Monday, July 26, 2010

Abandoned House

This old house in Porter, Oklahoma was abandoned. I imagined it was once a much-loved family home. Its white rock would have made for a cool interior. Its front porch looks to have been a shady place for sitting to visit of an evening. Children may have slept in the screened-in room, like my siblings and our cousins did when we visited our Grandma Monte in Gainesville, Texas many years back.

The back of the house probably boasted a dooryard garden and I would think trees held a swing for children to fly in and dream from.  A clothesline was likely strung between T-poles in the side yard to dry a families shirts, dresses, overalls, tea towels, sheet and quilts.

I suppose there were flowerbeds where now the prairie encroaches to reclaim its ground and seed its own blooms. Can you imagine little girls making mud pies in the dirt under these trees?
Doesn't it look like a friendly place?

Ivy has begun to climb the walls and soon will weigh in on the roof. High grass and overgrown shrubs will make the house a haven for rodents and birds to aid in its destruction.

Wouldn't you like to explore this place and learn the history of the house, its builder, and the families who lived there over the years?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Buildings Reclaimed by the Prairie

An old hotel built of stone, old schools, roadside motel and a rock house abandoned to undergrowth are reclaimed eventually by the prairie that mothered them.

Have you driven past this old hotel in Muskogee? I'll bet you have. It was last used as a hunting supply store and is located on highway 16 which enters Muskogee from the West and is named Okmulgee Street.

This was the front office. It is overgrown with vines, signs are gone and windows are missing. The rear cabins each stood separate and housed one traveling family.

The cabins are constructed of flat native stones as are many park cabins and shelters that were built by the W.P.A. in the dust bowl days of the Great Depression.

The arch above each "cabin" was outlined with bricks, possibly bricks from the Boynton Brick Factory. Now the property is abandoned and the prairie has reasserted itself in every crack and crevice. Shrubs and grass and weeds and trees are breaking up concrete and stone work.

Time and weather have rotted doors and window frames. Animals have found shelter along with hobos and vagabonds. Neighborhood children may have played here and teens lingered in the forsaken roadside rooms.

At night I imagine owls haunt the spaces.

What was this place like in 1950? I imagine an old car parked at one of the cabins, a father carrying a box of food and some luggage to the door. A child is playing in the grassy area out behind the motel. A mother seated in a old wooden chair nursing her baby in the welcome shade of a Osage Orange tree.

God has erased the scene with time and change and covered it with vines and branches, grass and wildflowers. I heard birds singing overhead, cicadas thrumming their afternoon songs, and wind like ghosts moving in the shadowy places making leaves shiver.The prairie wins!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cone Flowers

The Gray-headed Coneflower is a mid-summer field flower with a large seed head and thirteen petals that hang down nearly touching the stem. Only one bloom per stem.

Can you see a little black and yellow butterfly on one bloom? Notice the caterpillar shaped tufts on the grass stems around the flowers.

Notice how after the petals fall the seed head stays intact on the stem until it has dried sufficiently. Birds eat the seeds and the wind scatters the rest away to reseed themselves across the parcel of prairie.

The heavy seed heads and the thin stems cause many of the flowers to overturn and hang upside down like dancers in a yellow skirts taking bows at the end of a performance.