Fridays are Fun: Welcome to Oklahoma


Fridays are just for fun on the blog.

I love my adopted state.  I am originally from New York, so almost everything about Oklahoma was new to me when we moved here with the army some 20+ years ago.

From greeting everyone with a hug (whether you’ve ever met them before or not), personal conversations with total strangers ( I am still so amused when a checkout person  comments specifically on my purchases or tells me their life story) , tornadoes (which come with magnificent skies that look like the clouds are upside down), rodeo (where bulls sometimes have more sense than cowboys),  a plethora of Indian names and places (I thought Western New York won in that race… but it’s definitely a runner-up);  Oklahoma makes me smile.

So, this week I share that smile with you.



Yes, this is Cinderella’s carriage, the same that you might see in any major city, except in OKC; the coachman is a cowboy, complete with boots and hat.



If I were designing a city that sees regular tornadoes, there would be no high rises.   This tower stands in the middle of OKC and thumbs it’s nose at the wind and skies.


Yes, that board says, “wagons, teams, mules” ; and no it’s not in front of a museum or a historical building.  It’s just an old board, on an old building that still sits there; waiting for someone to come hitch their mule.




It is sunny here almost all the time.  I have to admit that it is one of my favorite things about  Oklahoma.   As a bonus, All that sunlight makes for some of the most amazing reflections in the water that you could imagine.


This statue of the Abernathy boys about sums it up.  Only in Oklahoma would you celebrate the cross country journey of two boys aged six and nine who traveled alone on horseback from Frederick, Oklahoma to Washington DC.  Sons of famous Oklahoma marshal “Catch-em Alive Jack” Abernathy their journeys are chronicled in “Bud & Me”  by Alta Abernathy.  It’s definitely worth the read, though I imagine it will spark some interesting conversations with your sons.     Have a blessed weekend!

Foto Friday

I’ve been intending for a long time to do some photography of rural Oklahoma.

So we headed out with cameras in tow to see what we could find.   The initial answer was nothing.  Apparently we need to think this through and have a plan.  We ended up driving through Cyril, Oklahoma and found an old railway station.


It was not particularly photography worthy in itself, but when you’ve driven all the way out there, you feel compelled to shoot something.


A certain photographer (who shall remain nameless) thought he could get an interesting shot by getting in an unusual postion.


I think he was aiming for something like this:


Unfortunately on hot days even abandoned railways have an abundance of tar on them.  I guess they don’t expect people to lay on the rails.   However, if you do lay on them and then unwittingly get in the car; it does bad things to the seat covers.  Like I said the photographer won’t be named, but I can’t help it if you recognize his picture.

After the tar issues were fixed we headed on to Cement, Oklahoma.  Never heard of it?  Well neither had I.


This is Main Street, quaint, old and relatively empty.   I spotted an old building at the end of the street, and headed up to get a quick shot.


We didn’t find much else and headed home.  I didn’t think to much about it until I was editing the pics and noticed the sign next to the building.  I zoomed in on it and my curiosity was piqued.


Jesse James museum?

I looked it up, and it turns out that this little town in Ok (pop. ~500) is home to Buzzard’s Roost, a hideout in the 1870’s for the James gang. In its rocks are carved signs and symbols which were supposedly to remind the outlaws where they’d hidden caches of money, ammunition etc.  In the 1930’s  a treasure hunter named Joe Hunter unearthed a tea kettle containing a suspected treasure map, a pocket watch, gold bar and some coins. The treasure is still unfound, and yes, even though I’d never heard of it, people are still visiting Cement Ok to search.

Foto Friday Random :)

Due to the government shutdown the Wichita Wildlife Preserve has been closed.  Happily it reopened late last week and Glen and I got up early to hike and take pictures.  We left the boys drowsing away…. I guess hiking early on a Sat. morning has limited appeal.


It was beautiful out, and there was even some wildlife.  I’d have gotten an awesome picture of the deer you see peeking through the grass here, if it hadn’t startled me and I consequently startled it.  You have to understand that unexpected things in the path have sometimes been dangerous (think random buffalo, rattlesnake, or copperhead).  I asked Glen why he didn’t warn me…. he said he didn’t want to scare the deer  (guess he figured I’d do that for him).  So the best shot I got was of the deer’s behind as he raced away (I figured I’d spare you that particular  shot).


I did get a heron shot, that is better than usual but still not what I’m looking for.


This time it was Glen who scared the heron away trying to get a little bit closer for a better shot.  (I had to smugly point that out, because I still feel badly about the deer).

There was only one snake…_DEB3723

Yes I know it’s just a garter snake, but he wanted me to take his picture with it, and since it wasn’t a rattler I was willing.  🙂

This next shot’s my favorite from the day.  I may use it for reference for a painting.


Have a lovely weekend everyone.  There’s lots of pieces in progress on the easel…. coming soon.  🙂



Friday Fotos: A Vain Goose and more


© 2013 Debi Coleman

I live near the Wichita Wildlife Refuge and most weekends will find my family and I out climbing rocks with cameras in hand.   This last weekend I caught a goose appearing to admire her reflection in the water.  It made me laugh.  I realize the goose is actually fishing, but it’s funnier if she’s admiring herself, and I think she belongs in a painting.

The refuge is home to tons of species including : buffalo, elk, turkeys, prairie dogs,

DEB_7133  (this buffalo cracked me up… he was soaking his feet on a hot day)



DSC_0233   and of course snakes (yikes!!).   I almost stepped on him.


It’s a beautiful place , with deep shadowy valleys and towering rock cliffs.  I still miss the pine forests and crystal lakes of Western New York, but it’s hard to resist the allure of standing on the rock peaks in the ever-present wind.

DEB_7481aDEB_7766aDEB_7509  Hope you enjoyed the photos.  Back with artwork next time.

Photos for Friday


© 2013 Debi Coleman

I have always loved art.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to create the images I could see in my mind.  Photography, however, is a relatively new love.  Several years ago my wonderful husband gifted me with a Nikon SLR  for capturing images to use as photo references for my artwork.  I was hooked.  There is something so wonderfully immediate and almost tactile about digital photography.  You can see something beautiful or intriguing, capture it in a moment, and share that vision with others.  It’s really an artist’s dream.


© 2013  Debi Coleman

My garden provides a lot of inspiration for photography.  Let me know what you think.


© 2013 Debi Coleman

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