Traveling Down Country Roads

Yesterday I got the opportunity to travel out to the countryside. I’d told Steve I wanted to do this some time ago. So yesterday was the day he did this for me.

I really wanted to catch the changing of the leaves, but we were a little late for that.

In Traveling Down Country Roads, I stopped and photographed these cows in a pasture.

For years I’ve driven here and there looking for things I want to photograph. My favorite destination is to drive out in the country.

Finding Beauty In The Mundane:

I might find a cow, a barn, a clump of dead grass, or a pond or field to photograph. I don’t look for anything specific. I just drive aimlessly in the countryside, happy to be alone with my thoughts.

It could be a broken-down car or house or some kind of structure that appeals to me in some way.

Yesterday, Steve chose roads outside of Tulsa. He drove through small towns and into the outer regions between counties.

A Man & His Dog:

Out on a graveled road, a man rode up to the driver’s side of my car on one of those outdoor recreational vehicles. Steve lowered his window to see what he wanted. I was standing just outside the car trying to take photos of a hawk.

The guy just wanted to know what we were doing. I guess it is uncommon to have strangers driving out in his neck of the woods. He was friendly but merely curious as to why we were out there.

I noticed that a black dog followed the guy wherever he went. Stopped when he stopped, took off when the man did.

I guess the guy thought maybe we were up to something. No, Steve told him, we’re just enjoying the countryside and taking photos.

He seemed satisfied with that answer, and off he went on his vehicle with the dog loping along behind him.

An old falling down barn beyond a barbed wire fence

I used to do this a lot, drive around aimlessly taking photos, but I haven’t been able to it for some time.

During the drive, I’d tell Steve where to stop, and he’d put his foot on the brake while I stepped outside the car to figure out angles and light.

We drove through little towns closed on Sunday. I got the impression that some of them didn’t have much commerce going on during any day of the week.

In Traveling Down Country Roads, we happened upon this small town with the old gas pumps.

Driving Down Lonely Roads:

For those afternoon hours driving, Steve said it probably “helped to blow out the cobwebs” in my car. Because it’s rarely been driven in 5 months. I’d never heard that saying about the cobwebs before.

Winding down lonely and distant roads, wondering what’s just up ahead, felt so freeing. Just to feel the cool wind on my face through the open window was wonderful.

You just never know: there might just be some old structure around the next curve just waiting for me to find it.

In Traveling Down Country Roads, I tried to photograph this hawk perched on a fence post, but it was scared away and I just got a photo of it up in the sky.

I think this is a hawk flying way up high in the sky. The image is indistinct due to the distance. You can only do so much with a zoom lens.

The hawk had been perched on a fence post, but when the guy roared up on his recreational vehicle, I guess it was scared away by the noise.

I was then only able to get a shot of it soaring up high in the sky.

A tree newly freed of its leaves on this fall day when I was out in the country taking photos

Traveling Down Country Roads:

Driving out to the countryside is one of my very favorite things to do.

There have been holidays when I drove by myself and photographed towns that were closed for the day. It’s the perfect time to wander around without people getting in your way.

I recall one such venture a few years ago that led me to a set of railroad tracks that curved off into the horizon. And I walked along the horizontal planks and took photos of the endless repetition of them.

Tall grasses in a field

I particularly like to stumble upon very old cemeteries and take photos of them leaning with age. Graves that are so old they probably aren’t visited much anymore.

There is a stillness in the air when you’re all alone in the countryside.

I like to frame photos through the branches of a tree or kneel down to get a different view. And pausing to photograph something in the distance just beyond tall grasses in a field.

Everything has a story if you take the time to let it tell you. The quiet lets you imagine whispers of distant voices in your head, telling you to go here, turn there.

And something does always seem to be just around the corner, waiting for you to find it.

In Traveling Down Country Roads, we came upon this old barn that is mostly fallen down.

Thank you, Steve, for this gift I couldn’t yet manage on my own. For those 2-3 hours of your time to go places I’ve never been.

It was such a delightful gift there can be no price tag attached. I so appreciate you taking a Sunday afternoon to do this for me.

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38 Comments

  1. I haven’t gone on a country road jaunt for way too long. We used to do that a lot when I was a kid, growing up in Payne County – we often took the back roads to wherever we were going and I grew to be really fond of those trips. You never know what you’ll find.

    I think it’s time for me to do a little backroad trip of my own around the OKC area and see what I can find. Love this. I could use some “cobweb blowing” in my own soul.

  2. I’m so happy you had a nice drive and outing to take pictures with Steve. From the head on it, I think that bird is a turkey vulture. They like to ride the thermals high in the sky. Fun to watch them floating up there against the blue!

  3. We are thinking about spending a few days in Tulsa and surrounding towns just going to small shops, flea markets and junk, and interesting stores. Could you do a post on things for us to shop at around Tulsa? You used to mention a flea market in Jenks. I want to be sure and go there. Thanks JackieSee

  4. Hi there…I am your age, got divorced about the time you pushed that fateful button, on that fateful day. I garden a lot but I also do art. I started doing sewing/quilted wall hangings for deco…my art. It was cheaper than a big quilt, and I can do the quilting etc on my singer. Then I moved last year, to making my own felt from wool roving. I now make AND SELL and exhibit my felt art pieces. I started making junk journals this past year, but I’m not sure that would be for you,,,I am sure you could sew, quilt or try another form of art. Some of the senior places like yours even have a small shop where their residents have a gift shop, where you might be able to sell things.
    Please look up Jackie Cardy the fwlt maker, and Tracie Fox of Love Junk Journals. Fascinating even if you go no further.
    The felt is pretty cheap to do, and you can get everything on line and delivered. I will be happy to answer any questions.
    Kathy

    1. You are speaking my language today. Being in the country side speaks serenity. Don’t get to do much if that now. Thanks for this post.

  5. Oh Brenda what a delightfully wonderful you had! I think this was one of the best things Steve could have done for you. I know you hold on to the memories of the day deep in your heart.

  6. The cows – all of them looking right at you. I can imagine the biggest one saying to the others “Alright now, pose pretty, ladies.”

  7. Glad you had such a wonderful day out where you could enjoy taking such beautiful pictures. Have a good evening.

  8. What beautiful pictures! That was so nice of Steve to take you out for a beautiful ride in the country side! My father used to say you had to blow the cobwebs out of the car too!

  9. Steve is such a wonderful guy. I’m sure he enjoyed the outing as much as you did and giving your car a spin. I always drive the backroads whenever possible.

    We just went to a Farm Day Saturday as much of
    our county is agriculture and farmland. We then drove thru several
    little towns I’d not been to in years. We are planning a day trip
    back to them soon as they were so inviting.

  10. Yea heard it called blowing out cobwebs frequently as I grew up…so nice Steve took you for a ride plus it was good for the car to be used a bit too!!

  11. These show me how much I enjoy your pictures. I have missed them.
    How can the roof be so blue and so near perfect on a barn that is falling apart?

  12. These show me how much I enjoy your pictures. I have missed them.
    How can the roof be so blue and so near perfect on a barn that is falling apart?

  13. In your photos, I read loneliness. A beautiful loneliness. Serenity unspoiled by the increasingly nasty world we live in. A place every soul wishes it could find rest in until the strength to fight again comes back.
    I often envy people who live simple lives in those “one traffic light towns.” Until you need medical care. Or affordable groceries. But it seems like those people stick together more and don’t mind offering a hand when they see a need. I guess my melancholy mood is due to a few posts on Nextdoor Neighbor this morning. Residents in an apartment complex had catalytic converters cut off from their cars. Police have bigger things to pursue. Nothing left to do but absorb their losses – and maybe wish they lived in one of those desolate areas you drove through.

  14. What a wonderful day for you. I agree with Ann’s statement 100%. You are blessed to have found a friend like Steve. I enjoyed your photos today, more than you can imagine. Thank you for that!
    Bonnie in Chilly WI. Winter is just around the corner.

  15. It’s great that Steve went with u Brenda bc it’s not safe to go riding around by yourself anymore. That was prob that guy’s land and he was making sure that u weren’t going to live off his land. It’s a crazy world we live in now! Love the pics!

  16. Your pictures are stunning. I am so thrilled you had the opportunity to do this. It sounds like you had an amazing day.

  17. Oh my. Beautiful photography. So glad Steve was willing and able to take you for your outing. We all reaped the benefits.

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