Rural Oklahoma Backroads

So, I ask you, why was I out this morning in my ratty tatty shorts, an OU Professional Writing t-shirt, and my Nikon D40X slung around my neck? I’m sure that I looked pretty funny awful to the Edmond Electric guys as they topped the foggy hill in their work truck and found me taking photos of roadside weeds wildflowers. At least they smiled and waved (albeit with quizzical expressions.)

I guess I have no shame, but while the images from last night’s Harley ride with HH were still fresh in my middle aged mind, I was compelled to put them in a more permanent form.

Quintessentially rural Oklahoma.

Yesterday, just before dusk, we headed out on the Harley to our favorite backroads destination, Pops. How do I describe Pops? It’s a post modern building where you can have a hamburger from beef produced by No Name Ranch, or grab a soda pop from a selection of more than 500 different kinds. The best thing I can write about it is an overheard conversation between three generations of men: grandfather, father and pint-sized son.

“Wow!” says PSS, as he stares at the soda grouped by color and flavor in six glass front soda cases. He wanders back and forth unable to choose. This is a frequent problem for small folks.

The grandfather, stooped with age, stands at the rootbeer section stunned. The father opens the case for him. The grandfather points.

“I haven’t had Fitz’s rootbeer in ages,” he says. His son hands it to him. The both smile.

Where else can you get family bonding for $1.99?

Now for the other photos I took this morning. I’m open for plant identification. I am no native plant expert. Instead, I created an English garden in the middle of the wilderness. It is only in recent years that I’ve come to appreciate native plants and their place in my formally designed garden.

Gail, can you help me here? Or, how about you, MA? You’re the Garden Examiner of Boise. Maybe you know some of these guys. Pam, any ideas?

In no particular order, away we go.

With my luck, one of them is Ragweed. Just kidding. I do know what Ragweed looks like. Poor Goldenrod always gets a bad rap because it blooms at the same time.

Is this Bitterweed, Hymenoxys odorata, peeking out from behind barbed wire?

???  I just don’t know.

Bull Thistle?

There are several wonderful blogs on Oklahoma wildflowers, but I found Richard Allen’s photo gallery to have the most beautiful photographs. I also liked his descriptions on where he found the displayed flowers and when they were blooming. Very helpful information.

I also keep forgetting to tell you that I’m now writing as the Oklahoma Gardening Examiner. If you want to keep track of what I’m writing about there, just follow the link.


  1. Frances says:

    Hi Dee, I had to come back to this older post that just now showed up on blotanical in my faves posts and I was the first to pick it and it had all these comments. When you wrote the words, soda pop, I just about cried. I haven’t heard that term since I left Oklahoma. When I moved to Pennsylvania it was only soda, no pop. My family back home always called it that, or just pop. The things that trigger memories. Your blog will always be the one that does that to me, and I thank you for it. And many congrats on your journalistic endeavors, your writing is first rate!
    Frances at Fairegarden

  2. joco says:

    Quite a poser, that pink flower. You made it look really lovely and innocent in that picture.

    Can’t quite see the leaves, but would suggest it goes by the wonderful name of “Melancholy Thistle”.“Melancholy Thistle (Cirsium helenioides), with cottony, unwinged, spineless stems. (I feel a novel coming on 😉
    I bet you’re sorry you asked.

    jocos last blog post..Time for a treat

    Yes, a poser indeed. Thistles are invasive in Oklahoma now.~~Dee

  3. Sandy says:

    My neighbors are used to seeing me out photographing wildflowers. Lots of times really early in the morning.

    Could the first wildflower be bitterweed? It looks like one on a site of Oklahoma wildflowers that I have bookmarked.

    Sandys last blog post..purple stemmed and stiff asters

    Hi Sandy, it sure could be. I need to have a field guide next time. Thanks for stopping by.~~Dee

  4. carolyngail says:

    Country roads take me home ! You’re making me homesick, Dee : )

    There’s no greater artist than Mother Nature, especially when she colors her palette with all sorts of wildflowers. The photos are really gorgeous.

    Ah, Carolyn Gail, you’re so right. It is so beautiful here right now. Best September we’ve had in a long while. Lovely sentiment. Couldn’t have written it better myself.~~Dee

  5. Dee, could those yellow ones be ox eye? The thistle looks like the thistle we have here. I’m fond of it as long as it’s where it ought to be (out in the wild). Our gaura is pink,but maybe it comes in white, too. Love that first photo. So, well, pastorale! K. xoxo

    Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.coms last blog post..Get Out Your Knitting Needles!

    Thanks, Katherine. I’m glad you enjoyed it.~~Dee

  6. deb says:

    Hi Dee, The yellow flowers look like cowpen daisy (Verbesina ecelioides). Pop’s sounds like a great place.


    Hi Deb, you’re probably right. Thanks for the idea.~~Dee

  7. Sherri says:

    Dee, I love the pic of the horses. I have ridden horses since I was 6 and I’m 49 now. I always love to look a horse pics, thanks for making my day!

    Sherris last blog post..Sprucing up the House for the Open House tomorrow

    Hi Sherri, our oldest daughter, now 31, has ridden all her life. I love horses.~~Dee

  8. wiseacre says:

    I always enjoy when someone posts local images. Everywhere is unique and it’s nice to see what catches a blogger’s eye and what they think is special about their area.

    I get stares too and sometime wonder what people are thinking after seeing me hunched over some weedflower trying to shade it from the direct sun while I take photos.

    Wish I could help with the wildflower IDs. As you can see it takes a couple of field guides and some careful examination to make even an educated guess in a lot of cases. Let’s just call the thistle a thistle or should I list the possibilities? Bull, Pasture or Field. I can’t even guess on the others without a closer look 🙁

    wiseacres last blog post..Touch Me Not

    Thanks WA. I’m glad you liked the photos. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one out snapping photos in the early a.m.~~Dee

  9. Les says:

    This was a delightful post, thanks for sharing. I get mad with myself when I can’t ID wildflowers or native trees and shrubs. As someone who is supposed to be a horticulturist, I should know these things. I am usually real good at the invasive non-natives I come across in the wild, but as far a knowing things that should be there, I would get a low “C” on the the test.

    Less last blog post..Norfolk Botanic Gardens – Late Summer

    Hi Les, thank you for making me feel better. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who can’t identify things in the wild.~~Dee

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Pops sounds like such a charming place. Your selection of wildflowers is interesting. Wish I could help with the ID.
    I will just have to be in charge of enjoying the flowers.

    Hi Lisa, thank you for stopping by. Looking is a wondrous thing, I think.~~Dee

  11. David says:

    Dee, you are making some pretty groovy pics lately. Really nice work, friend. I feed on such things, as you know. Thanks for the tasty meal.

    Thank you, David. You take some splendid photos yourself.~~Dee

  12. Cindy says:

    I’m pretty sure the white flowers are Gaura. I have them in my gardens, although I think the wild variety may be a little different from those sold in nurseries.

    Pops sounds like a great place. I’d be like the kids … if I have too many choices from which to decide, I freeze!

    Cindys last blog post..Fabulous Friday

    Hi Cindy, good guess on the Gaura. Perhaps they are. It is such a fun place.~~Dee

  13. Pam/Digging says:

    Sorry, I don’t know the wildflowers either, Dee. But I sure love that shot of the horses, and that soda pop building (is that what it is?) is really cool.

    Pam/Diggings last blog post..Who hired YOU to trim my tree?

    Pam, that soda pop bottle is outside the postmodern building. It’s a tourist attraction in an of itself.~~Dee

  14. Dee, I can’t help with the wildflower ID, but I’ll go with “some kind of daisy flower, some kind of gaura type flower, and some kind of thistle”. I’m feeling very helpful! If the thistle-type flower is a native, I would leave it alone. If it is an invasive pest from someplace else, it should be pulled. I love your first picture. Very beautiful morning in Oklahoma and congrats on the Examiner gig!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardenss last blog post..The Color of Hope

    Hi Carol, I think thistles are invasive in Oklahoma. Note, must do an article on Oklahoma invasives. Thank you. Of course, I should congratulate you too. You’re now the Indianapolis Examiner.~~Dee

  15. Carla says:

    Pops sounds yummy! What pretty wildflowers-I hope you learn their name, and congrats on the writing assignment!

    Carlas last blog post..My Husband Rocks!: True love is…

    Thanks, Carla. Pops is fun.~~Dee

  16. Kathy says:

    Your wildflowers are different than my wildflowers. We do have thistles, but ours are not quite so rounded. Pops was the one place on the OKC GWA symposium when I wished all my kids could be there with me. Definitely a family friendly destination.

    Kathys last blog post..Quiz and Prizes! Celebrating six years of garden blogging

    Yes, almost all of our flowers are so very different. I hope to get up there sometime to visit, Kathy. I’m glad we met here.~~Dee

  17. CurtissAnn says:

    Hi, honey, from the BooksaMillion wi-fi! Thanks so much! Lots of fun. Quiet and books and internet– I’m in heaven! Beautiful photos, and encouraging me to get out in the early mornings to take pics. That bottom flower, I call it a thistle, must look it up, but just want to say when it dries in winter, it is just lovely for cutting and bringing inside.

    CurtissAnns last blog post..Monday’s Fair Light– Listen to This

    Hi Rosebud, I’m glad you got to spend some time at Books A Million working on your computer. It is nice and quiet. I think it is a thistle of some sort. Hadn’t thought about cutting it and drying it.~~Dee

  18. Anna says:

    You Harley Riding Gardening Examiner Writing Momma! Woo Hoo—That is so great Dee! I looked at the articles last night and thought you did a grand job.

    Thanks, Anna. You should apply as the Gardening Examiner of North Carolina, but where would you find the time?~~Dee

  19. Gail says:

    Could the daisy like flower be Helianthus salicifolius Willow leaved Sunflower? I need a different photo to id the other one. Do Eradicate the thistle!


    Gails last blog post..This Post is Rated BG,

    I don’t know, Gail. I guess I should take a field guide with me next time. It would be easier to i.d.~~Dee

  20. Candace says:

    Do you live in Edmond? I do! We’re actually gonna try to make a trip up to Pops this weekend because my mom still has never been and I want her to experience it! It’s such a neat little place to go every one ‘n a while.

    Candaces last blog post..A warning of sorts

    Hi Candace, I don’t live in Edmond, but I’m there all the time. Don’t you just love Pops? I think I’ll take the kids there for a treat after school today.~~Dee

  21. PGL says:

    I have not a clue what any of your local wildflowers are Dee. Sorry. 🙂 Congratulations on the Examiner writing job & your local hangout sounds like a fun place to go.

    PGLs last blog post..A trip to Lowe’s = New Plants!

    Thank you so much for the nice words about Examiner. It’s been fun so far.~~Dee

  22. MA says:

    I am just gonna call that a nasty ass thistle and suggest it be eradicated. Need a close up of the sunflower/daisy to better ID. Ditto the guara looking flower. But I do remember POPS and I wish I could have been there with you. What a great place that was! Great trip to OKC last year. The hospitality was sen-sational! 0x0x0

    MAs last blog post..Prepare for planting tulips and daffs

    Oh, no, MA, that thistle is not in my garden. Thistles have become invasive in Oklahoma as in many parts of the U.S. I found that along a country road. Pops was fun.~~Dee

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