Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Spring is Coming

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We had a penumbral lunar eclipse last week. I have to tell you, I didn’t see much of anything. I’m not much of an astronomer. Sorry. I did get a photo of the moon against a dark blue sky though.

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Saturday, the weather was way warm. Son and I went for a hike. We saw several people hanging out on what is normally the Arkansas River bottom. In some cases it is almost like pavement except there are some major cracks big enough to get your foot caught. Bad news if the water is coming up is what I think. A few years ago the river was down even lower and I was able to walk to within thirty feet of the opposite bank.

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During our walk I snapped this pic as we were heading back across a bridge. It is a little different view of downtown. I put it up on Instagram I confess, using a filter that I use quite a lot. I reuse photos all the time across social media. My personal experience is that trying to leverage one media to get more viewers on another is self defeating. When I’m on Instagram, that is where I stay for instance. I never “check the bio for a link.” What about you?

And that is about it for this week.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Back to the Future

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Another shot from the building I work to the west with a sunset and the Arkansas River. I am moving this week from the fifth floor at work to the sixteenth floor so I walk a few steps over to the west window to see the Arkansas River out to the west. I started out in engineering years ago and after years of hopping back and forth between the engineering, operations, and commercial roles I am back in an engineering role for the first time in a dozen years. And so I am back upstairs.

I’m also getting geared up. The safety regs require safety boots while out on location. So I now have some company paid composite toe boots (lighter and more insulating than the old steel toe boots that I tossed into the Goodwill box when I last left engineering) and I ordered some FR’s (Fire resistant clothing) for use while in our facilities. I work in the natural gas industry) My employer provides a generous allowance to buy such items. I’m okay with all things safety including wearing uncomfortable clothes. When I was in operations management way back when my worst nightmare was that one of my 55 guys got hurt. The second nightmare would be having to call their spouse, girlfriend, or parent and telling them the news. Luckily that never happened. Safety for employees and the  general public  has gotten more serious and effective since and that is a wonderful thing.

I will only be in the field occasionally. Guys and gals that work out there a lot wear hazardous gas monitors also. I visited a competitors plant a couple weeks ago and I was one of the few that didn’t have such a device. The plant manager said, okay Alan, if you see us run, I would suggest that you run also. I thought that was hilarious.

So, life and works goes on!! How are things with you.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Low Water on the Arkansas River

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I went running one warm winter afternoon not long ago. It was getting late afternoon and for some reason the river was way down. I have seen it lower. One time I walked almost clear across it. The bottom is hard rock with deep crevices. There is a lot of old construction and oilfield debris. There is also a lot of fish in the remaining pools. I have seen them while crossing the bridges. Here is a video made of the river back in 2014 when the river was low and running clear. It shows among other types of fish a shovel nosed sturgeon which was unexpected.

I am really taken with the idea of all that life taken place hidden in a river running through a big city.

So, how are things where you live?

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – A Noon Walk and a Full Wolf Moon

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I got away from work for a little while Tuesday at noon and drove to nearby Gilcrease Museum. I didn’t go into the museum but I went for a walk on the adjacent city park, Stuart Park. There was a sign there to be on the lookout for a bobcat and to report sightings. So that kind of perked my interest. I didn’t see any bobcats but I did take a few photos. It was very warm, almost 70. This is after being 4F on Saturday morning. Now we are supposed to have an ice storm on Saturday. Oh well, this winter if you don’t like the weather just wait a little bit and it will change.

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And then last night when I got home I noticed the moon was almost full so I got my trusty camera out and took a shot. It is the Full Wolf Moon, or almost full I guess. I love taking shots of the moon. I have dozens of them. I don’t know why, it doesn’t really change does it. I imagine I’ll be taking lots more as time passes.

I’m linking this post with Skywatch Friday. Come join us. A new link starts Saturday at 2:30PM Central Time (US).

Skywatch Friday – Crossroads Sunset

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Logan has a friend who lives out south of town in the middle of nowhere. I don’t mind taking him for a visit because there almost always good photo ops at various places on the way including this crossroads where the main road turns. For some reason I like to take pics of the sunset with car headlights. It seems to me that it adds a little bit of motion to a set piece. I’m just a lowly picture taker so what do I know

I’m still learning how use Lightroom and Photoshop and I am definitely in the “Why had I not done this earlier?” mode. I really like how the various parts interact. I can open up and do basic edits in LIghtroom and then pass it easily to PhotoShop where I can send it to a Topaz filter. And like magic it sends to the Topaz edits back to Photoshop and Photoshop sends them Lightroom and in Lightroom I can publish directly to Flickr. It works so smoothly it is almost scary.

Next I’m going to learn layers in PhotoShop. I’m interested in layering images on top of each other. Just of the heck of it at first but I also want to see what I can do creatively with the techniques.

Oh well, enough for all that. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday – West Bank

River Ampitheater after-Edit.jpgThis is a floating stage on the west bank of the Arkansas River. The stage has not been used in years and is apparently too expensive to dismantle and impossible to move so I guess it will just sit there until a tornado takes it out. Back in the day, a lot of big names played on it Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Leon Russel, and others played on the stage. In the meantime it is biding its time with its memories in a little backwater off the Arkansas River. I don’t know how many dozens of photos I have taken of it, morning, night, noon, all four seasons. I love it.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday today

Skywatch Friday – Winter Solstice

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The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the beginning of Winter was yesterday. So on the plus side the days are going to get longer! And on the downside the weather is going to get colder before it starts getting warmer. So I can go run in the woods and go geocaching without worry about ticks, chiggers, spiders, and snakes. Winter is when I can really relax in the woods and not worry about what I am about to step on or find underneath a rock.

Hey, plus Christmas is just a couple days off. Christmas is great but what I really like is the week between Christmas and New Years. This year I’m going to take the days off and we’ll go to some movies and just kind of chill.  In early January we are all going to fly up to Idaho and go visit my Dad. Now southeast Idaho, that is where they have real winter. I don’t anticipate moving up there, ever!!! If anything I want to move south.

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This time of year is special because this is around the time of my late Mother’s birthday. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I don’t have very many photographs of her but this old faded polaroid is my favorite. She was smart and sassy and tough as nails and really loved her family. The wife of a Forest Ranger and the daughter of a copper miner and a dyed in the wool old school Democrat with an Irish twinkle in eye. I wonder what she thinks as she is surveying all that is going on these days in America.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Pond Reflections

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My favorite go to 3 mile walking/running loop is Lafortune Park just a few miles from the house. The trail goes around a golf course, tennis courts, and a playground, and by a several ponds so there almost always moments to rest a little bit and snap a pic or two. I’m always wanting to yell “You the Man!” or “In the Hole!!” at the golfers but never have, probably never will. I used to work with a guy who when we played golf with the CEO of our employer would say, when the CEO hit the ball, “Oh my gosh, look at the ball go!!” He even said it when I hit it, or whiffed it as mostly the case. I always thought it was funny.

Full Moon

We were celebrating my wife’s birthday yesterday and when we got home I noticed that we had a full moon. So I dug out my trust Canon SX40 Superzoom and took a few pics of the moon. I an one of them through Topaz Textures and then uploaded onto my Ipod Touch and used DistressedFX to further process the image to bring out the features of the moon.  This moon doesn’t have a cool name like some of the other moons. It is called the Long Night Moon.

Skywatch Friday