Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The Teton Mountains from Mormon Row

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week I spent a few days with my sister, Ellen who is a Park Ranger at Yellowstone Park. One day we ventured from Yellowstone down to the Grand Teton National Park and looked at a few of the sights. One of my favorite places is an area called Mormon Row in the valley below the Tetons.

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Long before the area became a National Park the area was settled by Mormon settlers in the 1890’s at the direction of their church. Rather than being spread out from each other they put their homesteads close to each other for community and shared labor.  They built their farms and an extensive irrigation system to water their farms.

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They stayed on their homesteads until the 1950’s when they were bought out when the land for the national park was being acquired.  Many of their buildings are preserved, especially the barns and photographers (and picture takers like me) flock from all over the world come to capture images of the buildings with the mountains in the background.

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I love the color of this stucco. 

This trip though,, the smokey hazy skies along with the shadowy afternoon light defeated me. Still, I love the area. I had an aunt and uncle who had a mountain ranch tucked deep into a valley in southeastern Idaho and their buildings were similar in design and construction to those in Mormon Row. 

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A Loo with a View 
(Sorry I couldn’t resist”

I sense that although a settler’s life is hard that it must have been a pleasant place to live in the summer with the cool breezes and the astounding view of the mountains. The Tetons are the most awe inspiring mountains that I have ever seen and I couldn’t get enough of looking at them. I am just sorry that I couldn’t capture that.

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I really love our national parks, I love that they are a precious resource and are defended by all against exploitation. We need more areas like this, not less. 

How about you, have you ever been to Mormon Row?

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Skywatch Friday – New Views!!

Here is my big news this week.

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I had a great cubicle that faced the west for years at work and I loved it. Then years ago, I got an “upgrade” a nice office in the interior of the building but no window, just gas company beige. Don’t get me wrong. I was glad to have it but I missed by window. Since then I have moved around but always with a beige view and last week I finally got an outside view again. To the south, not the west but I will take it. I can see a slice of the Arkansas River and Turkey Mountain. So I am happy. I’d have been happy without the view, but you know what I mean.

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Having an outside view certainly makes a difference to me. How about you?

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Skywatch Friday – Visiting an Old Indian Trader’s Grave

The other day I had a meeting in a field office of my employer’s in Western Oklahoma. I had  a little time afterward so I went on a little drive.

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I drove past a herd of cattle.

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Then a newly drilled well being prepared for fracking. Notice the green pipe in the foreground being built to take gas from the well for processing and delivery to market.

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And then I turned down a muddy farm road to get to this marker.

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And walked a short ways down a grassy path to this humble grave.

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This is where Jesse Chisholm is buried. He  blazed the Chisholm Trail from South Texas to Abilene, Kansas where tens of thousands head of cattle herded north to supply beef for the northeast. He didn’t drive cattle, he was a trader with several stores and developed the trails to restock his stores. He also had good relations with many of the Native American tribes and negotiated to recovery of several women and children who had been kidnapped by the tribes.  He also helped facilitate several peace treaties. He died of food poisoning near where he is buried.

I think it is amazing that somebody who had such a huge part of the history and legends of the West has such a humble grave.

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Skywatch Friday – From All Over Town

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The sky was clear and the moon was bright so I took a photo of it. Don’t forget this Friday we have a full blood moon coming up. This was about 86% gibbous phase. I don’t always get them but I love it when I can see the craters on the “bottom” of the moon.

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And here we are in the ‘hood. I loved the clouds one day when I was on the front porch. I guess sometimes I am a lazy skywatcher. While we are in a sharing mood, I took the photo of the moon from my front yard as well. Do you have any true confessions you want to share?

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And this is my favorite building in Tulsa. The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. An art deco masterpiece built in the late 1920’s and designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. The interior is beautiful also. It was our family church when we first moved to Tulsa.

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And this is from Oxley Nature Center. I love how the island appears to be suspended in air. (Okay maybe I’m stretching it a little bit.)

Okay, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget the full moon on Friday. Take some photos for me. I’m going to be at a baseball game so I am depending on you.

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Skywatch Friday – July Time

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Skywatch Friday – Fitter and Fatter in 2018 Edition

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Skywatch Friday – 4th of July 2018

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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

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And a shot from underwater to me above the water.

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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.

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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.

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

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Boom!

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Skywatch Friday – Alabama Edition

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Skywatch Friday – Vacation 2018 Update

We are towards the end of our vacation this year on the Alabama gulf coast. The highlight so far was Heather riding a paddleboard in the open water. She teaches a pool based paddleboard class but had never ridden a paddleboard before this trip. Logan and I went kayaking during this outing.

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I have been taking lots of photos. The water and surrounding area are always a rich source of images for me.

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Here is a shot of Heather just starting out on the paddleboard. I am in my kayak so I guess this is a “kayakcam.”

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We have been out on the beach a lot. Both sitting on it, in the water, and walking the beach.

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I have fair skin so stay covered up but my feet really got burned on this trip.

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We went on our first ever family bike ride. Logan has never learned to ride a bike so we rented him a three wheeled version. He did quite well. Heather and I tried it and agreed that it was a lot harder to ride than the two wheeled variety. Steering in particular was hard. The bike had a mind of its own.

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We passed this sign. Lots of alligator habitat in Gulf State Park where we were. It inhibited by geocaching quite a bit.

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We cooked a shrimp dinner one night. We have our shrimp place, so we boil them, and Heather prepares the sides.

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And the skies. The skies have been magnificent.

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