Tag Archives: Oxley Nature Center

First Fall Hike at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center

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Logan and I decided to go on a hike today. We went to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center up north of the airport. We decided to do the little used North Woods Loop, away from the main Oxley Nature Center. We may have been the first people to use the trail on Sunday.

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How would I know? Because we were walking through lots of spider webs. That honor traditionally goes to the early morning hikers and runners. It is not that pleasant but on Sunday we were walking through webs at four in the afternoon!

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Went on the Sierra Club trail. It has my favorite walkway. 

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We saw the beginnings of Fall Color. We’ll be checking back.

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Lots of fungus.

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More beginnings of Fall Color.

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And more and more fungus. We only went a little more than two miles but didn’t see anybody. We saw lots of squirrels and cardinals and a glimpse of a few white tailed deer as the scampered through the woods away from us.

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We were only out for a couple miles and it was nice not seeing anybody. Or hearing anybody, except the squirrels in the brush, the deer in the thickets, and the wind in the tops of the trees.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Skywatch Friday – From All Over Town

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The sky was clear and the moon was bright so I took a photo of it. Don’t forget this Friday we have a full blood moon coming up. This was about 86% gibbous phase. I don’t always get them but I love it when I can see the craters on the “bottom” of the moon.

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And here we are in the ‘hood. I loved the clouds one day when I was on the front porch. I guess sometimes I am a lazy skywatcher. While we are in a sharing mood, I took the photo of the moon from my front yard as well. Do you have any true confessions you want to share?

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And this is my favorite building in Tulsa. The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. An art deco masterpiece built in the late 1920’s and designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. The interior is beautiful also. It was our family church when we first moved to Tulsa.

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And this is from Oxley Nature Center. I love how the island appears to be suspended in air. (Okay maybe I’m stretching it a little bit.)

Okay, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget the full moon on Friday. Take some photos for me. I’m going to be at a baseball game so I am depending on you.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – The Deer at Oxley Nature Center

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It has been hot lately but Sunday it cooled down quite a bit and we had overcast skies. Heather went to have some girl time with her friends and Logan went to his job, so I loaded up my camera and an extra lens and went north the Oxley Nature Center on the north side of Tulsa next to the airport. I don’t know what it was but the deer were out big time. I saw scads of them. I am going to spare you photos of all of them but I will show you this guy. He was a little slow on the uptake but once he noticed me he sure gave me the hawkeye.

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And he gave a high pitched snort and took off.

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He might have lost a little face. The ladies never moved. We had a face off for a while and then I ducked back into the woods so they could resume their salad munching and visiting.

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And I came upon this deer. I was walking along the trail one way, a woman with a camera was coming my way, and this jumped out about 15 feet away but didn’t run very far. We had another  stare off, until I let him win and walked away.

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I eventually made my way to the boardwalk and went across. I bet have a hundred photos of this. I just love boardwalks.

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I came across these two. I don’t know a thing about birds but I am going to  guess the dark one is a great blue heron, and the white one is a white heron. Please correct the ID if I am wrong. I just want to get it right.

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And I resumed my trek on the trails. I walked about four miles according to my step counter. Slow miles but I was on my feet so it counts right?

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Just toward the end I came across this fawn. I hung with me for quite a while but then he bolted.

So it was time to get back to the car to make an instagram post (If you don’t instagram an activity then it didn’t happen, right?), and then fetch the kid from work. I was worn out and happy.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Nature Photography Class – Spring 2018 – Chapter One

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I am all excited!! I did a one day Nature Photography class by Tulsa Community College.  We met early in the morning and then headed off to several venues, the Linnaeus Gardens, Tulsa Garden Center, Tulsa Botanic Gardens, and Oxley Nature Center.

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So the over a dozen of us, clicked and snapped away and we walked, and walked. My little garmin wrist device tells me that I walked 7.76 miles today. I believe it. My dogs are barking, you know what I mean. I do trail running, and this was about the same except I had a camera and was clicking happily away.

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This is at Wooward Park, before the class really even started. So what do you like best, pink tulips in front, with yellow in back?

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Or the other way around? Without cars in the background. Ignore the cars in the background.

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Or how about the Redbud Trees.

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How about some ancient stone steps.

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At Oxley, do you like the little snake my fellow students found?

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Or do you like the bigger snake a few hundred yards away. They said, don’t worry, no triangular head, and the eyes are round so it is not venomous. Like I even cared. Who is going to get close enough to snakes to figure out the roundness of its eyes?

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I forget where this is from. It is pretty is all I know.

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I love this also. No idea what it is.

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Anyway, the more I learn about this photography thing, the more ignorant I get. I am firmy entrenched into manual mode, and metering the photos and all that but the complicated things get me. Like the above. Sunny on one side, shady on the other, overeposed on one side, under on the other. Who you going to call? Nobody, suck it up big guy, figure it out.

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Or focus on the blossoms. The yin and the yang. Big picture, small picture. I am so confused.

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Here is a redbud up close.

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Linnaeus Gardens

How about a flag reflection. The reflection looks okay, but the sky is blown out.  No editing done anywhere on this post by the way.  Haha you say, we could tell that.

That is all for now. I took over 200 photos and I store them all in cloud and it is painfully slow to get them there. I used to store them on an external hard drive. Big, huge mistake. It cratered.

I really enjoyed the class. Kudos to my fellow students who really got into it, the various venues, who welcomed us with welcome arms and the instructors, Larry and Natalie who spent a considerable amount of time scheduling us into the various places, and led us around making sure that everybody had a fun time. I’ll be taking more classes from them again.

I am calling this Chapter One because I have so many photos to upload and don’t want to  wait until they are all uploaded before I post something. Call me impatient.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

 

Our World – New Year’s Eve at Oxley Nature Center

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New Year’s Eve morning I decided I wanted to go on a little hike. I’m in recovery for an injury and my doctor told me to walk or run on level surfaces. Running is not happening right now but I am walking more and it doesn’t get any more level than Oxley Nature Center in north Tulsa. It was cold, in the low twenties, and there was a stiff breeze. Look at the flags standing at attention. Notice the empty parking lot! I had the whole place to myself.

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I am not afraid of the cold. After years of running in the winter in all kinds of weather, I have the right gear to wear in cold weather. It is a balancing act dressing for the cold. Too little clothes and you die from the cold. Too many clothes and you overheat and sweat and possibly freeze. Also, avoid cotton!! Cotton kills in cold weather. Wear tech fabrics close to your skin. They wick the moisture away and breathe. The other thing about cold windy weather is I like to hike in the woods. It cuts the wind a lot. There are some parts of Oxley where you can hear the wind howling in the tree tops but it is calm at ground level.

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Another reason to hike at Oxley, in the woods is the deer. They have deer there and I see at least one almost every time I go. I saw this dude when I walked into a water pipeline right of way. He had a group of four or so does he was bossing. So he stood and kept watch giving me the stinkeye while his harem left.

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Then he gave me one last glare and left.

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I walked on and had to backtrack when I came upon a frozen over trail. Hadn’t seen that at Oxley before.

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Lots and lots of deer tracks.

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I got to Lake Yahola and observed this dude from one of the blinds they have set up. Does anybody know what this guy is? I am wondering if it is an American White Pelican.

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Hiking further on I found these deer. There were about four of them. I had a devil of a time being the newbie, picture taker that I am. I had to take the lens of autofocus and focus manually but there was a lot of glare so I had to shield the viewfinder while focusing. I’m sure it looked pretty hilarious. As you can see, I didn’t quite get the focus right.

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And then yet another group. There was the big dude letting me know he was watching me and then he left and then mom and a teenager showed up.  They kind of strolled past. In the background you can see another deer grazing. It was part of another group of four or five.

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And got to the other side. This was pretty close to my car. I got in the car and while I was messing around with my gear and getting a drink a security car came by and checked me out.

Time to stop for some hot chocolate at Quik Trip, head home and check on the Dallas Cowboys in the game against Philidelphia. Dallas won but it was very ugly.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Half and Half Run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center and Lake Yahola

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For my weekly Wednesday after work run I changed things up a little bit. Instead of going to Turkey Mountain with its rocks, roots, and hills I headed out to the best kept secret trails in Tulsa, the Northwoods trails at Oxley Nature Center and then extend it by running around one of Tulsa’s raw water supply sources, Lake Yahola.

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The Norhwoods trails are not used very much. They don’t even have a parking lot. You just park on the side of the road. I hardly ever see anybody else on them. And there is a chance of seeing deer. I haven’t seen a deer on Turkey Mountain in a long time. The thing about Oxley is that there are very few rocks and no hills. My legs were a little sore and I wanted some distance but I couldn’t face going up and down the hills of Turkey Mountain.

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I did find an old snag that toppled across the trail. A real trail runner would have leaped across it without slowing down. Then there are guys like me who deal with in a different manner.

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There is quite network of trails in the North Woods section but they only add up to 3 miles and they loop around on each other so if you miss a turn it is no big deal.

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So I took the Oxbow lake Trail to get to Lake Yahola.

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And here it is. See the little specs to the left of center on the far shore? That is the high rises of downtown Tulsa just a few miles away.

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I turned to the right and started running on the chat gravel path. I didn’t bring my trail shoes and the gravel was hurting my feet and the grassy part was too soft for really good running. What a cry baby I am!!! I was running into the wind also but I was having the time of my life. I come upon about a dozen fishermen scattered around the lake. There is something peaceful about fishing and watching fishermen.

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About two thirds of the way around the lake I come upon the city water treatment plant. I love infrastructure stuff like this.

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Back close to the main trail at the Oxbow Lakes.

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Fuzzy pic of me with the lake. Do you like my socks?

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Back down to the road. I love how the trees tunnel over the trail. I love running here when there is strong winds because the trees just plain stop the wind and it is neat because you can hear the wind howling through the tops of the trees. I love stuff like that.

Got my run in. Almost six miles at a leisurely pace. Oh well, it is what it is.

I’m linking with “Our World Tuesday

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.