Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Our World – Tulsa’s Gathering Place

I went for a walk last week at Tulsa’s Gathering Place. A huge public, privately funded, free park built right next to the Arkansas River. I’ve been there a bunch of times and I am still trying to get my head around it.

It has a bunch of different facets to it. One of the things I like is the beauty of the place. From the native, sustainable plantings the landscaping. It’s a great place to hang out. No cars are allowed in the place, the parking is all in the periphery. So be prepared for walk. They do have handicapped parking closer in though.

Who says Tulsa doesn’t have a beach?

I love the Koi Pond. The park is a mixture of high energy and serene.

The native plants make for low maintenance and low water use. It also makes for critters that live in the planting areas and other critters who feed on the critters, like snakes.

There are all sorts of areas to sit and visit, while maintaining social distancing.

The main draw are spectacular play structures. They are huge. Designed and built in Europe, they are unlike anything I have ever seen.

Other times, like on winter mornings I have climbed and clambered and used the slides. I’m not really into that when kids are present though. It’s for them.

The structures are complex and interconnected and there are multiple ways to play on them.

And great exercise to, sliding down the tubes is fun, but you have to climb up to them.

I loved their boat with the sail.

They had their water/hydraulics feature working. It had never been working on my previous trips. You have hand operated pumps, valves, dams. You can make the water go this and that. Talk about fun!!

And then off by itself is the sensory garden with all sorts of things to look at, touch, feel and make noise with.

So you can go from the busy and noisy to isolated and quiet easily.

And make your own music!!

One of my favorite places is the Lodge. It looks like an expensive resort.

I love the woodwork and the midcentury modern vibe with the furniture. Masks required!!

They have a great big fireplace that is just the place on cold winter days. And wifi and a snack bar.

So, this is just a sampler. They also have a boat house where you can rent canoes and kayaks. Bicycle and skateboard parks, and lots of sports courts, cafe’s. Play areas for smaller children, lots of rest rooms. And guess what, no admissions fees, no parking fees, no nothing. They are open 9 am to 8 pm seven days a week. Check out their web site for more information. The home page has some great drone video footage of the park.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday – Come join in!!

Our World – Oklahoma Countryside

Mounds, Oklahoma Building

Sunday morning, before anybody got up, I ventured out to do some geocaching out of Town. I went through the city of Mounds and stopped to take a photo of this building which looks to be unoccupied at the moment.

Mounds, OK Mural

What got my attention though was this mural on the side of the building. I checked out the web site and it looks to be not very active right now. It was state sponsored organization and I imagine that funds got cut. But the mural survives and I love the handprints.

At a nearby cemetery I found this little angel. I like hanging out in graveyards. I get a sense of peace there.

Mounds Gravestone

I found this really old marker. Eliza A.N. What’s up with just initials for a last name. 1822-1907 – A lot happened in the world during that time. A mystery!! I tried googling a little bit but couldn’t find anything.

Graveyard Fence Crosses

Here we had three crosses put up on fenceposts. Some sort of trinity type thing. I think this is fairly recent.

Hibiscus

Close by a long forgotten hibiscus is growing up among poison ivy.

Anyway, that was my little outing. I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – Shannon Springs Park

More views from our trip to Chickasha, Oklahoma to see our son who is attending college there.

Shannon Springs Wicket

We spent some time at Shannon Springs Park which started out as a stop on the Chisholm Trail during the post Civil War years. The trail was how cattle got from Texas to railheads in Kansas. Shannon Springs was a major source of water on the trail.

Shannon Springs Lake

It became a city park and later enhanced by the WPA. The city has continued to add to and maintain the park and it is quite attractive.

Shannon Springs Christmas Tower

It is the site of the Chickasha Festival of Lights held during the Christmas season every year. I’m guessing the tower above is a big Christmas Tree.

Shannon Springs Strange Stuff

I puzzled over this thing for quite a while and don’t know what it is. Do you suppose it represents a Loch Ness monster of some sort only in the park’s lake? Nah, I don’t either.

Shannon Springs Caretaker Cottage

I loved the stone caretaker’s cottage. I don’t think it is occupied any more.

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To end the post, this is the Wolf Moon, or Snow Moon last week. I love taking moon photographs.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Winter Sky

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It’s been cold here and I’ve been cooped up. Sunday morning I went for a walk around Lafortune Park, a 3 mile trek around a combination golf course, library, playground, tennis complex, and little league ballparks. One of those huge rambling urban parks that I tend to love. I’ve been around it hundreds of times over the years and of course I took my camera and I took this photo just focusing on the water and not paying attention to the sky. I was pretty happy with the result. I got a pretty good walk in also.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

2019 Broken Arrow Chalk it Up Art Festival

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Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.

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The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.

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They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.

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They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.

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Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.

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So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.

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I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.

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And Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller.

Here is a link to my last visit to Chalk it Up seven years ago.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa’s Woodward Park

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Saturday, my wife Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Woodward Park. I wanted to check out the Azaleas. That’s Heather above with her hands on her hips like she is ready to do something. She is always ready to pitch in!

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The Azaleas were nice but not like last year but we loved it anyway. Above is a photo using my lensball. It is a spherical piece of glass that I keep in my car. It sure makes for nice photos, once I learned how to use it. One trick is that most of my photos with are inverted since it inverts the scene in front of it.

2019-04-27 Woodward Azaleas Topaz Studio Impressions

Here is a two tone photo of Azaleas in the shade. I have learned how to do manual exposure and blah, blah, blah with my camera but I forgot to set the white balance to shade and it is hard (for me) to correct for that after the fact. Oh well, I’ll take it anyway.

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The Linnaeus Demonstration Gardens at Woodward Park had a butterfly garden. Heather had her notebook out and was making notes. I think we might have one in the near future.

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Woodward Park had some iris’s also. I love them!!

We saw lots of flowers, and stopped and chatted with a couple from out of town who asked about what to see in Tulsa. A great time was had by all!!

I am linking with with Our World Tuesday

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness – Public Input Needed for a Master Plan

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The Tulsa Riverparks Authority announced some exciting news recently. They have funding to develop a master plan for Tulsa’s beautiful Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. You can read the Tulsa World article here.

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The best part of the news is that they want input from everybody including the general public. They have hired Micahael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc to develop the master plan. They are the landscape architecture firm that designed Tulsa’s Gathering Place.

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A series of public meetings have been scheduled. (Check the Tulsa World story for details.) And if you can’t make it the meetings or if you just cannot wait to participate, you can make comments on the web here.

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You may remember the events of three years ago when Simon Malls announced plans to build an outlet mall of all things on Turkey Mountain. A small cadre of people who founded the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition stood up to them and said No. They were able to mobilize the general public and community leaders to save Turkey Mountain and Norton decided to build somewhere else (and they haven’t built an outlet mall in Tulsa yet) and funding was found to buy the private tract and eventually it will be transferred to the River Parks and preserve it from commercial development.

Jumping and Kicking Tree

And all that is great but this latest effort is needed to come up with a plan for Turkey Mountain. What does the community want Turkey Mountain to be. The threatened mall awakened the community and now the Mountain has more visitors than ever but there is no one person in charge of it and there is hardly any budget to maintain it.

Turkey Mountain 3d Photography

This master plan is a first step to defining what we want for public mountain and how to go about funding it. I’m pretty pumped about it actually.

So check out the Tulsa World Article and the River Parks website. Also check out the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and think about joining them.

Visiting Tulsa’s Woodie Guthrie Center

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Right after Christmas me, son Logan and brother Bob visited the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa. The center is the archive for almost everything Woody Guthrie and they have a small museum showing off some of his papers, musical instruments, artwork, and of course his music. 

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They have on display lots of his papers with lyrics and notes, letters and such.

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He put his stamp on his musical instruments including woodburning and ink. You may notice that on this violin he says it helped kill ten fascists. He was in the merchant marine during World War II and served on three ships that were sunk. (If I remember right.)

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He wrote on all sorts of materials. You can tell he hated fascism. One interesting segment is that he lived in an apartment owned by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump in New York. Woody didn’t really care for what he considered racist housing policy. 

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The museum also has a Virtual Reality experience of the dust bowl that is very eerie. Here are brother Bob and son Logan with the VR goggles.

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The center also has a small space for special exhibits. This time they had a lot of memorabilia from John Cougar Mellencamp including recordings of his songs and quite a bit of material of Mellencamp talking about his music. I found it quite interesting.

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As part of the Mellencamp exhibit was this reel to reel recorder/player. I tried to explain to my son how cool these things were and how expensive they were and then to why a ipod touch like mine totally outclasses these things. Reel to reel tape machines are still  very cool in my book!!

Check the centers web site for information on hours, location, and exhibits coming up. They have an exhibit on Leonard Bernstein coming up in January. I’ll  be checking it out. I got to see Bernstein at the premiere of one of his operas in Houston back in the 80’s. Everybody in the crowd was yelling “Bernie” like they knew him or something.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost) by Karl Unnasch at Philbrook

Philbrook Cabin
Have you ever seen a cabin shingled in tshirts? Neither have I until now. 

I suscribe to Philbrook Museum‘s instagram feed and for weeks they have been posting images of a new “Installation” in the gardens at Philbrook of a 19th century cabin shingled with plasticized clothes and a fireplace made out of books. So I have been muttering to myself this whole time, “What are they up to now??? a cabin shingled with t shirts???” Them crazy artist types at it again. 

Philbrook Cabin
Have I ever told you that I love stained glass? Well I do.

So I ventured over there last week. We have a family membership thanks to Nana, the world’s greatest MIL. So I can check on those artist types whenever I want.

Philbrook Cabin
Genius move, turning the page side out on the books. Plus, just so you know, that it is a fake fire.

And yep, it is true. Philbrook has built a cabin out in the back 40 of their acreage and it has plastisized tshirts for shingles on the roof, and chinking in the logs, along with some LED lights. And a fireplace made out of books.

Philbrook Cabin
I love the impression of light coming through the walls.

And they have some beautiful stained glass windows and some great many lights in the ceiling made out of found glass. 
And you know  what it all works. It was a dark, overcast day outside but inside it was bright and sunny and just plain wonderful. My iphone pics do not do it justice. It was a very bright happy place. Light was coming  in everywhere but the floor!!

The artist behind all this is Karl Unnasch, who specializes in stained glass and all things considered with light. 

This whole”Installation” thing is something new to me and it seems that Philbrook is doing more of these. They seem to be temporary and not meant to last forever and you know somehow it works for me. So I guess that I approve of this cabin and what the artist types are up to.

This installation is called “Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost)” If you know what that means, please let us know. Or at least let me know since everybody but me seems to think it makes perfect sense.

Philbrook Cabin
I love the soft colors filtering through the plastisized tshirts and the found glass lights in the ceiling.

Check out Philbrook’s web site.   They got all sorts of info on hours and what they are doing, which is considerable. You know they have two sites now, right?

It I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – A Walk in the Park

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This past weekend son Logan and I decided to take a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park. Lafortune Park has a big playground, picnic areas, tennis courts, a high school, baseball parks, and two golf courses with a walking path about 3 miles long winding around it all. 

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I didn’t bring my camera, just my cell phone. Luckily there were some pretty decent skies.

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Part of the trail was a little muddy. In the 26 years we have lived in Tulsa I bet that I have either walked or run around Lafortune hundreds of times. 

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I love pedestrian bridges. Logan is now 20, when he was about 3 he liked to go hide under this bridge and pretend he was a troll. The kid used to drive me crazy!! Perfectly good playground 100 feet away. Oh well. 

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There he is. He lags a little behind but it works out because I take pictures and study on things and eventually he catches up to me.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.