Tag Archives: Oxley Nature Center

Skywatch Friday – A Family Walk at Oxley Nature Center

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Last Friday the family decided to go for walk at Tulsa’s Mary K. Oxley Nature Center. One of the best kept secrets in Tulsa. Acres and acres of trails, woods, marsh, lakes, and meadows and hardly anybody ever visits it.

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Well somebody had been visiting. We saw a few of these in the park but they didn’t look like they had been used.

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I love the big and small ponds, lakes, and streams on the property.

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It looked like some beavers had been hard at work.

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A sign needs either replacing or fetched.

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A nice surprise were some pelicans. They were cruising about. The geese seemed a little put off their visitors.

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Heather taking in the view near the photo blind.

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Yep, I’m a lucky guy is what I think.

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Heather and our gentle giant of a son, Logan checking out some storm damage from last year.

And here is our route. About 3 miles and a good mix of woods, open land, and water. We saw nobody else during our three miles.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Fences Around the World – Oxley Nature Center

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I went on a run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center this week. I have taken off the whole week between Christmas and New Years and the weather has been quite mild. Unlike other parks around town, Oxley has their trails extremely well marked some even with gates like this. I’m a Forest Service kid and I love this type of construction. And, who can resist checking out a trail called the “Meadowlark Prairie Trail.”

And I am donating a free shadow selfie at no extra cost.

I am linking this post with Fences Around the World

as a PS I am ashamed to say that I have subscribed to Photoshop for over a year and just this week have been figuring out how it works. I had always discounted Lightroom before but I have learned it is an integral part of the whole process. You do the easy edits in Lightroom and then pass the photo easily on to Photoshop. And then you can pass it back. Easy Peasy. Plus I have some of the Topaz Filters and have learned that the they are easily integrated into Photoshop as well. In the photo above I used I used a free Nik Filter from Google. They made them free in March of 2016 and they are very powerful. Anyway, they are integrated into Photoshop also.

I feel kind of dumb but having a little time to study things shows me that I have been wasting a lot of time. Better late than never I guess.

Our World Tuesday – Oxley North Woods Loop Trek

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Saturday I went for a walk at Oxley Nature Center‘s North Woods. I love it there because it is remote, off the beaten path, and I rarely see anybody.

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I especially like it when it is windy because there is enough trees and brush to block the wind. It is near still at the ground and I love the sound of the wind in the tops of the trees.

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The trails are well kept. This time of year there is a thick matt of dried leaves that announces your presence as you walk along and sends the big and small critters scurrying.

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I started in late afternoon and the low sun made all the leaves radiant with color.

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There is something about a bench on a trail overlooking a creek that is restful without even sitting on it.

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The woods loom over parts of the trails. I call these tree tunnels.

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I love the color of some of the oak leaves.

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Another tree tunnel.

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The sun is getting low. Heading across my favorite boardwalk. There is a geocache here that took me three years to find. And one day I saw it without looking for it.

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Headed back to the car and saw these two critters. We watched each other for a while. I would move up twenty paces and wait twenty seconds, and then move up another twenty paces and so on. They got tired of my game and scampered off.

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A little bit further I found this single deer. She played my game and let me get a little closer before she turned on her heel and left.

I didn’t set any speed records but I had a good time. Didn’t see anybody else. I wasn’t looking for anybody either.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday 

The Marshes of Oxley Nature Center

Oxley Marsh Trees and Reflections - Topaz Glow - Fur and Feathers

Topaz Glow – Fin and Feathers

Oxley Nature Center is built on some land nobody else wanted. Just north of the airport, wrapped by Bird Creek, and right next to the police department shooting range, nobody likes it except hikers, families, trail runners, geocachers, and photographer, not to mention deer, squirrels, snakes, lizards, ticks, fish, and lots of birds.  The marshes of Oxley is what gives wildlife its space against us humans. I’ve been out here and have seen deer run across the marshes and swim the sloughs and leave guys like me trying to get good pictures behind.

The marshes give Oxley a lot of its mystery. I used Topaz Glow to emphasize that mystery. I like how it brought out the reflections of the trees and the texture of their bark.

Oxley Nature Center – A Great Alternative to Turkey Mountain

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Heather and I wanted to go hiking on a warm sunny Winter afternoon and we decided to on the north side of Tulsa to Oxley Nature Center to avoid the crowds that show up at Turkey Mountain on nice days. The successful fight to save Turkey Mountain from developers really aroused the public’s interest in the park and I’m happy that so many people love it but there are other parks in Tulsa to go and hike, run, bike, and whatever you want outside with a lot less people. Where you can get a little elbow room and hunt for a parking space.

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Oxley, adjacent to the also hikeable Mohawk Park is a little more structured and has a interpretive center with staff to help you with planning your hike. And it has hours of operation and such but if you just want to show up and hike or run, just park and do what you want. Check the link for hours of operation, maps, and such.

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So on a day where Turkey Mountain was a little crowded (only at the parking lot, you get a quarter mile from the parking lot and the crowd are diminished considerably) Heather and I found a hiking spot and took off on a circuitous route. Sure we saw other people but just every now and then.

So don’t let crowded parking lots deter you from spending time outside.

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We say several deer right close to the parking lot. I haven’t seen a deer on Turkey Mountain in years.

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So we were just moseying along at a leisurely pace. Our son is on a school trip to Breckenridge and of course we stopped every time he texted us.

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And we had a great time. Over four miles all in all.

As far as what was going on in Breckenridge, here is a selection of some of the pics Logan sent Heather.

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This was from the bus ride as they were getting close to town.

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The condo they are staying in and reportedly doing lots of “hanging out” and “relaxing” when we ask him what he is doing.

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And it sounds like there is an ice sculpting contest or exhibition going on so this is one of the sculptures.

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And this has something to do with dragons. Anyways we miss the boy and are glad to be able to hear from him.

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Skywatch Friday – Spider Island

Spider Island - Oxley Nature Center

I had a few hours to myself last week so I went to Oxley Nature Center north of Tulsa’s airport. I only found one cache but the enjoyment is mainly in the looking. I walked up to one of the lakes and too this shot. If it looks familiar it is because it is taken from near where my blog header shot is taken. I’ve probably got two dozen pics of the same scene over the years, summer, winter, fall, spring, cloudy, clear, cold, hot, with Heather and Logan, mostly without. If there is a law against repeat photographs then I’m in for a long sentence.

I’ll have plenty of company though if I’m sent off to blogger jail. The bloggers I regularly read do similar things. A pretty or attractive scene tends to stay that way. What about you, do you repeat yourself a lot? Going back to the same scene I mean.

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Harbinger of Autumn

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Oxley Nature Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma Topaz Impressions

It is getting to be late September. Pretty soon the weather will break and Tulsa’s long wonderful Fall season will be upon us. You can already tell that things are changing. Although still hot, the sun is a little lower. The mornings are a little cooler. The sky gets a little bluer. There is something subtle about a cottonwood tree that heralds the coming of Fall. I don’t know if is a subtle change in the color of its leaves or just what, maybe my imagination, but I can tell that things are changing.

How can you tell that the seasons are changing?

Digital Arts Meme – Winter Woods

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On a cold windy last Sunday, son and I went on hike through some woods in a park on the  north side of Tulsa. The dense woods blocked the wind on the ground, but the darkness plus the sound of the wind howling

through the tops of the trees made it seem pretty darn spooky on the ground. I used Topaz Labs Glow program to emphasize the spookiness of the setting.

Linking with Digital Arts Meme