Tag Archives: Oxley Nature Center

Exploring for a New Trail in the North Woods

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Monday morning I decided to go check out the North Woods trails at Oxley Nature Center. I heard there was a new trail and I wanted to go check it out.

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I don’t need much of an excuse to go to Oxley, especially what they call the North Woods Unit. Seldom do I see another person.

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Usually there are lots of birds and squirrels. This day I saw a bunch of deer running through the woods, too far away to even try taking a photo.

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The leaves have pretty much got blown off the trees already so you can see deep into the woods now.

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Oxley is kind of low. There is almost always water. It is kind of halfway a swamp.

Hah, I found the new trail. It’s not very long, its kind of a cutoff from one part of the existing trail system to another. That’s okay. I love networked trail systems. It makes for options and I love options.

I soon got to the boardwalk. One of my favorite spots. Something about a boardwalk in the woods looks great to me.

Oxley hasn’t added the trail to their trails maps yet so I am doing it for them. It’s the blue line highlighted in yellow above. I’m a thinking when I start trailrunning again I can do a cool 4 mile route of the new network. I had been reading on social media on the new trail at Oxley but I couldn’t figure out where it was, so now we know.

How is your week going? I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Oxley Nature Center

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The boardwalk was closed after the flooding last summer. Lots of dedicated staff and volunteers repaired it and it is now open.

The other day I had some time all to myself and I was thinking that I would go to the boat show, but it was a very nice day so, heck with the boat show, I am going to Oxley Nature Center. A day out in the woods and marshes beats a day at the boat show anytime.

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Do you see the pelicans?

I only had an hour and half before it closed but I have been out there lots of times and knew what I wanted to see so I went on a circumscribed circuit.

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Here’s the pelicans. Sorry, my big camera’s battery died so all these photos except one are from my cell phone.

The trails were very muddy in places but there are enough trails that one can get around the soggy areas.

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Oxley’s visitor center blends into the landscape.

There are lots of woods there, and lots of ponds, lakes and marshes to get around. So I finished my outing in plenty of time, all refreshed and ready to go.

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Oklahoma since the demise of the Dallas Cowboys is now College Football territory and people don’t talk much about NFL football. I did find this Kansas City Chiefs fan at a gas station. I think he’d make a great defensive lineman. He’s not very fast but nobody is going to move him off the line.

I am strange guy I guess. I love the Superbowl for the football and hardly notice the ads or the halftime show. I hear that there were lots of nearly naked women in it. I am shocked! shocked I tell you. If you missed it, check out the video with 79 million other shocked people here. After you watch be sure and log on to facebook and express your shock, everybody else is, especially those who have not seen it. Above is the one ad I did notice. Bill Murray in a “Groundhog Day” themed commercial. I loved it.

I hope you are having a great week!! I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Afternoon Outlaw Hike at Oxley Nature Center

Earlier this week I wanted some outside time and wanted to try something different so I decided to do some running/hiking at Oxley Nature Center. Flat, no rocks, no people, perfect.

Huh!?

So I took the back way in which is the closest access to downtown and I knew they had some gates they close on weekends and late at night. When I got there I found this locked gate??? So, okay, I’ll just go with it. So I parked outside the gate and stepped over it and off I went. There were no signs saying I couldn’t.

Just before the trailhead I found this group of wildflowers.

I got to the trail and started down it and noticed that it hadn’t been mowed or much of anything done in the way of maintenance. Oxley holds half the worlds population of ticks and chiggers and so I had doused myself with deet before I left the car so I wasn’t too worried.

The boardwalk had damage and had not been cleared or anything. By now, I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t be there but I was also kind of into it pretty far so I just plowed on ahead.

See that tunnel up ahead, that is where the trail goes!

I didn’t get any photos because I wasn’t fast enough but I saw lots of deer running through the woods, a raccoon, and a turtle. Also, lots and lots of small frogs hopping here, there and everywhere.

At the far reach of the North Woods Loop the trail was completely overgrown and I was convinced that the trail was probably closed. See that bench up there? I am a rule follower and if I had known the trail was closed I wouldn’t have gone down it. I guess that I should check the web site. I don’t generally do that before going hiking.

I love being on trails where there is nobody else. In maybe fifteen years of going on this trail I have literally seen maybe a dozen people, probably less. I love it especially on bitterly cold sunny windy cold days. There is no wind at ground level but you can hear the wind howling through the trees above. I know I am weird, but I love that.

It is quite watery their. The area borders Lake Yahola, Bird Creek, and some oxbow lakes formed off Bird Creek. I am glad I was deeted up as this is mosquito heaven.

Toward the end of my outing, the sky reflecting off one of the oxbow lakes.

And another sky photo.

And an aerial view of my outing. Not very long but I enjoyed myself immensely. And I can report that apparently I put enough deet on, I only have two mosquito bites on the back of my neck.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday, come join in!

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