Skywatch Friday – Oklahomans and Our Sky

The Moore tornado has thrown me for a loop this week. I apologize I just hadn’t felt like posting or visiting other blogs. I have been  glued to twitter and facebook and news sites reading about the tornado and its aftermath. CNN.COM has an essay by Oklahoma Today Editor Nathan Gunter that really spoke to me. He writes about the relationship between Okies and the sky.


“Oklahomans have a special relationship with the sky. We know how to look up. On the prairies of western Oklahoma, the skies are so big, and so full, it is easy to feel you may begin to fall upward, or even fly. To live underneath this unbroken expanse of heaven can be at once inspiring and terrifying.”


“Our identity is in softly rolling prairies giving way to forested hills, in long stretches of horizon that make you feel like you could see almost to eternity, and in big skies stretched tight above it all. We have learned to watch those skies — for blessings, for rain, for sunshine, for wind and for signs of danger.”


“Green-tinted clouds are never a good sign; a hook echo on a radar — the telltale swirl at the edge of a storm pattern indicating strong rotation — means take cover.”

#storm #cloud #tulsa #oklahoma

“In Moore, it began almost as soon as the tornado touched down. Teachers at Plaza Towers and Briarwood elementary schools threw their bodies over their students to protect them from debris. Survivors flooded the streets helping to dig their neighbors out from under collapsed homes. Trucks filled with supplies raced to the scene.

We help. That is how we begin. It’s what we know how to do. Word just came from Red Cross Oklahoma that Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant has donated $1 million to disaster relief efforts; Devon Energy, headquartered in Oklahoma City, donated $2.5 million. Thousands more from all over the country have donated what they can.”

Natural Sepia Sunset

“For Okies, this is what home is about.”

I can’t really add anything else.

Skywatch Friday

29 thoughts on “Skywatch Friday – Oklahomans and Our Sky

  1. Martha Z

    I’ve been taking a break from blogging of late but had to drop by to say I’m thinking of you and all of your fellow “Okies”. I’m glad that it missed you and I grieve for those who have lost loved ones and the spaces they knew and loved.
    Take care and I hope you and yours continue to stay out of harms way.

  2. Jeanie

    Thanks for sharing the essay. Like you, I have been very upset about the devastation in Moore. We lived there for about 4 years in the mid ’70s. Moore is where both of my older kids started elementary school and where my youngest daughter was born. Somehow it is all even harder to see the suffering in a place where you have lived and have memories.

  3. sylvia kirkwood

    I have been thinking about you and your family and Oklahoma in general and I am glad to know that you’re okay. I love the essay, and yes, thanks for sharing it. Hope things get better soon and that the weather stays calm. Holding good thoughts for all of you!

  4. Leedslass

    We are hearing so much about the damage caused by the tornado – it’s good to be able to share in the troubles and hear about the camaraderie that exists in OK when these terrible events occur.
    I can understand why you look up, the majority of time you have the most beautiful skies. A very thoughtful piece Yogi, thank you.

  5. Jennifer A. Jilks

    It is a terrible tragedy. We have watched it from afar. You are wise to do what is best for you and yours.
    The more stressed I am, the more blog posts I write, and the more photos I take! You just need to know what to do for yourself!
    The amazing courage of the First Responders is what it is all about.
    Mr. Rogers said it best, “Look for the helpers,” his momma told him. Tearful images of women grieving sons is media exploitation. But featuring the EMS crews is a wonderful way to see how good we can be to one another.

  6. EG CameraGirl

    When I heard of the tornadoes I thought of you, Yogi. Such devastation! I’m so glad you were not directly effected…but of course I know you actually HAVE been touched emotionally and psychologically by the the tragedies in OK. I wish you all the best!

  7. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti

    Tornadoes are so devastating! It really was a miracle that more people were not killed in the path of this one, but every loss was a tragedy, especially the children.

    I wish every house, school and business had a protective storm shelter to prevent loss of life in the future.

  8. Mama Zen

    This one was just unreal. I’ve never seen one form up so fast from nothing.

    Would you believe that we’re flooding today?

  9. Steffi

    I saw about Moore and the tornedo at T.V. and I am shocked what´s happend there.That´s so terrible and it´s great to hear that you and your family are safe and okay.
    Really good blogpost,Yogi and your photos also.Hope things get better soon!Take care!

  10. Laura

    I’m glad you are safe.. my heart is broken for those lost their lives, and deep sorrow for those who lost homes and so much.

  11. Karen

    We having been keeping on eye on the news to see whats going on over there. It’s so sad to see such devastation, loss and grief, our prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma.

  12. Sallie (FullTime-Life)

    Eloquent praise for the people of Oklahoma and for the State itself Yogi. OK will get through this! And this post and hosting SWF, that’s a million times more than you need to do as far as blogging these days. We all understand.

    But again I wanted to let you know that I appreciated you took time right away to “check in” (so to speak). You and your family are so identified with your state to your readers, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered right away about you.

  13. Sandy Carlson

    I thought of you and your family when I saw, heard, and read about the devastation in Oklahoma. I can’t stop thinking about those children who died at school. Your post is so full of heart. I don’t know what to say. Thanks for putting this out there and making those words available to a wider audience. I would not have read that piece if it were not for you.

  14. eileeninmd

    I have been thinking of you, not sure how far you were from the area that was hit. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and people of Moore. Your photos are pretty. Happy skywatching and thanks for hosting!

  15. Laloofah

    I’m glad you were out of harm’s way! It’s got to be especially traumatic when something like this happens in your home state, no matter how accustomed to tornadoes Oklahomans are. My in-laws and most of my husband’s extended family live in the Tulsa area and I have a blog buddy in Norman, so we watch the OK tornado reports with some vested interest. Your photos are as beautiful as they are varied, but that fourth one is really dramatic. It’s got a wild and savage beauty to it that’s also intimidating and not a little scary. I remember well those frightening green-tinted skies from my own time living in west Texas!

    Anyway, thanks for rising to the occasion this week especially to host SkyWatch, and stay safe!

  16. Misty

    Even with all the tragedy around you still allow us to see beauty and peace in the photos. Thank you and bless all.

  17. uberrhund

    I read the essay this week too, glad to read it again.
    My Dad and all the family on his side are from Oklahoma (Idabel & Guymon) so I feel a real kinship with those who still live there as well as my people who came to California just before the Dust Bowl peaked.

    What I have noted most this week is the way the people are picking themselves up, moving forward, accepting help but never whining for it.
    The people of Oklahoma are strong but better than that they are practical and faithful.
    The footage of the lady who found her little dog while on camera with the local news said it all too. That lady sounded like all of my Aunts in one.
    You take care through the rest of the season. Adios!

  18. Tamera

    Really great post. Your photos are compelling, and the prose is very moving. I visited Oklahoma almost a year ago. I hadn’t been there since I was a child, when we lived in Midwest City (right next to Moore). We crossed the state line just at sunset, and how could I not notice the stunning Oklahoma sky? The photos I’m seeing from the tornado in Moore are gut-wrenching and distressing. My heart goes out to all Okies right now.

  19. DeniseinVA

    Yogi, it’s been a very sad time for you and for all Oklahoman’s. I’m so sorry, I can’t think of the right words but am sending a virtual hug for you and your family, for all the families who are having to deal with this terrible tragedy.

  20. DrillerAA09

    I have now lived outside of the state of Oklahoma longer than I lived in it. Still, I am a native born Okie, and Tulsa will always be referred to as “home”.
    Yes, we learn at a very early age to read the skies, and green is never a good color. Yes, we find the local weather broadcast more interesting than American Idol. And yes, we will always find a way to help our neighbor rebuild. That’s just how we roll.

  21. Luna Miranda

    i thought of you and a few friends in Oklahoma when i saw the news. the images on TV were heartbreaking. we are helpless against Mother Nature, all we can do is take cover…in my part of the world, go to a higher ground.

    i witnessed a tornado in Fort Worth, TX a few years ago–it was one of the scariest moments of my life.

  22. EG CameraGirl

    Although I was with family (the death of my mother-in-law) when the Tornado hit, I did hear of the devastation and thought of you and your family. Very scary when it hits so close to home!

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