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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring on the Prairie

Ps. 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Behold the welcome sight of milky green waters, the smell of wet earth and new green grass after a long winter.  The tinge of purple on the Redbuds, the way the creek bottoms look after a burn, like a green carpet of new grass, all fresh with all the dead and past year's growth erased like it had never been.   Sprouts of Sheep Showers and all things new coming up from the earth without anything to stop them.  The Whitetail Deer, the Rio Grande and Eastern Turkey, the Buffalo all migrate to these burns and feast on the tasty shoots.  The Killdeer, which I pronounce "Killdee" after my grandpa's way of saying the name, are building their nests on the ground right now and they swoop overhead and let out their high, keening cries.  The Tom Turkey is parading and preening for his hens, hoping to impress one of these fair ladies.  The Whitetail Buck has shed his antlers these last few months and the horns are shining on the black land.  Spring is welcome here on this prairie after a long, cold, harsh winter, every creature is glad to see it. 

Life always comes after death.....Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life...He went to the cross in the Spring and gained the victory over all death so we could partake of His life, the Life that never dies....The Abundant life which supplies all of our needs...If he takes care of the lowliest of animals, the Sparrow, how much more shall He take care of us....

My Prairie Roots

Green Grass and Black Gold, Osage County Treasures

Ps. 104:10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills...  

Indian Grinding Rocks used to grind nuts

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

He leadeth me besides the still waters

Old Bois D'arc Fenceposts on the Prairie

Oh, these Oklahoma Hills where I was Born.....

Spring Turkey Season, where is my shotgun?!

Come here, my darling.......

Oklahoma Redbuds starting to show a little color

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Rains

Job 37:5-6 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Spring Rains In Oklahoma

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time of God's Glory

A time of God's Glory is coming on the earth like never before! Signs and wonders and miracles and deliverances! Jesus is the winner and He will pull more people into the Kingdom than ever were lost to hell before! I want to be a part of that great move of God that all the prophets looked forward and saw! I believe we are the generation that will see it. Just hang onto your hat and be comforted because where sin abounds, GRACE DOES MUCH MORE ABOUND!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Adventure in the Land of Promise

Dueteronomy 8:7-10  But the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

      Monday morning, my sister and her 2 girls and my brother and his 2 girls and I all started out on a great adventure.  We took our 4-wheel drive trucks across an old road through bald hills and bluestem.  The rough road was muddy and narrow and dipped into deep valleys across the wide open space.  Not one peak of sunshine came through the thick clouds in the sky and the north wind was blowing with a temperature of 37 degrees.  Finally we came to the spot to park our trucks and we descended on foot down an overgrown road into a timbered bottom.  My youngest niece, Raylin and I walked "drag" all day.  She and her sister, Rylee aren't used to this hiking, unlike my sister's girls, Josie and Jennie, who do this 3 or 4 times a week.  My brother, Clint was in the lead with his rifle slung over his shoulder on the lookout for cougars, wild hogs or anything else that we might encounter.  My oldest niece was the other gun-toter in our midst.   My grandpa, Curt Bumgarner, had walked this land when he was a oil well pumper in these Osage Hills back in the 1950's through the 1980's.  My mom was raised just east of this site on Pond Creek, north of Pawhuska.  She and grandpa had hunted, fished and arrowhead hunted all this land when she was growing up.  

     We soon found the first site that we had on our list.  It was the remaining walls of an old Stagecoach Station.    Consisting of a small sandstone structure with cedars and other trees  growing up inside and all around it.   All that the years had left standing were mostly the corners.  If only these walls could talk, we would hear many an interesting tale of weary travelers, glad for a warm meal and place to rest.  An old iron bedstead and rusty metal pots were the only relics left from years gone by.  My mom said there used to be a Lilac bush growing around the foundation but I couldn't find it with all the other brush growing so thickly in the area. We had found out about this old place from a pumper friend of my grandpa's,  named Jay Hough. My grandpa and Jay had known this old rancher, Everett Savage, and he had told Jay about how this place used to be a stopping house for the stage that ran across the prairie.  Mom said she never knew that this place was a stagecoach station but she remembers she and grandpa driving by it when she was young.  They used to come in from the northeast by the old Leonard Ranch and would turn down the road south and cross the creek by way of an old ford.  The creek is a part of Pond Creek, a smaller tributary that feeds into the main creek.  My mom always told us of some little indian girl's graves that grandpa and she had found years ago when they were driving through here and happened to see some old rose bushes.  They got out to look at the rose bushes and  had found the graves.  The graves were the second landmark we had set out to see.  We found them a little north and east of the stagecoach house.  This cemetery plot was for a family with the surname of DeNoya.  This was some of the Osage allotment land for the DeNoyas, a mixed French-Osage family.  They must have been the people who ran the Stagecoach Station because these graves are so close to to where the old foundation stands.   The graves were a weathered marble and 2 stones had doves on them with writing we couldn't make out, 2 more small stones that we couldn't find any inscription on, 1 stone had "Lynne, son of L. and M.L. Denoya died 1891, aged 2 yrs. 5 mos. There was a large gravestone that had these names on 3 of the 4 sides:  John William, Louis ? and Mary Pepomo?  My brother remembers coming to this spot with grandpa and they found the top piece of the tall gravestone had fallen off and he and grandpa set it back on top.  How sad to think that someone's babies had died.  Death had taken them from this earth before they had even really lived. 

     After we had reflected on the tragedy of this family's life, we continued on to the north and came to the creek my mom told me she and grandpa used to come across when they came into this valley.  She said this was grandpa's squirrel draw and that they had found 36 arrowheads in one cave, in one day, on this creek somewhere.  The oaks were tall here, trying to reach their way up out of this deep valley to the sunshine overhead.  Rocky bluffs littered both sides of the ravine leading down to the deep green of the creek.  We saw where the crossing ford was and pictured an old stage rocking it's way across the water. 

     We traveled on along the creek in a westerly direction.  Finally coming to a big fenceline clearing running north and south.  It was almost a straight up climb out of here and we were huffing and puffing by the time we made it to the top.  But at the top was where our trucks were and the much needed sustenance our bodies were needing. 


Old Stagecoach Road Across the Prairie

Cattle Pens

Abandoned Oil Tanks

Remaining walls of the old Stagecoach Station house

Rusted metal pots at the old foundation

My nieces, Josie and Raylin

French-Indian DeNoya family cemetery

My brother, Clint
 found this Valentine's balloon way
 out here in the back country

Little Pond Creek

My grandpa's squirrel bottom

     After resting for a little while, we drove to another spot and walked down a fenceline flanked on both sides by scrubby black jack and post oaks and along the way we saw several deer paths crisscrossing the barbwire. Deep tracks marred the muddy ground telling the heavy weight of the animals who had crossed there. We arrived at our destination after quite a bit of walking. It was a place my brother had been to with my grandpa when he was younger. It was well worth the walk. We were taken aback by the majesty of the site that was before us. High up on the south bank of a small flowing creek was an ancient looking outcropping of rock bluffs and caves. We climbed up the side of the rocky hill, taking pictures as we went, and feeling like we were in a scene from The Last of The Mohicans. We came to a spot where there was a large cave with remnants of screening equipment that had been left behind by some adventurer before us, hoping to find ancient indian artifacts. We could tell by the piles of sifted dirt in front of the cave that it had been screened before. I wonder how many arrowheads were pulled out of this rock shelter. We found 2 big boulders that had long grooves in the surface. I imagine these might have been used to sharpen arrowheads and shape the arrow shafts. Someone else had drew a picture of a deer and the date of 1987. Maybe some backcountry hunter who wanted to leave his mark on the land. Around all these rock formations were stands of horsetail. It is a reedy, jointed, brightly hued green. prehistoric plant that the indians used for food and medicinal purposes. It was good for a diuretic and to relieve abdominal pains and it was boiled to make a cough medicine for horses. Natives and pioneers ate the young horsetail shoots raw or cooked, like asparagus. They also drank a diuretic tea brewed from horsetail, and made green dyes for lodges and clothing. Horsetail has rough silica in it's stems that the settlers used for scourings pot, polishing metals and cleaning floors. Indians used and still use to this day, the reeds to polish ceremonial pipes, as well as their bows and arrows. The indian children made whistles from the stems and later Europeans explorers copied this use. We have found horsetail around multiple cave sites across the prairie.

     We snapped lots of pictures and then made our way down and across the creek with a little difficulty. We had to lay a rock bridge down so that we could get to the other side. A little further down and on the north side of the creek, was another hill of rock bluffs. But it was unclimbable, so we settled for a few photos. One interesting feature was a pitchfork tree that looked like off of the movie, Romancing the Stone, growing up through the rocks. On the way out of this area, my sister heard a funny animal noise off in the tree thicket. My brother went into stalking mode and looked like Elmer Fudd in the Bugs Bunny Cartoon, lol! All of us girls huddled down and waited for him to check it out.   Clint went into the treeline and looked and listened for awhile without hearing anything else. But a little further up, he saw a small bobcat along the creek. We think what my sis heard was probably piglets and this bobcat had came in to try to get him some lunch.

     With all that excitement behind us, we proceeded to head up another steep hill to climb our way out of this deep draw and my niece and I were still bringing up the tail end. She was on her last leg. I think we all were by this time. Sometimes it seems like that in life too. It's easy to think you just can't go on anymore. That's when Jesus picks you up and carries you the rest of the way. My niece wanted me to carry her, but I could barely carry myself.  My older niece, Josie  and I did get ahold of her hands though and started chanting, " I think I can, I think I can, chugga, chugga, choo-choo!" We topped the hill and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Then we all broke into a little run with our last bit of energy and called it a day as we climbed into our trucks and headed back across the prairie road.  I know all the others must have did just like I did when my head hit the pillow that night.  They must have closed their eyes and saw the swaying of the bluestem grass, the deep green of the creek, the tall timber in the bottoms, the sad little tombstones of the departed or maybe they saw the old sandstone walls of the long ago stage stop, or the indian caves.  Whatever they remembered about the day, I know we all will remember the good times we had with each other on this cold March day in our land of Promise. 

Isaiah 40:31 says: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Josie and Raylin

Me and Raylin

Josie exploring the caves

I'm 5'9"

Grooves in boulder made by Indians

Clint and Raylin

My sis, Carmon, niece, Jennie and their pup, Sadie

Pitchfork Tree

My adventurous family!