Skywatch Friday – Winter Hiking

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I went on a hike on Turkey Mountain on a cloudy day on MLK day. The parking lot was full but I didn’t see very many people. You don’t on the backcountry trails I like to take. The more popular trails are on the east side of the mountain and overlook the Arkansas River and south Tulsa, and those trails are better mapped. You have to kind of know where you are going on the back country.

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I love getting in the woods on cloudy days in the winter. Everything just kind of pops out, especially the trees. We get to see their greedy fingers reaching for the sky competing with other trees for enough sunlight to live on.

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I love a twisty turning trail disappearing into the distance. I also love that some of the shrubs are still green despite the season.

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This is the area called Rock City or the Rock Garden.

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Elsewhere on the mountain I found this bucket sitting on a rock. Turkey Mountain used to be the home to farms, ranches, liquor stills, and oilwells and the detritus from those previous uses still litter the landscape. With the advent of industrial scale meth production in Mexico, meth making on the mountain has disappeared. We used to find small meth labs and “shake and bake” containers during our periodic cleanups in the park. It was part of the briefing to the volunteers that if they saw something like that to leave it alone and let one of the leaders know so it could be removed safely.

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I came upon a flotilla of mallards who paddled away from me. I was lucky they just didn’t fly off.

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I got a glimpse of the new buildings going up at the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA (formerly the Westside YMCA). The Y occupies the very northwest corner of the park and have been in existence since 1956. They got a ton of money and are completely rebuilding the facilty and will open this summer. Check the link for details. It’s going to be great. One of the great things about Tulsa is the generosity of the corporations and wealthier citizens who really step when needed.

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As part of it’s past Turkey Mountain has at least two active pipelines, two major powerlines. They were there long before the area was made a park. The owner of the above pipeline recently “cleaned up” right of way so it’s kind of a clearcut through the area. And we park users make it into a trail of course!!

So anyway, I had a good time and went about 3.5 miles. It took me a while. I got a couple phone calls in the middle of the hike. I am not a walker talker (on the phone) so I talk in place. I still had a great time.

Have you been on any walks lately?

I’m linking up with Skywatch Friday – lots of friendly, talented people from all over the world participate

A New Day – Joe Biden’s Inaugauration – 2021

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Public Domain photo by Jack Boardman on Flickr

What a grand Inauguration we Americans had today to celebrate the election of Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President on the same site that two weeks earlier a mob had invaded the Capitol and beat to death a policeman and injured many more.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at L.A.'s Families Belong Together March
Public Domain Photograph by Luke Harold on Flickr, Los Angeles, CA 2018

Today though all traces of that was erased except for the thousands of National Guardsman and Police present to protect the event from more treasonous attacks.

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Photo by Library of Congress in Public Domain, March 2020

We had some great speeches and some great songs by J-Lo and Lady Gaga but as an Oklahoman I was especially proud of Garth Brooks showing up in his Cowboy Tux, boots, jeans, and a sport coat with a big huge belt buckle.

As stirring and emotional as all that was it was Amanda Gorman, our National Youth Poet Laureate, gave a huge performance of her poem, “The Hill we Climb.” What a huge young talent she is and so poised in her delivery.

It was also great to see the previous Presidents mingling together afterwards. The Obama’s, the Bush’s, and the Clintons all seem to get along well together fine. Too bad that Jimmy Carter couldn’t make it. And Mike Pence, our former VP, showed a lot of class today by showing up.

President Biden went right to work issuing a bunch of Executive Orders.

I am thinking all this today is a good thing.

Our World – Angus Family Photos

Photos by friend Cheri Lou whose family operates a ranch in western Oklahoma. She goes and snaps photos and sends them to me. I love them. I edited them a little bit.

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In case you are wondering, this one’s name is Red. I wonder why?

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Here’s a calf getting breakfast. They are always so earnest.

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Here’s a family photo. Getting them to line up is like herding cats. In the back you can see some guard donkeys. They protect the herd from coyotes and other predators. They are pretty comical in their own right.

Come check out Our World Tuesday. Lots of stuff going on there.

Shadows Shots – From Trails to Gardens

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Heather and I went hiking on the Keystone Trail near Tulsa on a kind of tough (for us), kind of long trail and found this taunting sign. Made us laugh. Hell no this isn’t too tough!!

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I love this long covered walkway at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden here in Tulsa.

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Big secret in Tulsa is that the gardens at Gilcrease Museum are free!! I loved this shadow made by a Victorian wrought iron fence and arbor.

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Backing away a little so you can see it better.

Sorry, still working from the archives. We were exposed to Covid again and so we stayed inside pending tests. Heather and I were both negative!! The virus is raging through Oklahoma right now.

Stay Safe and Be Kind Folks. Go check out Shadow Shot Sunday 2 for more shadows.

Weekend Reflections – from the Mundane to the Sublime

Here is the mundane

I like trying different kinds of beer. I’ve been doing most of that at home.

And the nerdy

My regulars know that my computer crapped out. I had a one terrabyte solid state hard drive that was okay. So I pulled it out of the computer and bought a gizmo for about $12 that turned it into an external hard drive. You know it works perfectly!! I don’t archive photos on my own hard drive, I do that in the cloud but I had thousands of songs I had ripped into itunes off of cds. I didn’t want to do all that again. So I installed itunes on the new computer, told it where to go find the music and it works!!!

To I don’t know, maybe this is sublime..

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From the archives. The gardens at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art are sublime. I am not sure my photo is. The museum is closed until the middle of February. They are taking a little breather. Covid has been hard on all of us.

I found this kind of cool

Philbrook Tempietto Reflection - Nov 2016

This is some people standing in front of the reflection of the Tempietto in the Gardens at Philbrook. I love the word Tempietto although I admit I spell it a half dozen different ways. I’m getting older and crankier so just think of me as a phonetic speller.

My wife and I got our brother moved into assisted living from long term care. The staff at the long term care are proud of them, that kind of move is extremely rare so they see him as a success story. He is adjusting well to his new digs. Lots of more freedom and more activities to choose from as well as more people to talk with. Brother is very social.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections, come check it out!!

Skywatch Friday – Back in the Day

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This is from the archives. I’ve been so busy getting my brother into an assisted living place that I forgot to take a sky photo this week. So this is from where I used to work in downtown Tulsa looking out to the northwest along the Arkansas River winding its way back to Colorado. Thank goodness for archives is what I say.

I’m getting my first covid-19 vaccination shot today at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. Wish me luck!!

Stay healthy my friends. Come join the fun over at Skywatch Friday

Turkey Mountain Evening Hike

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My knee has been feeling a little glitchy lately so I haven’t been walking like I was, let alone running. Sunday, I had been in the house all day watching football and working on paperwork so I went to Turkey Mountain for a short walk on a relatively flat trail. I went late evening, my favorite time on the mountain even though it was pretty chilly.

I came upon this early on. I was a little annoyed but I guess that one could call it a “painted rock.” I’ve put a few painted rocks out. They are like river rocks though not sandstone. I let it be.

I love the trees on Turkey Mountain. The old ones are all gnarled up. They survived numerous ice storms, wind storms, and more than just a few tornadoes. They are kind of eerie looking. I like eerie.

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As the sun went down some of the vegetation and grass had almost a fluorescent quality to it releasing a little bit of the light of the day.

I passed by one of the lakes on the mountain. This is about all we had for a sunset that night. The clouds were thick and low

Toward the end of my hike it was just plain dark. Nothing like being out in the woods all by yourself in the dark.

I am linking up at Our World Tuesday. Come check out the action there. Link up!!

Shadow Shots – Winter Shadows

A low sun Saturday morning makes a bird feeder shadow. Notice that it is empty? The squirrels can empty it in a few days after we fill it.

Miss LIzzie in our converted front room checking out the neighborhood action while sitting in the sun.

On the other side of the room, LJ the tuxedo cat finds a bit of sun.

The last of the Christmas decorations. They are not quite as much fun to take up and store as they were to bring down and set out. Why is that?

My mil’s pool. She has two little dogs and one of them decided to take a dip one cold winter night is why there is an enclosure. (Incident was years ago, the dog was rescued and is fine.) Looking forward to jumping back in the pool this summer.

Hey come join the fun at Magical Mystery Teacher’s Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Skywatch Friday – It’s Cold Being a Cow

These photos are from a family member of my wife who has a ranch in western Oklahoma on land owned by my MIL and her sister. I’m always after the family member to send me more cow pictures. Problem is that her husband retired and now does all the chores so she rarely gets out there but she did and sent me a few.

I’ve never ranched but I have been around it a little bit, enough to know that I don’t want any part of it. It doesn’t matter how cold or hot it is, how thick the mud is or how deep the snow you have to make sure that your cattle are fed, watered, and taken care of and if you got some mama cows about to give birth, well they are not going to wait on you either.

But most of those who do it, seem to love it. The whole things, they love animals, the land, the work involved, and being outside in all kinds of weather. The few times I go out with them my help is limited to opening and closing the gates and trying to stay out of the way and not step in cow patty. Plus I take photos when I go. So, I am pretty much useless. I’ll admit it.

But I love the photos other people take as well.

On another front. My brother who has been battling off the aftereffects of viral encephalitis is about to move out of long term care and into an assisted living facility next week. He has battled back from a number of setbacks and is ready to get a little independence and get a lock on his door and a refrigerator with some beer in it. This former marathon runner has worked hard and is an inspiration to me. He says he is going to race again and I bet he will. He has basically been hospitalized for about 14 months.

So this week Heather and I are shopping for beds, mattresses, sheets, blankets and other items to get him set up. He is going to living within walking distance of our house and has a ground floor unit next to the sidewalk. So despite the Covid precautions I can go and knock on his window. I just hope he doesn’t call security. Of course, I hope I pick out the right window to knock on.

Anyway that’s about it for now. I got a new computer. It’s pretty nice except I am trying Microsoft’s Edge browser instead of chrome so not all my passwords are going through. I had to set up the Skywatch Friday page on my ipad. The other thing is that Lightroom and Photoshop won’t install so that is kind of a pain in the butt. I could live without the laptop apps but I use the iphone apps all the time. So, I’ll figure all this out. Why do computers have to be so expensive, fragile, and pains in the posterior??

Enough whining come join me and others at Skywatch Friday