Category Archives: oklahoma

2018 a Productive Year Part 3

Original photography by artbygordon and text by artbygordon-image from Lake Ray Hubbard

It’s been a productive year but it’s also been very stressful. Chasing after your passion can be very intimidating, it is not the norm and it doesn’t fit into the stereotypical life.

Many times you are out on the limb but actually you are doing what you always said you would: daring to embrace the extraordinary life. The freedoms I have experienced this year have allowed me to find great bits of nature all around the DFW area.

Puddle outside in April: Original photography by Artbygordon

2018 I feel like I have truly found my niche. Nature has always been my inspiration but I am find more options for not only the light interaction but abstract patterns. April brought the rain and I was out finding images to capture.

Original photograph from Parkhill Prairie in Blue Ridge by Artbygordon

I have truly become a solo hiker and have spent much time finding excuses to go back to the places where I used to run insurance appointments. It is a liberating feeling to be able to photograph and explore alone and having much time to reflect on what exactly a photo by Artbygordon looks like.

I am increasing my interest in finding light in the bleakest days. There is no time or place where the richness of light speaks to me than when it is unexpected.

I finally made it to the Frank Buck Zoo. I’ve also had many trips to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Parkhill Prairie, Sulphur River and the Caddo Grasslands in northeast Texas.

Every place I visit I find new nature subjects and learn more about their habits. I watched cliff swallows dig for mud on the sulphur river and watched them build their nests while I searched for fossil Belemites.

Sulphur River from the river bottoms, original photography by artbygordon

This whole year has been a learning and growing experience for me, staying up to date with video, graphics and even 3D imaging, I continue to grow my craft while exploring avenues in Photography.

I Illustrated my first children’s book with R.L. Clayton. I have also worked with a local leader to get her marketing materials for her new church she is gathering: It has truly been a blessing as I continue to grow my small but loyal group of clients.

Ennis Bluebonnet Festival original photography by artbygordon

I got back to the Bluebonnet trails in Ennis and the bluebonnets were quite amazing. It’s amazing how many people go down to see the spectacle, the hardest task was not to let the people steal the show. It was a wonderful afternoon.

April and May were busy as I continued to work freelance while traveling to places to gather photography. The brand is growing and I am developing the look and feel of the site.

The one thing that has never changed and will never change is my interest and passion for nature. It is my solace and keeps me grounded. I am planning on traveling much more in 2019.

Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge

A sunset on Mount Scott as I rushed to capture the last bit of light.

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is an amazing prairie with sweeping buttes, free range longhorns and bison and many small brilliant blue lakes.

I can’t say enough about the feeling of being away from everything. There are prairie dogs in open fields and meadowlarks in bright yellow flocks rising and falling in rich brown fields of native grasses.

I would also recommend the blue hole for a rugged hike surrounded by waterfalls and deep gorges. There is a holy city and a great network of trails that go all through the park.

For another story from a recent trip. Please see Wichita: Two Views of Mount Scott

Goals of month

My next trip will be in the Spring.









 
Kayaking Lake Murray Oklahoma

Saturday evening was cold and windy, after a two hour drive up highway thirty five we get to a spot    near Tucker Tower to put the kayaks in and the wind is ridiculous. It took much of our will to get the kayaks down and get the water shoes and actually commit to going in, especially since we only had two hours or so to be on the water before sunset but we decided to go ahead with it. My first problem, getting hung up on a stump while the wind pushed me the opposite direction-very awkward I must admit-an awkwardness I haven’t felt for a while after getting more used to fishing ad kayaking. In the beginning it was a very awkward process-I’ve lost a rod or two and even snapped a rod in the first try at it but I’ve gotten more comfortable over the last few months and every time it seems to be more enjoyable and I get more accustomed to the process.

It was a rough week, too many stressful things happening in the news-we all know what happened just Friday and here I am in the middle of a lake trying to relax and get past it. There is something about sitting in the middle of a beautiful lake just as the sun is going down. Lake Murray is particularly beautiful, I have vacationed there for years but had never been able to boat across it and it was an amazing experience. The water is emerald green and you can see ten feet to the bottom, it is surrounded by trees and huge limestone cliffs. There are loons, bald eagles and great blue herons that are regular visitors and on Sunday afternoon I even saw a kingfisher fly by. Suddenly everything that stresses you out just melts away and all that seems to exist is water, lots of water and the sound of the wind-which after we had gotten in for an hour or so, calmed down to a soft breeze. I heard an owl on the edge of a grove of cedar trees and it’s one of those amazing sounds that is both soothing and haunting.

I studied the water between cast in lures and made mental notes for future painting. Tucker Tower loomed above us shining a light across the water as the clouds covered and darkened the sky. We stayed in the water into the evening, the sky reflected in the water and the moon was a ghost behind the clouds. I have many sketches in my mind of several scenes-I will definitely have future paintings of the trip very soon. I realized as the sun went into its final position beneath the horizon, I was relaxed and peaceful- a feeling I have aspire to for the last few years and have known it only as an illusive state that I barely remember. It’s hard to stop and watch the sunset but on a kayak, you have no where to go, no one is pushing and prodding you. Time seems to slow down and you are suspended out in the middle of an amazing lake with nothing to do but relax.

We didn’t catch anything-maybe a cold but still-no fish-I’ve heard it’s harder when it gets colder to find the schools but the areas that we fished seemed prime for  smallmouth bass and nothing. I still enjoyed every moment of it and my son and nephew both agreed as well that it was one of the best times and the most beautiful lakes we have been on. Catching fish is a fun and wonderful addition to a trip but just being out there away for a short amount of time replaces something that time and age seems to take from us, some intangible calm we can’t find anywhere else but the outdoors. We had the lake to ourselves all evening and even the next day after sleeping over, I came home rejuvenated, I can’t wait to visit ten lakes in the coming spring break-we will go to ten lakes in eight or nine days.

You can’t control what is happening in the world, you can’t change the bad things that happen in society but you can get away from it for a while, you can get a different perspective even if it is just for a weekend or even just an evening. We need to stop, enjoy the beauty around us and hopefully we’ll find the peace we tend to overlook-  until next time get out and explore-it’s what freedom is all about.