Coneflower Prairie Squaredance

 
Gather up ladies ! Here we go. Find your partner and dosado!
Bow to your lady. Bow to your gent.
Circle left and there he went!
Throw your chest out and hold your head high!
Bow to your partner as he comes by.
With an allemande left and an allemande right.
 Swing your friend in the warm sunlight!
Gather her a bouquet, a lovely sight.
Swing your lady and hold her tight!
Forward backward dosado!
Promenade round and swing in low.
Bow to your partner before you go. We’ll all have a great time; don’t you know!

Coneflower Prairie Squaredance

 
Gather up ladies ! Here we go. Find your partner and dosado!
Bow to your lady. Bow to your gent.
Circle left and there he went!
Throw your chest out and hold your head high!
Bow to your partner as he comes by.
With an allemande left and an allemande right.
 Swing your friend in the warm sunlight!
Gather her a bouquet, a lovely sight.
Swing your lady and hold her tight!
Forward backward dosado!
Promenade round and swing in low.
Bow to your partner before you go. We’ll all have a great time; don’t you know!

Western Ranch Gates

Wagons wheels are a popular addition to old farm and ranch gates in the Oklahoma countryside. This gate, which I saw near Morris, Oklahoma, has wagon wheels on the overhead bar as well as on the swinging gate and the side panels. Most true ranch gates don’t have a hinged gate to close, but rely on cattle gaps to keep livestock inside. Often the gates are built with pipe, painted and embellished with the brand of the ranch. I think of a ranch’s brand as a sort of logo.
 
 This gate is quite ornamental with figures of cows decorating the arch and a red wagon wheel gate with a large “S”. Perhaps the “S” is for the owner’s last name Smith, Stevens, Stokley, or Snider. Perhaps, it is the ranch name, something like the “Big S Ranch,” or the “Swinging S Ranch.” I can only guess. This gate is one of my favorites because it looks so friendly and inviting. It is east of Okmulgee.
 
This beautiful gate frames the western sky. I think its design says there are some hills and you see the land begin to roll off uphill from the center of the photo and right. The design has a modern feel to it and an optical effect that pulls your eye to the great wide open Oklahoma sky. Can you envision it with a rosy flame of a summer sunset behind it?
 
The Double “B” Ranch? Maybe the owners first names start with the letter “B” like Ben and Barbara. 
It’s hard to guess at this brand. It could be the Circle B Ranch. The gate and cross bar frame the sky too and makes the land feel open and unlimited.

Here is something I spotted near Haskell, Oklahoma. An old airport entrance gate.
It is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, though looking a bit worse for wear. 
The half-circles build up like clouds and to set it off there are on each side whole circles set with spinners to look like airplane propellers. See below.
This next gate is located along Highway 16 north of Morris, Oklahoma. 
It looks like the owners had painted it red and later tried white. I
love the wagon wheel as a symbol of Oklahoma’s pioneer heritage. 
Notice the oil storage tanks behind the gate. Oil wells still dot the countryside out here.
I’m guessing this one is the Lucky B Ranch. 
It might be owned by the Browns or the Bullards or the Bryants.
 
 This green gate is northeast of Okmulgee, Oklahoma off Gun Club Road which turns off Highway 75 
north of town by the Best Western hotel. 
I don’t know what the “C” or the “M” stand for, but I like the little bell on the top 
of the gate.I didn’t check but this may be at the intersection of Gun Club Road and Prairie Bell Road. 
That would explain the bell.
 
Now for a famous one. Here is the gate of the quiet Allen Ranch near Bixby,
where long-horned cattle were once raised. Don’t you love the horns on the crossbar? Later, the ranch was used as a sort of wild west animal park. School children of the area were taken there on field trips. They were taken on hayrides or trail rides and sang with guitar strumming cowboys around campfires or drove through the acreage to see bison, longhorns, and exotics like zebras and camels. 
See the wagon wheel beside the gate?
If you are driving through Oklahoma watch for these ranches and their gates. 
It is a real slice of Americana.

Western Ranch Gates

Wagons wheels are a popular addition to old farm and ranch gates in the Oklahoma countryside. This gate, which I saw near Morris, Oklahoma, has wagon wheels on the overhead bar as well as on the swinging gate and the side panels. Most true ranch gates don’t have a hinged gate to close, but rely on cattle gaps to keep livestock inside. Often the gates are built with pipe, painted and embellished with the brand of the ranch. I think of a ranch’s brand as a sort of logo.
 
 This gate is quite ornamental with figures of cows decorating the arch and a red wagon wheel gate with a large “S”. Perhaps the “S” is for the owner’s last name Smith, Stevens, Stokley, or Snider. Perhaps, it is the ranch name, something like the “Big S Ranch,” or the “Swinging S Ranch.” I can only guess. This gate is one of my favorites because it looks so friendly and inviting. It is east of Okmulgee.
 
This beautiful gate frames the western sky. I think its design says there are some hills and you see the land begin to roll off uphill from the center of the photo and right. The design has a modern feel to it and an optical effect that pulls your eye to the great wide open Oklahoma sky. Can you envision it with a rosy flame of a summer sunset behind it?
 
The Double “B” Ranch? Maybe the owners first names start with the letter “B” like Ben and Barbara. 
It’s hard to guess at this brand. It could be the Circle B Ranch. The gate and cross bar frame the sky too and makes the land feel open and unlimited.
Here is something I spotted near Haskell, Oklahoma. An old airport entrance gate.
It is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, though looking a bit worse for wear. 
The half-circles build up like clouds and to set it off there are on each side whole circles set with spinners to look like airplane propellers. See below.
This next gate is located along Highway 16 north of Morris, Oklahoma. 
It looks like the owners had painted it red and later tried white. I
love the wagon wheel as a symbol of Oklahoma’s pioneer heritage. 
Notice the oil storage tanks behind the gate. Oil wells still dot the countryside out here.
I’m guessing this one is the Lucky B Ranch. 
It might be owned by the Browns or the Bullards or the Bryants.
 
 This green gate is northeast of Okmulgee, Oklahoma off Gun Club Road which turns off Highway 75 
north of town by the Best Western hotel. 
I don’t know what the “C” or the “M” stand for, but I like the little bell on the top 
of the gate.I didn’t check but this may be at the intersection of Gun Club Road and Prairie Bell Road. 
That would explain the bell.
 
Now for a famous one. Here is the gate of the quiet Allen Ranch near Bixby,
where long-horned cattle were once raised. Don’t you love the horns on the crossbar? Later, the ranch was used as a sort of wild west animal park. School children of the area were taken there on field trips. They were taken on hayrides or trail rides and sang with guitar strumming cowboys around campfires or drove through the acreage to see bison, longhorns, and exotics like zebras and camels. 
See the wagon wheel beside the gate?
If you are driving through Oklahoma watch for these ranches and their gates. 
It is a real slice of Americana.

A Tree by the Water


The rain poured down. The gullies and ditches were soon full and water rushed in torrents. A fallen branch washed along the stream and I watched it go—amazed at the power of flowing water. Lightning flashed in huge bolts that television weathermen love to call “deadly” lightning. There is certainly much drama in a storm!
The heavy rain and hail beat the blossoms from the redbud tree which has cheered us with its pink lemonade salute to spring. Green shows now along its slender branches.  

This morning, below the hill a temporary pond of rain water has a chorus of tree frogs chirping and calling in that rising-falling pattern of cicadas on a hot summer evening. Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons stalk the water in solemn procession. Songbirds are busy at the feeders and carrying twigs and bits of grass to their nesting sites—all but the brown-headed cowbirds who wait until the nests are complete and then lay eggs in those to be tended by diligent birds
The old oak tree that supports the tree house and dangles a rope swing is breaking bud. The goldfinches sit among the yellow green almost invisible for the match. They flit down to feast on dandelions that have suddenly sprouted in yellow patches across the yard.
The oak tree will soon be garbed in emerald and its sturdy limbs will be a shady refuge all summer. No drought has reached this tree. Drought summers have killed younger trees and trees that had not put down roots far enough to reach underground rivers flowing with the wealth of spring rain.
Once, they say, these prairies sported no trees, except along creeks and streams. Settlers had to scout rivers to find trees big enough to build houses. My own house was built by pioneers as the Evening Star School. It was built with the boards split from logs hauled by oxen teams from the banks of the Deep Fork River.
River water grows wonderful trees that put down roots and find all the water they need. Strong to stand against winds and floods, these trees are stable and grounded. Our oak grew along Cane Creek. It drinks now from underground streams that flow to its ever-wandering bed.
God wants me to be like a tree planted near rivers of water. That is living water—the  Word of God. To drink constantly from that deep stream will cause me grow strong and fruitful. He means for me to able to survive long hot summers—even the drought summers. He wants me to stand sure in stormy weather when winds whip my branches and tear at my leaves.

The Lord has provided plenty of water. It soaks the land. It swells the ground with its life giving presence. He calls us to be fruitful trees—like the flourishing olive tree, like the cedars of Lebanon, like a green fir tree, like fig trees, like lofty palm trees—not grass or wildflowers that spring up in the night and are soon wilted and faded, or raked up to be burned in a fire.
I need roots that stretch and reach for the deep water—not dependent on the surface water that dwindles as soon as the clouds pass on and the puddles reflect the sky.

This summer I must find time to rest and sit contemplating the beauty of life. More importantly time to become more deeply rooted in Bible study. Time in the Word is sadly often sadly the one activity we need most, but the one we give lowest priority on our summer schedules. We know the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated, yet will we neglect to afford ourselves the spiritual water we need to make it through dry times and stand valiantly through storms to come? I hope not. I hope not.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalms 1:3

A Tree by the Water

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The rain poured down. The gullies and ditches were soon full and water rushed in torrents. A fallen branch washed along the stream and I watched it go—amazed at the power of flowing water. Lightning flashed in huge bolts that television weathermen love to call “deadly” lightning. There is certainly much drama in a storm!
The heavy rain and hail beat the blossoms from the redbud tree which has cheered us with its pink lemonade salute to spring. Green shows now along its slender branches.  
This morning, below the hill a temporary pond of rain water has a chorus of tree frogs chirping and calling in that rising-falling pattern of cicadas on a hot summer evening. Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons stalk the water in solemn procession. Songbirds are busy at the feeders and carrying twigs and bits of grass to their nesting sites—all but the brown-headed cowbirds who wait until the nests are complete and then lay eggs in those to be tended by diligent birds
The old oak tree that supports the tree house and dangles a rope swing is breaking bud. The goldfinches sit among the yellow green almost invisible for the match. They flit down to feast on dandelions that have suddenly sprouted in yellow patches across the yard.
The oak tree will soon be garbed in emerald and its sturdy limbs will be a shady refuge all summer. No drought has reached this tree. Drought summers have killed younger trees and trees that had not put down roots far enough to reach underground rivers flowing with the wealth of spring rain.
Once, they say, these prairies sported no trees, except along creeks and streams. Settlers had to scout rivers to find trees big enough to build houses. My own house was built by pioneers as the Evening Star School. It was built with the boards split from logs hauled by oxen teams from the banks of the Deep Fork River.
River water grows wonderful trees that put down roots and find all the water they need. Strong to stand against winds and floods, these trees are stable and grounded. Our oak grew along Cane Creek. It drinks now from underground streams that flow to its ever-wandering bed.
God wants me to be like a tree planted near rivers of water. That is living water—the  Word of God. To drink constantly from that deep stream will cause me grow strong and fruitful. He means for me to able to survive long hot summers—even the drought summers. He wants me to stand sure in stormy weather when winds whip my branches and tear at my leaves.
The Lord has provided plenty of water. It soaks the land. It swells the ground with its life giving presence. He calls us to be fruitful trees—like the flourishing olive tree, like the cedars of Lebanon, like a green fir tree, like fig trees, like lofty palm trees—not grass or wildflowers that spring up in the night and are soon wilted and faded, or raked up to be burned in a fire.
I need roots that stretch and reach for the deep water—not dependent on the surface water that dwindles as soon as the clouds pass on and the puddles reflect the sky.
This summer I must find time to rest and sit contemplating the beauty of life. More importantly time to become more deeply rooted in Bible study. Time in the Word is sadly often sadly the one activity we need most, but the one we give lowest priority on our summer schedules. We know the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated, yet will we neglect to afford ourselves the spiritual water we need to make it through dry times and stand valiantly through storms to come? I hope not. I hope not.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalms 1:3