Route 66 Revisited

Route 66 Revisited

Two years after our Route 66 day trip, I journeyed to the little town of Bristow, site of the “Route 66 Classic Car Show.”  I had searched for a destination and found the car show, and decided to check it out.  Gayle was unable to go with me, so I didn’t plan an extended outing, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit the Mother Road.

Bristow, Oklahoma, is a small town, but on this day, it was full of cars, people, motorcycles, and tractors.  The car show was bigger than I expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bristow Classic Car Show

Main Street in Bristow was full of classic cars, both restored and custom.

 

1956 Ford Thunderbird

A 1956 Ford Thunderbird sits on Bristow’s Main Street during the Route 66 Classic Car Show

 

1966 Ford Mustang Coupe

A 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe on display at the Bristow, Oklahoma, Route 66 Classic Car Show. As an 18-year old, I drove one just like it!

 

I left Bristow, and headed back toward Tulsa.  But, there are always photographs.  These mailboxes were just off the highway, and I had to stop.  They speak of rural Oklahoma, and simpler times gone by.

Mailboxes along Route 66 in Oklahoma

A rural Mail Center, along Route 66. It could be any location; where I grew up, the families still get their mail similarly – 2 miles or more from home.

 

I also stopped by the Rock Creek Bridge, and the Tee Pee Drive In, near Sapulpa.  The drive-in theater has not seen a movie in a decade or more, but still stands as a reminder of other times.

Tee Pee Drive In near Sapulpa OK

Near Sapulpa, Oklahoma, the Tee Pee Drive In Theater still stands, only a few faded letters remain on the sign

 

Rock Creek Bridge

The Rock Creek Bridge, near Sapulpa, is about a quarter mile from the Tee Pee Drive In. It is unique being one of few brick paved bridges remaining in the country.

 

These photos were taken September 1, 2012.  I used a Sony Alpha 77 camera, and Tamron lenses – mostly my favorite, the 17-50 f/2.8 zoom.

 

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Angry Bird

Angry Bird

In one of our favorite destinations, Texas’ Brazos Bend State Park, spring is when a number of bird species nest, brood, and raise their chicks.  One of our favorite birds is the handsome Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, with striking colors and intriguing behavior.  (By the way, their feet are not green.) 🙂

Adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

However, the chicks are less handsome, and this one looks like the original “Angry Bird.”

A juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

We used the Sony Alpha 700 camera, with a Tamron 300mm f/2.8 and Tamron 2x teleconverter, on a Manfrotto tripod.

Great Blue Heron

This is about a photo taken a long time ago…

About 25 miles from Fort Smith, along the south side of the Arkansas River, is a Corps of Engineers campground called Citadel Bluff. Wooded and seemingly removed from civilization, this small park has long been a favorite spot of mine for birds and wildlife. I have seen numerous bald eagles, pelicans, cormorants, and more. And, I have always seen great blue herons.

On this day, I walked down the trail which parallels the river, through the woods to a stand of cane. Just beyond the cane is a small cove. I came out of the cane, and the heron flew from just a few yards away. After I recovered from my surprise, I raised my camera and took two photos: one with his wings upraised, and another on his downswing. I like the simplicity of the photo – just the heron, its reflection, and the Arkansas River.

Minolta Maxxum film camera, Tokina 400 mm f/5.6 lens – both are no longer made…

Of Alligators, Ducks, and a Sunset

Brazos Bend State Park is roughly an hour southwest of Houston, Texas. In this park are many alligators, which is surprising to many people. After all, this is Texas, home of cowboys and The Alamo…

Actually, there are alligators all along the Texas coast, from Louisiana to Corpus Christi, but this State Park may have the largest population per acre in the state. They’re in the lakes and swamps, and they love to lie in the warm sun on the trails.

Gayle looks forward more to photographing the alligators than the birds in the park – and this is one of the best places I’ve seen for birds!

On this trip, we had just arrived, and as soon as we were settled, we headed out to the trail around Elm Lake. Gray clouds filled the sky, and although not dark, they weren’t the kind you wanted to have behind your subject. As we walked the trail, I saw several Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in a dead tree not too far away. I stopped and took some photos, trying to silhouette the ducks against the gray clouds.

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in a dead tree, silhouetted against gray clouds, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

Gayle had kept going down the trail, but she was within my sight. After I took a few photos, I headed her way. When I was close enough, I could see she was set up near an alligator…

Gayle, photographing an alligator, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

She got some pretty good images, including this one.

Brazos Bend Alligator

Alligator at Brazos Bend State Park, by Gayle Millican

After photographing the gator for a while, I saw that the clouds were beginning to break up. I dragged Gayle away from the alligator, telling her that we were about to be blessed with a great sunset. We headed back to the spot where I had photographed the ducks earlier.

Sure enough, after we had barely set up our tripods, the sun began to make its appearance.

Gayle’s first photo of the sunset, her zoom lens set to about 200 mm

We each took about 20 photographs, then it was over…

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks at sunset, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

Lessons learned: Keep your eye on the sky, and always be ready, for anything!

Cameras used were Sony Alpha, with Tamron lenses.

The Wheatfield

Most days, I drive to work via the Clayton Expressway, also known as Highway 255 truck route.  For me, it’s a relaxing drive along the Arkansas River, through rural areas of plowed fields, often planted with various crops.  I’ve seen bald eagles and red-tailed hawks, deer and coyotes.

Recently, it seemed to me there was a photo in the wheatfields, so I slowed down and looked for it…

What I saw was texture and patterns.  This first image wasn’t close enough, but here’s the full image.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a long enough lens to create the image I wanted, so here’s a crop from the first photo.

Patterns and texture.  And color – the yellow gold, with a few greens mixed in.  I think there are still some photos to find.  I’ll have to stop again.

Sony Alpha77, Minolta 70-210, Manfrotto tripod – and a GMC Jimmy.  🙂