Tag Archives: Oklahoma

A Hike on Turkey Mountain – Meditation in Motion

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I found me a gnarled old tree. I love gnarly.

Saturday morning I didn’t have any obligations. Heather went off to teach her classes and the kid didn’t want to go walking or hiking or much of anything. So I went off to Turkey Mountain all on my lonesome.

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A perfect trail, I love the dappled sun.

I like exploring Turkey Mountain with my family or friends but I am okay with it on my own as well. I get totally lost in the moment feeling the sun or shade on my face, the heat, humidity, what the ground feels like under my feet, other people up there and everything else. It is all just part of the whole. You can’t keep your head in the clouds though. You have to keep an eye on the trail so you don’t trip plus the copperheads are out and they are hard to spot.

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An open air auditorium. The trees make a natural archway.

So I have a rough idea of what I want to do but I feel free to change it up as the mood strikes me.

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Slow and steady down the this steeper than it looks and rocky trail.

Turkey Mountain is just so lush and green this early in the summer. Give it time under some hot sun and the green will lose its freshness and the ponds, creeks, and springs will dry up. It’s all part of the cycle.

Relive ‘Morning Meditation in Motion on Turkey Mountain’

I can walk an hour or two and it seems like five minutes.

Our World Tuesday – Flower and Wildflowers

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This is one of Heather’s day lilies in front of our house on Sunday morning after a night’s rainfall. I just love rain drops on flowers.

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Saturday I went hiking on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain and found some color. Or some color besides green. The mountain is covered in bright green and I love it but I also love other colors also

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And here is some yellow flowers. I have no idea about flowers so I call these yellow flowers.

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And here is one of the trails I ran. You see what I mean about bright green?

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And here is a purple wildflower.

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After years using a Toshiba I finally got a new computer. The Toshiba was still working but the pentium chip just wasn’t up to the demands of Lightroom and Photoshop and other photo software I use. so I got a brand spanking new Dell with a fast processor. I also have a solid state hard drive that is about half the size of the one I had but I don’t keep much data on machine. I got it at Staples and had them move the data and programs from the old machine to the new and you know something they did a great job and the cost was very reasonable.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Shadow Shot Sunday – Evening Ride to Sand Springs

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I am really enjoying riding my bike. I couldn’t do it Monday or Tuesday because I had to pick the kid up from work and Wednesday Heather and I went to the Alison Krauss – Willie Nelson concert. (Heck of a show those two put on I tell you.) So Thursday was it. I have a go pro type cheap clone that I mount on the handlebars of my bike. I had it set to take a photo every 20 seconds so above is an action shot of my filling my water bottle. You can tell from the long shadow of the tree that it was already getting late in the day.

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The winds were supposed to pick up from the north so I opted for an east west route to Sand Springs and back on the MK&T trail. A converted railroad line. Straight as an arrow and easy grades. It doesn’t get much use and has several road crossings but they are easily crossed.

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Here is a sign shadow, with a lens flare.

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And here is an action shadow selfie of me pressing the crosswalk button like a nerd. A bicyclist who knows what he is doing just goes out there in traffic. I plan on living a few more years and I am hoping that being a nerd furthers that cause.

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And an extra long shadow selfie on the trail. Below is a brief video of my ride.

Relive ‘After work ride to Sand Springs’

So what have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Bristow Wildflower Run 5K – 2018

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The beautiful train station at Bristow, now a museum.

This past weekend I decided to go run a race that I have wanted to be in ever since I started running eons ago but have never done. It is the Bristow Wildflower Run. I had heard that it was a nice race and so I decided to check it out even though I was not running it, I was going to walk it.

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I love what I call “Working Man’s Trucks.”

I had never been to Bristow before and I was surprised. It is a really nice little town.

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I loved the store fronts. Bristow’s downtown seems to be thriving.

The race is part of the Bristow Tabuleh Fest. I didn’t know it until I moved to Tulsa years ago and I still don’t quite understand it but there is a big thread  of Lebanese culture all through northeast Oklahoma. There are several good Lebanese restaurants in Tulsa. Anyway the race started and ended downtown in among all the booths and activities for the Tabuleh Fest.

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Bristow’s city park is spectacular.

The fun sounded and off we went. Or rather off they went as I was back walking with the grandmothers until they left me in their dust. The race route goes through some nice neighborhoods and on to a huge park with a lake with the banks covered with wildflowers. Thus the name of the race.

We looped back to downtown and finished the race, well behind the grandmothers I should add. I didn’t win anything, but I had a good time and will be back.

The race hit all the check marks.

Nice T shirt, check, and lots of tshirts for everybody, double check.
Reasonable price – only $23 check
Community participation – there were lots of people cheering us on. Even me, eating the grandmother’s dust, – triple check
Refreshments – yep, lots of water, bananas, orange quarters, check, check, check. Plus there was a huge number of food vendors at the festival.
Venue – check – Bristow is a beautiful town, and downtown Bristow has a lot of preserved historical features including a spectacular train station.
Timing – Tatur.org, nobody better, check

So the race is a keeper for me.

Do you know of any other small town races I should enter?

Relive ‘Bristow Wildflower Run 5K’

 

Skywatch Friday – A U2 Sky

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Heather and I went to the U2 Concert last night here in Tulsa. In fact Tulsa is where U2 is starting their latest tour. They of course put on a great show. It had a sad tinge to it that I think is reflective of our country right now.

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And then earlier this week we had a full moon. Fish Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, I love all the different names we have for full moons. The problem is, that I took this photo the night after the full moon. Still it was 98% full. I can’t tell the difference. Aren’t you happy with me that I came out and was honest with you about this? Don’t always count on it!! I’m a scoundrel with the facts.

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The sculpture is “Monument to Forgiveness” in honor of Tahlequah, Oklahoma being the end point of many Native American on the Trail of Tears when they got evicted from the southeastern USA. Check out “www.monumenttoforgiveness.org

On our trip to the JT Nickel Wildlife Preserve on Sunday, Logan and I stopped at Northeastern State University for a look see. They are starting a program for people with Special Needs to get a university experience. We are applying and have high hopes. They are taking only five this, their first year of the program.

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He’s doing well at school and is still working maintenance at Walmart. He’s a hard working kid.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday, better late than never.

J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve

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Sunday, son Logan and I ventured off into deep eastern Oklahoma to the JT Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve northeast of  the town of Tahlequah.

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It is a 17,000 acre former cattle ranch that the Nature Conservancy took over in 2000 and it is now the largest privately protected block of land in the Ozarks. It is almost a complete ecosystem of its own.

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The Conservancy has reintroduced fire and is replacing the former bermuda meadows with tallgrass prairie to try and reestablish what the landscape looked like long ago. From the six mile drive across the property it looks like they are succeeding. The open meadows are very lush. The burned landscape really opens up the woods.

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They reintroduced elk in the area in 2005. We got a glimpse of one through the trees but I did not get a decent photo of it. We also saw white tailed deer on our hike.

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The only thing I wish is that they had more trails. We hiked two out of the three available and it was 2.3 miles. They packed a lot into that short distance with a variety of sights from ridge tops to creek bottoms, woods to savannas.

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It was a good outing. We were the only ones there. The headquarters was closed but they had a great display on the area, the trails, where the trails were and how to get to them. The trails were spotless. No litter or vandalism or anything. Of course you really have to want to go there to get there. We drove across six miles of very bumpy and rocky road to get there.

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Logan really liked the peacefulness of the site.

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Check the link if you want to visit. They provide directions and all sorts of other information.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Last Skywatch Post of April 2018 – Osage Prairie Trail

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Last week I took my bicycle up north of Tulsa to the “Osage Prairie Trail” a rails to trail project  that starts in north Tulsa and goes to Skiatook, way out in the country. I started in Sperry and went about five miles north to Sperry. The trail is deluxe, asphalt paved and well maintained.

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I got some geocaching in on the way. How do you like my stylish outfit? I found that garish yellow top at Walmart for about seven bucks. Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it cuz I like it just great! Along with my mismatched socks. Where’s the law that says your socks have to match? There isn’t one, I already checked!

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I love this bridge across Bird Creek.

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I got to Skiatook and everybody in town was taking an exercise class.  I felt like jumping in myself but they were just finishing up. I love community stuff like that. Except community sounds like communism. We don’t like communism here in Oklahoma, so I am glad I didn’t join this communistic exercise program. People need to be in there own homes watching Fox News and checking you know who’s twitter feed. Not out in the sun getting skin cancer and getting to know your possibly leftist, immigrant, non gun owning  neighbors.

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Enough about politcs. How about some cows? These are my wife’s cousin’s herd out in western Oklahoma. I love the calves especially. I always name one of them “Little Brisket.”

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I went riding along the Arkansas River after work earlier this week during a pretty day. I am loving riding my bike this Spring!!

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And it is Azalea season here in Tulsa. Here is a house in midtown that I just love. Look at the blooms, and the windows.

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And I have a volunteer gig with the city of Tulsa picking up “litter on a stick” signs. I’ve picked up 17 so far. Within days of getting trained, me and my fellow 61 volunteers picked up over 500 trash signs off city rights of way. I’m all official now. I have a city ID Badge with my photo on it and some “cop gloves” to help protect from sabotaged signs. (Not yet in Tulsa but apparently in other cities the people who have put out litter on a stick signs have superglued razor blades to the wire frames.” The gloves will come in handy for geocaching also. On my bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail I went looking for a cache called something like “In the hole” and I found the hole in the tree and as I went to inspect it, a snake slithered out! So as we say in the energy biz, I plugged and abandoned that cache, figuratively. I am just glad that I didn’t stick my hand in there, even though the slithery critter did not appear to be poisonous.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Sunday Morning at the Tulsa Zoo

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We had a rainy cold weekend here in Tulsa. Heather was out of town and Logan was at his job and I wanted to get outside but the trails at Turkey Mountain are always a muddy mess after rain. I had recently been to a lot of my favorite haunts, Woodward Park, the Botannic Gardens, Oxley Nature Center, so I went to the Tulsa Zoo hoping that it wouldn’t be too rainy. And I lucked out, after a night of rain, it pretty much quit for the day by the time I got there.

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This grizzly bear was kind of sad. It is beautiful. Look at that fur. It looks like it has been groomed. (I don’t know whether it is a he or a she.)

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Breakfast though appears to be a sack of salad. I’d be nosing around in it myself thinking, “Are you kidding me!!”

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Now, I’ve been to the classes and did the reading. Zoo staff take the diets of the critters very seriously  and make sure to give them what they need. Grizzly sure looks depressed about it.

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I found this critter. I had never seen it before. It is not a cute little kitty, it is a wild animal. Too bad my pic of its plaque is indecipherable!!

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They have several bald eagles there. They always look so noble.

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And the children’s zoo. Goats, goats at a children’s zoo are pains in the butt.  They are cute but will steal the zoo map out of your back pocket in a heartbeat, and eat it.

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A good zoo, and Tulsa has an excellent zoo, has great grounds to match, or complement the critters they harbor.

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I found me a lizard, an iguana maybe, with a sardonic smile.

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And some sort of ape with a sour outlook, but beautiful fur.

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And I believe that this is a “Golden headed lion tamarin” and I think it is beautiful.

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A lion looking very regal.

I loved my couple hours at the zoo. It was overcast and cold and that kept everybody away, which suited me. Just me, the staff, and the critters.

If you want to visit the Tulsa Zoo check out their website for all the info. They even have Zoo Yoga Thursdays at 6 pm. I’m interested, what about you?

Springtime Skywatching

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After a long winter of short days and featureless skies we are having lots of skywatchable skies these days. The longer warmer days means that I am outside more and we are having a little weather and unfortunately the many grass fires in western Oklahoma adds a tinge to the air here in northeast Oklahoma.

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On the advice of my doctor I have quit running and am riding my bike a lot. So far over 200 miles this year. (I am not bragging, I know several bikers who more than that on a weekend.) Most of the time when I am riding I have my Go Pro clone camera working. I alternate rides between video and stills.

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It is very low fidelity with medioce specs but I don’t mind.

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Another bicycle selfie. I always try and save one from each ride.

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Anyway I am sure enjoying being outside in the fresh air. And some of the trails allow me see some rural Oklahoma scenes. I posted this photo in Instagram. Speaking of which, if you are an instagrammer consider following me. I’ll follow back. My handle is @yogiab. You can see a little of my feed in the right sidebar.

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I took this with my cell phone. I spent some time trying to make it look better but you sometimes you just have to go with the plain version. Not that it is a great or even good photograph, I just like the contrast during the golden hour between the building and darker sky.

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I even had a geocaching opportunity on one of my rides. I didn’t find it but I found this cool “Posted, Keep Out Signs. I don’t know why the sign is so high in the air. I have a feeling that if I could figure out how to get up to the sign, that is where the cache might be. I know the guy that hid it and he is evil. I didn’t spend too much time looking for it I needed to get back to my car before dark.

How about you, is the weather changing good or bad for your Skywatching?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Trail Pics

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A trio I encountered at a park in Sand Springs taking a walk.

I have a Go Pro Clone action camera that I can mount on the handlebars of my bicycle. It has various modes. It has a video loop mode where it takes three minutes of video, stores it does three more minutes until it runs out of battery. Or I can still pics at any interval you set. I have been experimenting with both modes. Video is a pain in the butt because of the huge files you end up with long upload and download times and a definite problem of separating the wheat from the chaff. Stills are a lot easier. You end up with a huge amount of them but you can just delete the ones you don’t like which for me is literally about 95% of them on the first pass and then about 80% of the remainder get deleted on a second pass review.  I now use about a 20 second delay between pics now. In an hour ride that is about 180 photos. Typically I keep about five to ten. The rest get deleted. Thank goodness for digital photos!!

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I love the sense of distance in this. I love feeling a long ways from where I need to be. Except when things go wrong. Two years ago on this trail one of my tires blew out and I had to go pick up the kid in an hour. I hid the bike. Called a cab (cuz there was no Uber out in the boonies), took the cab to where my car was, drove the car back to the trail and retrieved the bike and then went to pick up the kid. Thank goodness for cell phones is what I say!!

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I like the photos of people out on the trail, like this couple. You can tell by their body language that they like each other.

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This poor lady was all over the trail and I don’t think she heard my “on your left” so I went very slowly around her way to the right. My heart really went out to her. She looks like she might be housing insecure. I think she has a long ways to go but I don’t think she is enjoying it. I am no so called “bleeding heart liberal” but our decreasing compassion for people who are down on their luck is a real problem. I hope she found a safe place to stay that night.