Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The Lakes of Turkey Mountain

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One of the ponds on Turkey Mountain late in the afternoon. We have had a good amount of rain on the mountain this spring so many of the ponds are full of water. For some reason, the ponds are called lakes. I’m okay with that. The sky is a little vague in this photo but I like the light on vegetation in the foreground and I like the reflection of the sun also.  So I’m going with it and hope you don’t mind.

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Skywatch Friday – Storm Coming on Turkey Mountain

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One day after work when I was on the east bank of the Arkansas River looking across trying to figure out whether to run on Turkey Mountain or not which is the hill to the right. I decided to go ahead and stayed dry for the most part. I really look forward to my Wednesday night runs on the mountain or the river and rarely cancel them. I always feel like a kid when school has let out especially when the weather is decent. I hardly ever see anybody else especially when I’m more than a quarter mile from the parking lot.

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Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain -Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness

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A view of Turkey Mountain from across the River.

I spend a lot of time at the Turkey Mountain. It is called an Urban Wilderness with a big emphasis on “Urban.” It sits on the Arkansas River only a few miles from downtown. It has freeways on its north and west side and a major street on the south. On the east side tucked in at the river is a seldom used railroad spur line.

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That is downtown Tulsa in the distance. Along with a pipeline and a powerline to boot.

It has at least three pipelines running through it, two major liquids lines and a large diameter natural gas pipeline. There are two major power lines running.In addition there are remnants of oil wells and some abandoned flow lines and remnants of houses.

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The poop plant in the foreground and Instate I44 crossing the river.

On its northeast side it has a large sewage treatment plant. Sometimes the aroma wafts up on top of the mountain. Sometimes the parking lot is crowded and you have people with their fleece pajamas walking along the trails smoking, talking loudly on the cell phones on speaker mode.

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I love sunsets on the mountain. At this time of day the mountain is deserted.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have run and hiked hundreds of miles on its trails. The rude people never get more than a quarter mile down the trails and get bored and leave. For as much use as it gets there is not much litter. Thousands of people love the place and a while ago when an out of state developer proposed putting an outlet mall of all things on a privately owned portion of the park the community got together and said NO!! And then passed a measure to buy the tract from its owners. A couple of Tulsa companies provided the interim financing so the deal could close.

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That is son on the left during a Fall hike years ago.

Even on its busiest days Turkey Mountain is big enough where you may see only a few people once you get a half mile down the trails. It gives people space and room to breathe.  And the people take care of it.

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Resources

Urban Wilderness Coalition – A great group of people who led the successful struggle against the Outlet Mall. It looked hopeless at first but they stuck with it and persevered.

Turkey Mountain Web Site – Turkey Mountain is administered by the Tulsa RiverParks Authority. Lots of good info on what is going on.

Miles to go before I sleep…  Blog by Trail Zombie – A great guy who also lives on the mountain. Lots of posts about Turkey Mountain in particular and trail running in general.

 

Skywatch Friday – Sunrise, Sunset…

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Spring and daylight savings time is here and I am loving it. The air is warmer, a bit more humid, and it feels great. I love Fall and Winter but I am always ready for Spring.

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Plus I like the extra time after work to go run on Turkey Mountain or the River or other places. It is making that much harder to get my taxes done though. Anybody else a procrastinator?

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Skywatch Friday – Ramada Sunset

Ramada Sunset-Edit Topazz Impressions Van Gogh I 25pct

My employer built a very nice plaza in front of the buiiding complete with tables and chairs and a big curving ramada. It makes for a very nice welcoming space to eat lunch outside when the whether is nice. A few weeks ago leaving after work the sky was pink and blue and the light was great and I tried to capture it all. I cheated and used Topaz Impressions, backed off about 75%, to give it kind of a impressionistic feel.

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Jailhouse Sky

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In downtown Tulsa the Jail is about a half mile or so north of the County Courthouse. So the Sheriff operates bus shuttles that seem to go on all day long between the two to transport the inmates to and from each place..  So I was walking around near the courthouse one day when one of the buses came by.

And then I’m thinking about stuff like how is all this coordinated? Do the inmates have to make reservations? Do the jailers have to go hunt these guys down? Does everybody ride together or do they segregate to keep you know the murderers away from the those desperate criminals facing stiff sentences for jaywalking? What happens if a bus breaks down.  Anyway, I can just think on these things for a long while.

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Skywatch Friday – Office Window

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A view from a window where I work. Every evening before going home I wander to the west side of the floor and see what is happening with the sky and every once in a while it is pretty cool. I took this with my phone and haven’t done a thing to it, not even cropping.  The next day we had the following:

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Sorry for the graininess. I like this because it captured the reflection of the sun in the river. It is kind of smoky here because of the range fires and lots of dust kicked up by the winds. We had a little rain last night but not enough.

Unfortunately…. only a few more sunsets from the office left as we spring forward this weekend. I love my job but I’m not sticking around just to look at sunsets. I’ll be catching them from the Arkansas River and Turkey Mountain on my running outings.

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Skywatch Friday – Silhouettes

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Skywatch, Modern Sculpture Silhouette from the east bank looking west

Those who follow me know that one of my joys is my weekly run after work on the Tulsa River Parks Trails along the Arkansas River. I run the trails almost regardless of the weather. Lightning  and Ice are the only reasons I have not run the trails. And this time of year by the time I get changed and dressed and then out to the river the sun is about to set.

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Tree Silhouette looking west

It was about five degrees cooler than I was planning on and there was a fairly stiff northern breeze that I hadn’t planned on either. I was a little under dressed with just shorts and a long sleeve t shirt but I put in three miles anyway. I started out into the wind so that when I turned around I was with the wind. Otherwise, even with the best technical gear you turn into a refrigerator.

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A little bit more open, still on east bank

So coming south on the west bank was great, I was very comfortable and was able to enjoy the run. If I had been dressed just a tad warmer I might have gone another mile or two.

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Sorry for the fuzzy shot, on the west bank looking back across the river. Downtown Tulsa is a couple miles past the river.

I injured myself a couple months ago and and been going through a self rehab of run walks, and massage and just trying to be patient and it worked out. Last Sunday I ran in a Quarter Marathon with some pretty good uphills and downhills and finished without any problems so this week on my weekly run I let myself run a lot more than usual. The thing about running is that running, even running as slow as I do, is a lot more fun than walking.

The thing about by new gym at the Methodist church downtown is that I can go change there and then drive down to the river and run my run and then drive back to the gym and shower and get clean clothes on rather than showing up at home all stinky, smelly, and hungry.

As you can tell, I am rather spoiled. I highly recommend being spoiled.

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