Tag Archives: Oxley Nature Center

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

Cottonwood Tree

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

Oxley Nature Center Topaz Glow Highlighter Bold I

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

Hiking in Oxley Nature Center

I’m a little late in writing this post. Back during the Thanksgiving weekend my brother Bob drove up from Corpus Christi to spend the holiday with us. One day I took he and my son Logan to Oxley Nature Center here in Tulsa for a little hike.

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They have a great nature center at Oxley with helpful people who will give you as much information as you need, everything from a map to helpful directions, and of course flush toilets. Right outside the door headed for the trails is this, an insect hotel. I think it is more like a homeowners nightmare. It is kind of cool though.

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Oxley has a great variety of trails.

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Even with a lot of people by the time you get a quarter mile away from the parking lot you hardly see anyone.

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Oxley is kind of low and has lots of water even during the drought that we are emerging from.

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It has a great variety of terrain from deep woods and brush to more open areas. We walked about four miles or so during a nice warm day.

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it looks like a duck lost a battle after a furious fight.

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I’m a geocacher and found one out in the brush while Bob and Logan waited on me (they don’t like geocaching.) We also passed this cache that I found several years ago. Nice to see that it is still there.

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We liked all the benches and places to rest. Oxley is a great place to spend a nice afternoon.

Linking with Nature Notes

Geocaching on a Sunday Afternoon

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The weather was warm and sunny on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are not playing until Monday night, Logan had a friend over, the lawn didn’t need mowing so I loaded up and ventured to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center to hike their North Loop trail and see if I could find a geocache or two.

Oxley Nature Center North Woods Trail

I’ve hiked the trail several times over the years. I have never ever met anybody else. So I guess that it makes it my trail. Sunday was perfect, if a bit warm. What I loved was the that the wind was blowing quite hard but in the woods, on the ground, noting was stirring but the you could see and hear the tree tops going back and forth. I don’t know about you but that is about the sweetest music I could ever hear.

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I was in heaven out in the woods. It is how I recharge my batteries.

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The October light was awesome. The trees haven’t changed color but they are thinking about it. Everything is getting a little more pale.

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I found only one cache but you know, looking for caches is all the fun. I love geocachers, “OkieBeans”, “Barrel O’Monkeys” only bloggers get more creative with their handles. I looked for three caches. I found two actually but could only log one. The other one I could see it but I certainly wasn’t going to try and get it when I’m out their by myself.

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I rested a little bit, wondering why I didn’t bring any water on such a hot day. I didn’t figure that out but I did enjoy sitting on my personal bench on my personal trail. Oh, by the way, feel free to come out and hike my trails, nobody else seems to be.

You can see my various wanderings on my hike above. I parked my car and gathered up my stuff and headed down the trail and then realized that I didn’t spray myself with DEET. I thought all heck with it and then I remembered how miserable I am both with the chiggers and other creepy crawlers so then I went back. You can also see where I stop and try and find the geocaches and other times when I lose the trail and have to go figure out which way to go. Plus I stop for photography breaks and have been known just to stop and look around at what is going on around me.

Anyway, a great Sunday afternoon that the Cowboys didn’t get a chance to ruin.

Linking with Our World Tuesday