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.
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.
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.
Here we had three crosses put up on fenceposts. Some sort of trinity type thing. I think this is fairly recent.
Close by a long forgotten hibiscus is growing up among poison ivy.
I did a little bit of exploring while looking for geocaches Sunday. I found a new nature trail I didn’t know about in the Tulsa suburb of Jenks.
It even has a bench. I just love benches on trails. Downtown Tulsa used to have benches on the sidewalks but the homeless population grew so much that they took over the benches all day long so all the benches were removed. I don’t know blame the homeless people. Many of the services for homeless are downtown and they got to sit somewhere right? With the benches gone, they sprawled on the grass at churches and other buildings. Anyway, I digress.
So I found a cache on the trail. About 40 feet from where it was supposed to be.
Elsewhere I found this gadget caches. Gadget caches are the big thing in geocaching right now. The caches are easy to find but hard to open. This one had various screws and such on both sides of the box so you were supposed to use your fingers on each side to use your body to complete an electrical circuit and you look through the hole and you are supposed to be able to see what the combination to the lock is. Well I completed the circuit but I couldn’t figure out the combination.
I went bicycling on Friday. I pretty much stick to the RiverParks trails because their are no highway crossings and I can make a good 13 mile to 15 mile loop out of the trails. That’s nothing to a good rider. I am not a good rider but I love riding my bike. My bike is about 15 years old so by now.
This was Sunday morning at our house, actually most mornings. We get them up, outside, fed and then they sleep. After sleeping all night long!!
I’m reading John Bolton’s latest book on his time at the Trump Administration. I saw a few of his interviews and I was shocked that he actually had a great sense of humor and could laugh and smile. The only thing I ever remember him doing was threatening hellfire and war on countries he wasn’t happy with. He is still that way but I am seeing that he has consistent set of principles that he acts from so I have a new respect for him. His book has lots of quips also. He has an excellent sense of dry humor.
We are looking at freshening up our house of twenty years. We brought it brand new and we are going to get new flooring and make a bunch of other changes so we went to Tulsa’s Parade of Homes. We saw all sorts of stuff we liked in terms of flooring, windows, decor, etc. Also, everybody was masked up and there were not the crowds of previous years.
Afterwards we went to a produce stand. Dotson. One of the many things about summer I like are the vegetables.
So on my bagels nowdays, at the suggestion of a blog friend, I am using avocado and orange marmalade. I was a little leery but I love it. I bought some spicy mashed avocado and I love it. It’s also good insurance that nobody else in the house will eat it.
So last Friday I ventured out for another run on Turkey Mountain. Sorry for being so repetitive but when the weather is hot I love heading to the shady dirt trails. This time I went on the east side, which some people call the back country. Not near as many people in the back country and easier to get lost.
It’s an Urban Wilderness so in addition to powerlines there are a couple of pipelines. This one is Enable Midstream Partner’s transmission line to PSO’s Tulsa Power Station. I used to work for Enable you see. I hope that I am not giving away any secrets. This is an old pipeline, not sure how old but pretty old. New pipelines have more modern technology where they would drill this little segment instead of putting it above ground.
Somebody used the pipe to mark the Pink Trail. Or maybe Enable is saying that gas can flow both ways.
Got up to a sign notifying that the trail ahead is closed because of renovations to the West Side YMCA. I had to go check it out.
Can’t go any further. They are really revamping the site. It’s going to be great. But anyway I head back.
And take the Snake Trail back to the parking lot.
I didn’t go very far but I went far enough.
And then, I am continuing to scan old photographs. Below is one my favorites.
It’s my late mother fishing for trout in Idaho’s Birch Creek way back in 1987. She had MS but she was tough. She would pick a nice spot and go fishing. If she caught any that’s great, if she didn’t, it didn’t bother her too much because that is why they call it fishing instead of catching.
I’ve been scanning old photos. I’ve been running a long time and found a couple pics from the 1990’s.
Here I am at the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin in 1997 I think. It was my second marathon. The first was the year before in Oklahoma City, the Jim Thorpe Marathon. Me and about 45 other people ran three times around Lake Overholser. No water stops, no traffic control, no nothing. I finished in five hours and two minutes, or so my faulty memory tells me. A year later in Madison I finished in Five hours and one minute. So I should have kept on going!! But I decided not to run any more marathons.
Some things haven’t changed over the years. A thermal blanket and a bottle of water. And I still run with perfect posture.
Here is a more recent photo. I’d kill to have a photograph of me running where it looks like I am running. I kind of look like a guy in a hurry to get to a donut shop. I love running but I have never been all that good at it.
Last Saturday I ventured out to Oxley Nature Center’s North Woods area. Oxley is pretty popular but most people stay close to the main unit which is a couple miles away from the North Woods. I have been hiking it for years and I love it because I hardly ever see anybody.
The trail was dry for the most part but I got to one section where it looked like I might be up to my knees. I backed out and went via a different route. I don’t mind getting my boots muddy but I hate walking in deep water where I cannot see the bottom.
Much of the trail is in a “tree tunnel” where one is shaded from the hot sun. I love looking up through the ceiling of the tunnel.
Much of the trail is raised and its a good thing.
I saw a ton of frogs. The bigger ones would squeak like a dog toy while they were jumping. That kept startling me for some reason. I was thinking that I had stepped on them. I loved this guy. He was up periscope and not jumpy. During my outing I saw one rat snake, a deer, and tons of birds and squirrels. I was really out a little late for the wildlife. And as usual, I didn’t see any other people.
So above is the route. Kind of short I know but just right on a hot day.
A good time was had by all. I used lots of deet but I did manage to bring four ticks home with me! I had to enlist my son to pull one off my back. Pro Tip: my MIL told me that Blue Dawn dishwashing detergent will cause the ticks to let loose. It has to be blue, not pink. Guess what, she was right!!
My wife Heather has been taking advantage of the this isolation to revamp our back yard and add bird feeders and such. So we are getting a lot more birds than we used to. Plus we have more time to sit out and watch them.
So its kind of fun. We have lots of squirrels also helping themselves to the feeders. I don’t care as long as they stay out of the attic.
So I am consulting inaturalist on some of the critters. I don’t have the patience to be a birder but I’ll do it opportunistically.
On a different note, we spent some time with Heather’s Mom yesterday celebrating Mothers Day. A good time was had by all. We got food from a local restaurant and so nobody had to cook!!
And I got a little drone time in as the clouds come rolling in. Check in later this week on my Skywatch Friday post for the images I captured.
Sunday afternooon, after Heather and I headed for Oxley Nature Center in north Tulsa for a little hiking. We were wanting something kind of flat with little rocks.
We’ve had a lot of rain in Tulsa this year and Oxley is kind of low, it is very low in fact. They have lots of swampy areas like above.
Oxley has a lot of color, green. Lots and lots of green with not much other colors. We found this bloom. I am having trouble IDing it. The number one ID on iNaturalist is “Multiflora rose” which is an invasive species. What do you think?
We found these butterflies as well. We think we are two of them and that they are Silvery Checkerspots. Sorry for the butterfly porn.
I like this shot, it doesn’t make me look so fat.
And here is Heather in on of Oxley’s tree tunnels. We ended up tramping a little over three and a half miles. I think we went over almost all the trails that were not muddy. We had a good time.
Saturday the family was a little restless and we wanted to do something outside so we loaded up into the car rode down the turnpike to Muskogee, Oklahoma, about 40 minutes away to check out their Honor Heights Park.
Honor Heights is known for the Azalea Festival, which we missed by a couple weeks but there were still some blooms. My blog friends over the years have taught me to be appreciative of all the phases of blooms.
They did have all sorts of other plants to look at it including some beautiful lily’s like these.
We found a bunch of water lily’s alongside a small stream going through the property.
Heather and I really liked this Norway Maple. I had never heard of such a tree before and it is really striking.
This guy just wanted us to go home.
Somehow, Logan agreed to be a butterfly. He’s a big guy but he’s a butterfly now.
The Park had a lot of people but it is big at 132 acres and people stayed pretty well spread out. Most everything was open but the gift shop and playgrounds were closed due to the Covid-19 crisis. It wasn’t hard to physically distance ourselves from others.
We ran into a former teacher of Logan’s and her family, so we caught up, from about 15 feet away. It’s amazing to me how teachers remember their students.
So a good time was had by all. We gave Honor Heights Park five stars out of five. We’ll be back!
Sunday morning I headed out to Keystone State Park to help with some trail maintenance organized by the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The rough and tough go getters were busy moving big rocks around, me, I always bring my loppers so I walk on the trails picking up litter and lopping off the limbs that might intrude on the hikers, runners, and bikers on the trail. That’s not a very manly job but hey I do what I can do.
The park is in the cross timbers region of Oklahoma which is dominated by rocks, lots of rocks and thin flinty soil so the trees don’t get very big. They can be very old but just not big. Many of the trees are post oaks and it is amazing the contortions they go through to get enough sunlight.
The rocks are amazing as well. Many of them are layers of soft sandstone and harder shales. A gazillion years ago all these rocks were at the bottom of the ocean. Since then through uplift and faulting the rocks are all this way and that way. Luckily the land is very poor for farming and ranching so the animals and plants that live on it are undisturbed for the most part.
Another one of the dancing trees that seem to sprout right of the rocks.
The area has small intermittent creeks running through it.
The trails were in great shape. I didn’t have a whole lot of lopping to do or really much of any litter to pick up. Most of the litter I picked up was near the parking lot.
I love the lichen that grows on trees. Despite what you may hear, in the more shady parts the stuff is on all sides of the trees. Northeast Oklahoma is so wet and humid you can’t count on telling north by lichens.
So I finished up after a few hours as did the more studly men. Many of them brought their mountain bikes and did a turn or two on the trails cuz that is what you do if you are a manly man. I went to go find a geocache.
The other day I went for a run on Turkey Mountain. I pretty much had the place to myself.
I always try and see things I have not noticed before. This well worn birdhouse is totally out in the open and close to a trail I have traversed many times before and I swear I have never seen it before in my life.
The Arkansas River far below was running full and the trees seem kind of excited about it.
Late winter is the last chance for these rocks to be seen.
The most photographed wagon wheel in Oklahoma, maybe even the world!!