rugged way.
I finally put up my pictures from my Europe trip the other night. After Holly and I went to Ghana in May, we broke off from the group in London and traveled through Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. It was an awesome trip (except the whole part where Holly got an African virus and spent most of Dublin in a bed and two nights in a Liverpool hospital…….but I still loved the trip!)
Anyway, here’s a couple of my favorite pics.
Trinity College in Dublin
A cross at Kilmainham Gaol (jail) where the Irish government shot prisoners.
Albert Docks in Liverpool
Inside Liverpool's Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start.
Holly on a ferry on the Mersey River.
Holly and our Scottish friend Richard admiring the Scottish countryside.
Richard teaching me about Scottish heather.
An ancient wall on a Scottish island.
The apprentice learning from the master.
From the top of Edinburgh Castle.
Because one of my lofty goals is to someday break into the travel writing industry, I might try out some Europe or Ghana pieces and post them on here for your digestion. Thoughts?
I think it’s time I showcase one of my favorite sites and blogs: Lens, the New York Times’ photojournalism blog.
Not just a conduit for Times photography, the blog is a daily aggregation of the best in photojournalism from across the world, as well as a platform for other photography features. It showcases projects by famous photographers or provides commentary on the state of photojournalism. And being based in New York City, a lot of its featured projects are in and about the city. Being the wannabe urbanite that I am, it’s like heaven.
After three months, I finally posted pictures from my May Ghana trip on Facebook.
I’m happy with most of them, though I’m getting tired of my lens. It kind of phases everything out (extremely low contrast) and there’s a speck/scratch on the right side that appears in about 90% of my pictures. I have to do a lot of editing to get colors to look somewhat okay. But anyway, here’s a couple of my favorites from the trip:
Evans, a child at the Village of Hope, carrying a bucket of weeds.
A couple of days ago, I promised I’d post the video I made using my photography I did while in D.C. last summer. Now, I keep my promise:
I’m pretty proud of it. Every frame was a photograph, not video, taken with my rather low-end Canon Rebel XT SLR with kit lens. I love this kind of stuff and I wish I had the time/resources to do more of it.
(The YouTube version is pretty poor quality. Here it is on Vimeo with a higher quality.)