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!!
Friday after work I headed up to Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa to get my runners packet for the quarter marathon event on Sunday as part of their three day Post Oak Challenge series of races this past weekend.
Post Oak Lodge is a privately run event and retreat center and it is absolutely beautiful and their races are some of my favorites. I took these pics after picking up my packet.
Strangely enough, through some unforeseen circumstances I didn’t run the race on Sunday. That’s okay, they’ll have the race again next year and I’ll be there. In the meantime I have my memories. Four years ago I won second in my age group in the race. Next year I will be in an older age group!!
I have the perfect antidote. If it is too expensive for you, then don’t go!! Hey problem solved. From the bustling crowds I would say that it is not overpriced yet. Kind of reminds me when the the CEO of the company I work for asked me if our customers were happy. Hell no! I replied, a happy customer is one who is not paying enough. I am not sure he liked that answer but here I am. Not in commercial any longer.
Anyhow, I am way off topic. The reason I like the Starbid show is that it features custom cars. Not like the regular car show in March where all the manufacturers drag in their Honda clones. It’s a lot cheaper, but the cars are boring.
Here is the Red Baron. Complete with machine guns. I don’t think they work but it is not boring either.
Here’s a custom car on a budget. A rat rod, which means hot rods going back to basics. The rust and patina is done on purpose.
Here is a tough minded overlander VW bug.
Ah, now we are back to sleek and colorful
Another rat rod. My advice to you if you have a daughter and her beau shows up to take her out in this? Tell her, it’s family game night, Monopoly, Farkle, Chinese Checkers.
I think rat rods are cool though. I also think that the fact I don’t have a daughter who is dating a guy with a rat rod is even cooler.
Last week while traveling to south central Oklahoma to pick up the kid from college for a three day weekend I took a little detour to the town of Cogar. Cogar is nothing now, just a crossroads. It probably never was much of anything.
Back in the late 1980’s though (30 to 40 years ago!!) Hollywood came to Cogar to shoot a brief scene from the movie Rainman, the major Oscar winning movie that year starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman won an Oscar, the movie was Best Movie, and it got several other Oscars as well. It was the top grossing movie of 1988.
In the scene at Cogar, Cruise’s and Hoffman’s character stop and both step into a phone booth so that Cruise could make a business call. It’s kind of funny. Cruise and Hoffman play brothers who didn’t know each other existed until their dad dies and leaves it all to Hoffman, who has autism. All Cruise gets is a nice classic car and some rose bushes. For some reason they have to go on a cross country trip together and it makes for some funny scenes.
These days, there is no phone booth at the station in Cogar and the paint is a little more peeled. Other than that, not much has happened.
When I worked in the natural gas field of western Oklahoma I must have passed this place a thousand times without recognizing it from the movie. Now, I think was the last instagrammed in Oklahoma to venture to Cogar to capture the gas station.
Have you ever been to a site that was made part of a movie?
For good or bad I have over 75,000 images in my archives. Of these, maybe three or four are really good. But I’m keeping all of them. The thing about image archives is that if they are not tagged then they are not of any use. even though I can literally remember taking every single one of the photos. Every once in a while I run across one that I don’t remember like the following.
When I am sitting down commenting on posts and such I also open up my untagged photo part of my archive. I have over 10,000 photos without tags. At least I have dates to kick start my my memory and I jump around the dates to keep things interesting. Doing that I came across the above photo. No tags but a date of April 17, 2016. Also, I can tell that I edited the photo and probably posted it on instagram. I started to remember being in New Orleans back then and taking a street car from downtown to Audubon Park and seeing this bar. And then I started looking at other photos I uploaded that day.
Update, Mystery Solved, In the great way that Al Gore’s Interwebs works, a facebook friend of mine, had a friend, a professional photographer who lives in New Orleans who knew immediately that this was the Circle Bar on St. Charles Avenue. I love serendipity.
This bar with the beautiful doors and mysterious interior. New Orleans is a photographers paradise.
These prehistoric looking birds at Audobon Park. Cormorants. Their feathers get wet so they hang them out there like that to dry them out. Good luck drying anything in New Orleans, the air is so thick and humid.
And the big beautiful trees. The park itself is not that much. Hardpacked ground and kind of scruffy. That is just like most of the south though and that is its appeal.
And the streetcars. It’s hard to take a bad photo of a New Orleans street car.
K Paul’s restaurant in the French Quarter. A few years before my wife was with me and we had dinner there. We ate at one of the tables on the balcony. We spent hours and a had a great time. One of the most expensive dinners I ever had and worth every dime.
Even the bicycles have style in New Orleans.
As you can tell I am a big fan of the city. I hope to be back soon. Meanwhile I am linking with Our World Tuesday