Boots and Bones

By , January 20, 2014 1:58 pm
A tangled tree stands against a clear sky in the countryside near Ryan, Oklahoma, Sunday, January 19, 2014.

A tangled tree stands against a clear sky in the countryside near Ryan, Oklahoma, Sunday, January 19, 2014.

The tool of my trade today: the Nikon D3000 with the Tamron 18-250mm.

The tool of my trade today: the Nikon D3000 with the Tamron 18-250mm.

My wife Abby and I went to her hometown (link) of Ryan, Oklahoma, yesterday. After a nice lunch, she and her family caught up on the latest news about town, while I decided to walk toward the Red River, which is not far, and make some pictures.

The day was clear and warm.

The only DSLR we had with us was Abby’s Nikon D3000, which I like to shoot sometimes because it gives me a better perspective on the cameras I see in the hands of my students. On it was the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3, a lens about which I have decidedly mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is convenient, but on the other hand, the wide end isn’t quite wide enough. It also suffers optically at the long end.

I passed the barn on the south end of the patch. The sun is shining through a series of small holes in the sheet metal.

I passed the barn on the south end of the patch. The sun is shining through a series of small holes in the sheet metal.

I saw several bones, presumable bovine, on the trail.

I saw several bones, presumable bovine, on the trail.

I didn’t make it as far as the River, but I followed a fence about half a mile into a pasture, where I found some steers grazing. I circled one of the ponds in the vicinity, and while I was at it I startled the steers enough to make them all gallop away to the west.

I moved along the ribbons of cattle trails, which made hiking easier than bushwhacking the rough terrain. I found some bones, which I photographed.

Warm light accentuates the color of the fence I followed west into a pasture. I shot this at 250mm.

Warm light accentuates the color of the fence I followed west into a pasture. I shot this at 250mm.

These steers were decidedly curious, but so shy they ran away as I got close.

These steers were decidedly curious, but so shy they ran away as I got close.

It's easier to squeeze through a gap in the cattle gate than to actually open it.

It’s easier to squeeze through a gap in the cattle gate than to actually open it.

I came across a ravine, which I followed for some time. In it were numerous gnarled trees and low brush. Judging from the tracks, the cattle followed the ravine as well.

After an hour chasing the light and the features of the farm, I made my way back to the house.

The point of this post is that you can’t sit in the living room and let your camera collect dust. To make new pictures, you have to explore. The walk I made on this day was easy, fun, and quiet. The light was inviting. The air was clear. And the images I made were all very satisfying.

Back at the house, late afternoon light through blinds helped create this image of some Christmas leftovers. I shot this with my iPhone 5.

Back at the house, late afternoon light through blinds helped create this image of some Christmas leftovers. I shot this with my iPhone 5.

Abby's sister Gail was riding her horse Abe when we called, and didn't take off her spurs, so I asked if I could photograph her boots.

Abby’s sister Gail was riding her horse Abe when we called, and didn’t take off her spurs, so I asked if I could photograph her boots.

2 Responses to “Boots and Bones”

  1. Wil C. Fry says:

    “It’s easier to squeeze through a gap in the cattle gate than to actually open it.”

    In my younger years, I would just leap the fences, up to about 4 feet high. It only took one time of catching barbed wire in the crotch of my jeans before I quit trying that method. ;-)

    “The point of this post is that you can’t sit in the living room and let your camera collect dust.”

    An excellent point it is. Since reactivating my old Rebel XT, I’ve begun to (once again) bring a camera with me everywhere I go. There are subjects waiting to be photographed everywhere I go. :-)

  2. Xavier says:

    That tree looks like a Goblin!

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