Shadow Shot Sunday – Evening Ride to Sand Springs

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I am really enjoying riding my bike. I couldn’t do it Monday or Tuesday because I had to pick the kid up from work and Wednesday Heather and I went to the Alison Krauss – Willie Nelson concert. (Heck of a show those two put on I tell you.) So Thursday was it. I have a go pro type cheap clone that I mount on the handlebars of my bike. I had it set to take a photo every 20 seconds so above is an action shot of my filling my water bottle. You can tell from the long shadow of the tree that it was already getting late in the day.

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The winds were supposed to pick up from the north so I opted for an east west route to Sand Springs and back on the MK&T trail. A converted railroad line. Straight as an arrow and easy grades. It doesn’t get much use and has several road crossings but they are easily crossed.

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Here is a sign shadow, with a lens flare.

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And here is an action shadow selfie of me pressing the crosswalk button like a nerd. A bicyclist who knows what he is doing just goes out there in traffic. I plan on living a few more years and I am hoping that being a nerd furthers that cause.

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And an extra long shadow selfie on the trail. Below is a brief video of my ride.

Relive ‘After work ride to Sand Springs’

So what have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Skywatch Friday – Sunset Across the River

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I went on a bike ride Thursday night. At the end the sun was kind of low and some clouds were showing up. Not quite sunset but I love the reflections in the Arkansas River.

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And then the 21st street bridge across the river and more reflections.

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This is where I am almost home. I stopped the car in the middle of the road and took this photo. Pretty nice, no filters or edits, I promise.

I’m linking with other Skywatchers

Much ado about Signs

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Saturday I was doing my favorite activity, hanging with my wife Heather. We were running errands having to do with Mother’s Day. One place we went @Home. A giant box store crammed full of stuff including a bunch of signs for the home. I loved the one above. I got and we will be taking to the condo we are renting on the Gulf Coast later this summer.

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Hmmm, do mermaids read what you write in the sand? That’s an intriguing idea. What about sirens, do they read also, or do they just sit on the rocks singing songs luring sailors to their doom? Do you know the difference between a mermaid and a siren? Well, if you are really interested in the subject read this post of mine from almost ten years ago that explains it, and ties in Esther (you know from the Bible), and loops  around Starbucks as well.

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I love this sign also. I remember when I had hair.

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Yep, I like this one as well.

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Or rather, “Her Roost, Her Rules!” Doubt me?

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Here is another sign, at a local brewery. After years of being a beer desert, Oklahoma is coming into the 20th century with more modernized liquor laws. Next step is the 21st century.

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Here is a whole bunch of signs. I am a “Sign Abatement Volunteer” with the City of Tulsa. Me and about 61 other folks have been trained on what signs are legal, which or not, and the value of using good judgement, discretion, and restraint despite what the law says. So I have been gathering up signs all over south Tulsa. They are mainly for sketchy crap businesses that don’t have a physical address. So, I am doing by bit for cleaning up the city. So far I have found around 70 or so. I guess I could start a referral business for the likes of Heavenly Hands Magic Massages, Loans for Businesses, Instant Weight Loss, and guys that will buy any house.

How about you? Have you found any good signs lately?

Bristow Wildflower Run 5K – 2018

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The beautiful train station at Bristow, now a museum.

This past weekend I decided to go run a race that I have wanted to be in ever since I started running eons ago but have never done. It is the Bristow Wildflower Run. I had heard that it was a nice race and so I decided to check it out even though I was not running it, I was going to walk it.

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I love what I call “Working Man’s Trucks.”

I had never been to Bristow before and I was surprised. It is a really nice little town.

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I loved the store fronts. Bristow’s downtown seems to be thriving.

The race is part of the Bristow Tabuleh Fest. I didn’t know it until I moved to Tulsa years ago and I still don’t quite understand it but there is a big thread  of Lebanese culture all through northeast Oklahoma. There are several good Lebanese restaurants in Tulsa. Anyway the race started and ended downtown in among all the booths and activities for the Tabuleh Fest.

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Bristow’s city park is spectacular.

The fun sounded and off we went. Or rather off they went as I was back walking with the grandmothers until they left me in their dust. The race route goes through some nice neighborhoods and on to a huge park with a lake with the banks covered with wildflowers. Thus the name of the race.

We looped back to downtown and finished the race, well behind the grandmothers I should add. I didn’t win anything, but I had a good time and will be back.

The race hit all the check marks.

Nice T shirt, check, and lots of tshirts for everybody, double check.
Reasonable price – only $23 check
Community participation – there were lots of people cheering us on. Even me, eating the grandmother’s dust, – triple check
Refreshments – yep, lots of water, bananas, orange quarters, check, check, check. Plus there was a huge number of food vendors at the festival.
Venue – check – Bristow is a beautiful town, and downtown Bristow has a lot of preserved historical features including a spectacular train station.
Timing – Tatur.org, nobody better, check

So the race is a keeper for me.

Do you know of any other small town races I should enter?

Relive ‘Bristow Wildflower Run 5K’

 

Saturday’s Critters – Cows, Horses, and Ducks

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This newborn calf is walking around the same day as it was born. On a ranch in western Oklahoma owned by my wife’s family.

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And this is son Logan with kitten Lizzy. Lizzy is affectionate, but she doesn’t like to be held, unless I am holding her, and even then I get about 30 seconds before her “I’ve had enough” signals to let her go.

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I went on a bike ride last week on a suburban freeway trail and saw this horse.

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We got a duck pair hanging out in the afternoon in our front yard. Heather fed them once and and now they come back every day, and if we don’t feed them, they head to the garage. Ducks are such moochers. We have another pair of male ducks that also show up. We call them the gay ducks, (no offense, seriously) and they get demanding about getting fed also.

I’m linking with Eileen’s “Saturday Critters

Skywatch Friday – Mid May 2018 Edition

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Well May is well on its way and it has certainly warmed up around here and it is about time.

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I apologize but I am going to bombard you yet again with a barrage of action cam shots from my bicycle rides. I have ridden over 200 miles this Spring. I do it every chance I can. I love it and it is a lot easier on the knees than running was. It is not near as good for cardiovascularwise. It is hard to get your heart rate up.

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Heather has joined me a lot also. She teaches Zumba and other exercise classes so often times she rides after teaching two or three classes and she is still ready to ride a bunch of miles.

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On one of my rides, I got to the literal “End of the Trail.” Most trails end a little more gracefully than this. The end at a road or something. Oh well.

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Lets get out of the sun for a little bit and head to Tulsa’s beautiful Woodward Park. The azaleas were in bloom recently. The park’s shrubs got freeze damaged a few years ago so they are re-establishing the vegetation and doing a very good job of it in my opinion. It is not up to what it used to be but it is on its way.

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I know nothing about flowers, and blooms but I know what I like. It was opportunity for me to practice what I learned about depth of field and making have a “soft” background.

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More practice!

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The season doesn’t seem to last too long and the strong winds that we have been very hard on the blooms.

What have you been up to lately?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday!

Skywatch Friday – A U2 Sky

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Heather and I went to the U2 Concert last night here in Tulsa. In fact Tulsa is where U2 is starting their latest tour. They of course put on a great show. It had a sad tinge to it that I think is reflective of our country right now.

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And then earlier this week we had a full moon. Fish Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, I love all the different names we have for full moons. The problem is, that I took this photo the night after the full moon. Still it was 98% full. I can’t tell the difference. Aren’t you happy with me that I came out and was honest with you about this? Don’t always count on it!! I’m a scoundrel with the facts.

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The sculpture is “Monument to Forgiveness” in honor of Tahlequah, Oklahoma being the end point of many Native American on the Trail of Tears when they got evicted from the southeastern USA. Check out “www.monumenttoforgiveness.org

On our trip to the JT Nickel Wildlife Preserve on Sunday, Logan and I stopped at Northeastern State University for a look see. They are starting a program for people with Special Needs to get a university experience. We are applying and have high hopes. They are taking only five this, their first year of the program.

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He’s doing well at school and is still working maintenance at Walmart. He’s a hard working kid.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday, better late than never.

J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve

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Sunday, son Logan and I ventured off into deep eastern Oklahoma to the JT Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve northeast of  the town of Tahlequah.

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It is a 17,000 acre former cattle ranch that the Nature Conservancy took over in 2000 and it is now the largest privately protected block of land in the Ozarks. It is almost a complete ecosystem of its own.

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The Conservancy has reintroduced fire and is replacing the former bermuda meadows with tallgrass prairie to try and reestablish what the landscape looked like long ago. From the six mile drive across the property it looks like they are succeeding. The open meadows are very lush. The burned landscape really opens up the woods.

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They reintroduced elk in the area in 2005. We got a glimpse of one through the trees but I did not get a decent photo of it. We also saw white tailed deer on our hike.

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The only thing I wish is that they had more trails. We hiked two out of the three available and it was 2.3 miles. They packed a lot into that short distance with a variety of sights from ridge tops to creek bottoms, woods to savannas.

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It was a good outing. We were the only ones there. The headquarters was closed but they had a great display on the area, the trails, where the trails were and how to get to them. The trails were spotless. No litter or vandalism or anything. Of course you really have to want to go there to get there. We drove across six miles of very bumpy and rocky road to get there.

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Logan really liked the peacefulness of the site.

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Check the link if you want to visit. They provide directions and all sorts of other information.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Riverside Ride

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This Friday was my 9/80 day. I work 80 hours over nine days and get every other Friday off. I love it!! Been doing it for years despite criticism at work sometimes for taking off all my 9/80s. Yeah well duh. Anyway Heather and I wanted to go on a bike ride today. For a while it seemed like the very air was conspiring against us but it all worked out and we loaded up the bikes and headed off to the River Parks. Then, my bike had a little problem. A problem with the brakes. Believe me, if you are having a problem with your bicycle you do not want it to be your brakes. So I spent about fifteen minutes trying to fix them and suceeded. Yeah!!

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And here is my very patient wife. All ready to go, waiting on her husband.

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And off we went! First down a very nice rails to trails path that cuts through a very nice area of midtown Tulsa.

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And then because of some park construction we got out on a street. It was a beautiful, sunny, cool day, with hardly any wind (8 mph is hardly any wind in Oklahoma, just so you know). As you can see we had some nice shadows all day long.

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And then we got to the RiverParks trails. We love them. They have separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians

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Heather led the way back to the car.

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We got back to the end and had a reward. There is a brewery taphouse on the trail so we enjoyed a craft beer before the ride home.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Last Skywatch Post of April 2018 – Osage Prairie Trail

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Last week I took my bicycle up north of Tulsa to the “Osage Prairie Trail” a rails to trail project  that starts in north Tulsa and goes to Skiatook, way out in the country. I started in Sperry and went about five miles north to Sperry. The trail is deluxe, asphalt paved and well maintained.

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I got some geocaching in on the way. How do you like my stylish outfit? I found that garish yellow top at Walmart for about seven bucks. Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it cuz I like it just great! Along with my mismatched socks. Where’s the law that says your socks have to match? There isn’t one, I already checked!

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I love this bridge across Bird Creek.

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I got to Skiatook and everybody in town was taking an exercise class.  I felt like jumping in myself but they were just finishing up. I love community stuff like that. Except community sounds like communism. We don’t like communism here in Oklahoma, so I am glad I didn’t join this communistic exercise program. People need to be in there own homes watching Fox News and checking you know who’s twitter feed. Not out in the sun getting skin cancer and getting to know your possibly leftist, immigrant, non gun owning  neighbors.

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Enough about politcs. How about some cows? These are my wife’s cousin’s herd out in western Oklahoma. I love the calves especially. I always name one of them “Little Brisket.”

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I went riding along the Arkansas River after work earlier this week during a pretty day. I am loving riding my bike this Spring!!

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And it is Azalea season here in Tulsa. Here is a house in midtown that I just love. Look at the blooms, and the windows.

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And I have a volunteer gig with the city of Tulsa picking up “litter on a stick” signs. I’ve picked up 17 so far. Within days of getting trained, me and my fellow 61 volunteers picked up over 500 trash signs off city rights of way. I’m all official now. I have a city ID Badge with my photo on it and some “cop gloves” to help protect from sabotaged signs. (Not yet in Tulsa but apparently in other cities the people who have put out litter on a stick signs have superglued razor blades to the wire frames.” The gloves will come in handy for geocaching also. On my bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail I went looking for a cache called something like “In the hole” and I found the hole in the tree and as I went to inspect it, a snake slithered out! So as we say in the energy biz, I plugged and abandoned that cache, figuratively. I am just glad that I didn’t stick my hand in there, even though the slithery critter did not appear to be poisonous.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.