Author Archives: Alan Bates

A Barn and Beyond

20180712-063438-10

This is a barn in Osage County that I have passed a bunch of times on my way to Woolaroc, Pawhuska, or Osage Hills State Park. I think it is beautiful and appears to be reasonably well taken care of by whoever owns it. I’m sure that it is full of mice, snakes, bats. What barn isn’t?

20180706-171223-9

Earlier this month, my wife took me to her new place where she is going to teach Zumba classes. Titan Sports Performance Center in Jenks, OK. It is ginormous. Lots of indoor volleyball and basketball courts, two indoor soccer fields, a Martial Arts Academy, a Sports Performance Center, and of course a huge space for Zumba and other exercise classes. Plus it has a bunch of outdoor soccer fields. It also has a huge area upstairs where parents can sit and watch their kids play or practice whatever sport they are in.

I met her boss when I was there. Really, really nice guy. I told him it was a great facility and he did the karate of thing of putting his hands together and bowing to me. My yoga teacher does a similar thing at the end of her class. Puts her hands in “heart position” and says “Namaste.” I put my hands together but hadn’t yet said “Namaste.” I don’t know why. I’m a guy, and an engineer, and a Republican. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say such a thing.

20180706-170950-7

Look at all those air conditioning ducts. Don’t you know the electric meter about spins off the wall during a hot summer day.

20180706-170852-6

Here is one of the indoor soccer fields. It is all enclosed. Is that like some sort of Mad Max Thunderdome death cage kind of soccer they play in there or what?

20180706-170804-5

And acres of outdoor fields. Out in the sun.

20180705-122709-1

The Health Club that we belong to has smoothies. One day they had a blueberry smoothie on special so I signed up. It was just as good as it looks.

Anyway, a wide ranging post today. I hope your day is going great.

Skywatch Friday – July Time

Bicycling skywatch 1-Edit

A scene from a bike ride. I don’t really remember where. I go all sorts of places these days and I have my cheap trusy gopro clone clicking photos every 20 seconds. I only keep literally about 5 to 10% of them. A two ride is 360 photos. Typically 5 to 10 are keepers. The lens is terrible but I love the sky.

Bicycling Skywatch 2-Edit

Another photo from my gopro clone. This one is along the creek turnpike trail. Nice views, and hills, followed by hills, and then more hills.

Skywatch 3-Edit

This photo is from the archives. I took it last year and I don’t know where. Nice sky though.And a dominating planter. It looks like a parking lot and I don’t know where.

Sorry, I am kind of boring. I have the back from vacation, back to work, its hot and humid blues. I ride my bike a lot though.

How about you? How is your summer going? How is your winter going to the many great bloggers who live in New Zealand and Australia?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Bike Ride

20180712-192600-26

I went bicycling through a blighted neighborhood in west Tulsa just south of one of the refineries. You would think I was in a rural area instead of five miles from downtown Tulsa.  Note the storm building up to the east. We have lots of storms in Oklahoma. Everybody is a meteorologist. And we have lots of earthquakes now so we are now all seismologists. We feel one and it is like, that’s a 3.8, others go no, no way that high, more like 3.5. Thanks to twitter we get confirmation of our guesses within minutes. Practice makes perfect!

20180712-191254-24

I went across a pedestrian bridge earlier Note the faint shadows from the chain link fence.

20180712-181610-3

On the same ride later on a trail that used to be a railroad, through Tulsa’s swanky Maple Ridge subdivision. This is a great place to go walk, run, or ride during the heat of the summer.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Skywatch Friday – Fitter and Fatter in 2018 Edition

Turnpike Bridge-Edit - Topaz Studio

This is part of the Liberty trail, paralleling the Creek Turnpike for miles and miles.

It has been hot and humid here lately. Since I quit running I’ve been trying to replace the calories I spent in running with other things like bicycling. I love biking but it burns a fraction of the calories that running does for a given amount of time. I’ve been also taking stand up paddleboard classes and weight lifting classes. So far it is not working too well. Oh I am getting stronger alright and more fit but fatter as well by a slow an inexorable amount. I am thinking that I might have to start the most  effective exercise of all.

Bicycle Topaz Studio 43171936422_6651203752_o-Edit

We are getting rain and lots of sun, so everything is still lush.

Pushaways, you know where you push away from the table and eat less. Eating less is the most effective weight loss tool there is. Running only burns about 150 calories per mile or the calories in one slice of cheese or one beer. I’m trying to prove the first doctor I went to see wrong. She said, you know, for you, weight loss is an option. I’ve seen a million of you guys. You get injured, you quit running, and then get really fat, and can’t do anything. Believe or not, I loved it. I didn’t love it so much that I went back for more abuse (that I paid her for). I  got another doctor. He told me my “tread was think.” So I just quit running. I walk, bike, elliptical machines, weight lifting classes, and walk a lot.

20180705-160410-1

I rode by this freshly mowed pasture, where often I see horses and I got a bad allergy attack. Everything was hurting especially my eyes. So I turned around and went back home. Everything turned out okay. Strange.

Biking has turned into my first love though. I love exploring and going different places and taking pictures.

How about you? What is going on with you?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – 4th of July 2018

lafortune par 3 renovation DSCN9144-Edit

I started my fourth of July with a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park. It is a little over 3 miles in length and is just the right size for a walk or run. The trail goes around two golf courses including a par three circuit that is under renovation. Despite it being a holiday, the construction crews were busy working under the already hot sun despite being early in the day.

Saint Francis DSCN9171-Edit

Later on, I passed Saint Francis Hospital. Their landscaping crews were also out working. So what is up? I am the only guy not working on the fourth?

IMG_2243

I finished my walk and Heather and I dropped Logan off at his job at the Neighborhood Walmart and then went to Nana’s house. She and friends had been out shopping so all the women had matching July 4th tshirts. I didn’t have a tshirt, but I had a camera so I was assigned the task of documenting the occasion.

PICT0081

And then we moved to the pool. That felt good on such a hot day.

PICT0087

And my lovely wife, and me in the reflection of here glasses.

PICT0100

And a shot from underwater to me above the water.

20180704-171245-5

And then more people showed up and I was assigned grill duty. I love grilling with a full grill. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and ears of corn, plus a lot of other food.

IMG_2252

And then fireworks. I had VIP  tickets to the big Tulsa fireworks show but we were all chilled out in at the house and didn’t feel the need to jump in the car and drive like mad.

IMG_2271

Some of the neighbors put on their own show. Not the big show close to downtown but nice enough.

IMG_2272

Boom!

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – An Afternoon at Philbrook Museum of Art

Sunday morning the family got up and Logan had breakfast and we dropped him off at his job at the Neighborhood Walmart and Heather and I went to have breakfast. Afterward we headed out to Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art to check out their newest exhibit “Innovative Expressions” which turned out to be very academic but interesting. It showcased the printmaking  art of Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro.  I learned some things that I didn’t know before. I didn’t take any photos though. Check it out if you are in town. It is open until September 9.

20180701-123900-1

After the exhibit we toured the three levels of galleries. It doesn’t take us long as we have been there many times before so seeing the art is like meeting old friends. Philbrook does a good job of swapping things out and so we always see things we hadn’t seen before. I love Thomas Moran’s “Grand Canyon” (above).

20180701-124659-5

And this one is a favorite of mine. I am from New Mexico and too me nothing beats snow on adobe like this, “Tesuque (Dark Houses)” by Theordore Van Soelen. It is also special because when I was born my family was living the Tesuque Ranger Station.

20180701-124037-3

This is one that I don’t remember seeing but Heather told me that it has been on display before. So meet my new friend, “Bridge over the Stour” by Childe Hassam. I love it.

Philbrook flowers tempietto_DSC0194-Edit

Next we went to the gardens of the museum. It had been raining earlier but then settled into a very light sprinkle. The tempietto in the background may be the most photographed item in Tulsa. I think it is beautiful. I’m always trying to think of something new so here I focused on the flowers which caused the tempietto to soften. You can tell there is a person on the other side of the pond who is way out of focus.

Philbrook Heather_DSC0196-Edit

It is my lovely wife, Heather. The gardens at Philbrook are especially lush this time of year. Their gardening staff really works hard keeping things tidy and green.

_DSC0190

I spotted a purple coneflower.

philbrook fountain_DSC0204-Edit

Another area of the gardens that I liked.

We had a great leisurely couple of hours at Philbrook. It is a great place to get away from it all for a short time. If you plan on visiting check their web site for all sorts of information for days and hours of operation, special exhibits, events and all sorts of other information.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Shelter from the Sun

20180628-185522-29

It’s getting hot here in Oklahoma and so shade is at a premium.

20180628-180239-13

My favorite pedestrian bridge has a quarter mile of shade across the Arkansas River.

20180628-180821-14

And how about a shadow selfie of me riding my bike?

20180628-150241-3

At work we have a fancy ramada that provides partial shade. Partial shade doesn’t cut it when it is really hot. I used the hyperspektiv app to give it a glitchy look. I love glitchy.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Saturday’s Critters – The Chickens on Turkey Mountain

20180628-194633-10

I went on a bike ride on Tulsa’s River Parks trails and everything was going great in my slow plodding kind of way when I saw some chickens on the trail where it passes the base of Turkey Mountain. So I had to stop and check them out. There were only two of them and the lighting is kind of dim. I had read facebook posts the past few weeks where people had discussed seeing chickens and there was lots of speculation on where they come from and what is to become of them.

20180628-183308-6

They remind me of the chickens that you see everywhere in the rural parts of Hawaii. I guess they can thrive there I don’t know about chickens on their own in Oklahoma. We have lots of coyotes and I wonder what they will do when the weather gets cold. I’ll be interested in how they do.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters

Skywatch Friday – Alabama Edition

20180622-194715-8

We are back from our vacation to the gulf coast of Alabama (aka the “Redneck Riviera”). We had a great time as a family and will have lots of memories.

20180622-191433-12

Son always has a good time. He also carries a book with him wherever he goes. That’s a good habit to have.

20180621-191601-3

We cooked a couple shrimp dinners while we were there using fresh caught shrimp. We dined out on our balcony.

gulf state park skywatch-Edit

For the first time we explored Gulf State Park on bike. It is a sprawling park with beaches, lakes ponds, miles of trails, and multiple access points from the surrounding community.

We had a lot of fun and got to do some active relaxing.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Bellingrath Greenhouse 3_DSC0026-Edit

The entire property is lush and provides lots of opportunities for photographs. I loved the greenhouse.

On our recent family vacation we decided to make a small detour and visit the Bellingrath Gardens and Home on the Fowl River near Mobile, Alabama. We were glad we did. It is a 65 acre garden and home built by an early Coca-Cola entrepreneur and his wife. When they died without children, the entire estate passed to a foundation entrusted with the 65 acre garden and home.

Bellingrath Greenhouse 2_DSC0017-Edit

I love reflections.

This is one of those places that I have heard about for quite a while and I had high expectations and they were surpassed. The grounds are immaculate and the landscaping design is superb, especially for those of us with a camera. The gardens are just packed with great visuals wherever you go.

Bellingrath Greenhouse_DSC0003-Edit

We stayed several hours and still did not see it all. I took over 130 photographs.s

Bellingrath Courtyard flowers _DSC0057-Edit

The place has been maintained well and one can tell from our conversations with the staff and guides that their’s is a labor of love.

Bellingrath courtyard iron railing_DSC0067-Edit

What a great courtyard with a the wrought iron fence on the balconty, big huge windows that open, a little fountain, and archways. And I love the brick.

We paid for a tour of the Bellingrath home and it is exquisite. It was built in the 1920’s and had several features that seemed ahead of its time. They didn’t have electricity at first, but the family anticipating it coming had the house prewired and included features you don’t see today such as automatic lights that come on when you open a closet.

Bellingrath chairs courtyard_DSC0064-Edit

A shady area with comfortable chairs.

It really looks like a place where one could relax. Lots of quiet shady spots and courtyards.

Bellingrath flag gas light brick_DSC0058-Edit

I am a sucker for flags and gas lights. REAL gas lights.

And as in the gardens, the house is surrounded by plants.

Bellingrath Kitchen_DSC0078-Edit

The guide showed us where the Bellingrath’s cooks kept the cookies.

The kitchen was superb. They have kept it as it was when it was lived in. Two big ovens and ranges, two big dishwashers, a couple of giant refrigerators. We loved the light airy feeling of the place.

Bellingrath Dining Room_DSC0083-Edit

This was my favorite room. Not the main dining room but another one. Again, big tall windows with great light.

If you want to visit, check out Bellingrath’s web site. Lots of great info on planning and what to see. Being a garden, they always have something going on.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday