After work today, I traveled back to Oatmeal Texas. I had found what I thought was an old abandoned house that appeared to be built in the 1880s – a narrow depth two story home that looked like an old style Texas ranch house. I had thought that it was empty, it had no drapes, no blinds, and appeared to be devoid of furniture. So, when I stopped today – I saw what appeared to be a new water hose hanging on the side of the house, I looked again. The house still appeared to be empty – but I did see a refrigerator in what appeared to be a kitchen. Oh oh. Darnit.

I don’t like taking pictures of people’s homes without their permission. I put myself in their moccasins and ask “what would you do if somebody stopped in front of your house and took a picture?” I would think, “that’s creepy” – so I would prefer to have someone introduce themselves and at least afford me the opportunity to tell them to stay off my land. (ha!)

Anyhow, I looked at the house again and now in the upstairs window appeared a face. At first I thought it was a cat, but then I looked again – and it was definitely a face, wearing a head covering. I backed into the driveway and then turned around – I wasn’t going to take the picture that I planned (sunlight shining through the windows, trees, and green grass in the valley) so I decided to just go ahead and find another photographic opportunity. I looked once more – and something was still in the window – a form of some sort, so I waved at it and continued to drive as if I had gotten lost. I kinda had the heebee jeebees – thinking that I saw a ghost, but I convinced myself that it was a cat. So, I found another county road that I didn’t explore yet… and started down the path. I had 30 minutes until sunset. And wouldn’t you know…. it was a dead end with a cattle gate that said, “No Trespassing.” I’m a Texan. I honor no trespassing signs. So, I turned around again and decided to head back to the ranch.

About 15 minutes later, on FM 1174, I came over a hill and saw a vista with a near setting sun. I pulled off the road, took out my camera, tripod, cable release – and then walked about 50 yards back up the hill and climbed a narrow cliff about 30 feet above the roadway.

And behold.

An Oatmeal Sky

Texas FM 1174 between Oatmeal and Smithwick. Behold . . .

I would like to thank the ghost in the old house for nudging me back in the right direction. I owe you one Maddam Ghost.