Tag Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Little Dixie Skies

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This past weekend my wife and I ventured down to southeast Oklahoma to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Southeast Oklahoma is quite mountainous and woodsy, think Arkansas. In Oklahoma it is called “Little Dixie” because it is so different in a lot of ways from the rest of Oklahoma which is mainly western in nature. Think Arkansas

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Our first day we went hiking, just a nice short 3.3 mile route and it kicked our rear ends. Part of the issue was it was almost 100F and had a lot of vertical, about 800 feet overall. But you know, we would walk for a while and rest for a while and pretty soon it was over. And we were tired at the end of the day.

After the first 200 yards, we did not see anybody. I guess most people were smarter than we were.

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We stopped at this tree for a break. I’ve read a lot about “Native American Guide Trees” online where people claim that Native Americans shaped trees like this as guides to routes and water and other things. I am very skeptical as I see very little original information plus it seems like a very labor intensive way to transmit information. But my my mind is still open to the possibility.

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So yep, the hike was a little hard for us but we were happy to be doing it.

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Heather is always ready for anything.

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I loved the look of the light filtering through the leaves.

She had some fun with me. I love geocaching, she not so much but she is good at it. We were looking for one and she found it when I could not and she taunted me a little bit. That’s all right!! I guess I’ll keep her. After 30 years we have learned a lot about each other.

Later on in the week, she had to bail me out twice during a rough spot I had during a kayaking expedition we were on. I kept running into rocks and turning over so she came up and rode my kayak down through the rapids while I walked down on the bank. I wish I had photos but I ruined my camera when it took one too many dunks. She’s bailed me out a bunch of times during our 30 years we’ve been together.

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Skywatch Friday – Beach Sky

Orange Beach Skywatch 1-Edit

This is from one of our trips to Orange Beach, Alabama when we had a windy day. It makes for a nice photo. Right now though I am thinking about Hurricane Dorian and the people who suffered from the destructive force it unleashed on the Bahamas.

(Current as of 9/3, check https://www.nhc.noaa.gov for updates)

As I write this, the storm is expected to travel, excruciatingly slowly up the coast of the US and who knows what it will do. I sat through a category I hurricane back in the 1980s. It was Alicia and I lived one hundred miles from the coast so its force was much attenuated by the time it go to me but it was scary enough. Next time I vowed to go to Nebraska. (Since then though I have decided that Oklahoma is far enough.) I have no idea what it would feel like to be on an island just a few feet above the ocean and no safe shelter from the storms.

There is no way to point at any one particular storm and say that it is caused by global warming. I am convinced though that we are experiencing human caused climate change and increased hurricanes are just one of the many results of this. I found a web site, SkepticalScience.com that provides a lot of information presented in such a way that even I can understand it. It also has a guide on common myths and misconceptions presented by climate change skeptics. Check it out, bookmark it and keep it handy. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have a problem.

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Small Town Skywatch – Sapulpa, Oklahoma

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Last weekend I was in the Tulsa suburb of Sapulpa. I had never spent much time in the downtown area before and I was surprised to see many attractive older buildings that were well maintained and seemed to have many businesses in them along with apartments on the upper floors. The main street is also part of Route 66 as it winds its way through town.

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Creek County Courthouse

And all under some intense deep blue skies and big fluffy white clouds.

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Renovated Apartment Building

So I enjoyed my walk up and down downtown Sapulpa. I am convinced that towns, big and small, need a vital and thriving downtown for the city as a whole to be successful.

I have some more photos I will share later.

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Skywatch Friday – Thunderhead

We took our son to college earlier this week and on the way back we found this big huge cloud squatting over Tulsa. As big and scary as it was, there was only a little lightning and thunder and it moved on.

Just a couple hours earlier, our son was beaming just before we left him. We took him to a college that has a program for young people like him on the Autism Spectrum who want to get a degree. So we moved him in and we and he got oriented on what is going on and then it came time for goodbyes and he was ready. We were to, kind of, we noticed that we didn’t pack tissues in the car for the trip back home. He has almost 50 hours of college hours with a solid B average from a community college here in Tulsa so we know he can do the academics. He just needs help navigating things socially and we think he can get where he is enrolled.

I am thankful that there are more and more programs to help youngsters with various issues get an education and learn how to live independently.

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Skywatch Friday – Morning Sky

Morning Clouds Topaz Impressions

Some beach trips I get early every morning and go running or walking on the beach. This trip I mainly slept in and got up in time for the first dolphin run of the day. It was pretty amazing watching them cruising along parallel to the beach anywhere from maybe 50 yards to the show to maybe 300 yards. Just cruising along in a widely dispersed pod, some of them had a smaller dolphin with them. They come and they go on down the shore. A few hours later they come back the opposite direction and generally a lot further out. So we got to see them twice a day generally.

But being a dedicated skywatcher I got up one morning and got a good shot from the balcony. Most days were cloudless, but this one day they formed and went marching along the shore. I love the morning light on the cloud above.

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We had a really good time. We ate well, we went kayaking and stand up paddleboarding, lots of walks on the beach, read a lot of books, played some board games and didn’t turn the television on once!! So we are back at work now and son is getting ready to go away to college and we are very excited about that.

I hope things are going well for you.

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Tower of Power

Powerline tower studio

An tower for electric power lines alongside the Arkansas River. I am fascinated by the infrastructure network that ties us together. From electric power lines to cable television and telephone lines. Many of which are overhead and much underground, to water, sewer, and natural gas lines, and of course roads, and waterways along with drainage systems. It just boggles my mind. Couple that with railroads other pipelines for crude oil, gasoline, propane and butane, and even ammonia and it is amazing how interconnected all parts of the country. are to each other.

Okay, I got carried away, I hope you have a great week.

Skywatch Friday

Still Hiking Skywatch

This is kind of an “add on” to my last post about hiking on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain last Sunday morning. Don’t tell me that I am the only blogger that milks all the posts he or she can out of an experience.

Turkey Mountain Pond Topaz

What are called ponds everywhere else are called lakes on Turkey Mountain. Don’t ask me why, its just the way it is. Whatever you call them, they are full which is unheard of this late in the summer. Want to know something else? (I am going to tell you anyway, so say yes, okay) I didn’t activate our lawn sprinkler system until this past weekend. It has rained so much we have not watered our yard once.

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The ponds are overflowing and the vegetation is lush. I was soaking in DEET so I didn’t get any tick or chigger hitchhikers thank goodness but I was kind of dumb and didn’t take any water which was a mistake even in just a three mile hike.

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It always lifts my spirits being out in nature. I didn’t really see anybody else. I love getting back home after my outings and checking instagram for Turkey Mountain. There were at least 25 other people claiming they were all by themselves. It is a testament on how big the area is that we can all be there and not get in each others way.

Do you have a place you can go to get away from it all? I hope so.

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Skywatch Friday – on the River

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I am loving the big blue skies and the white fluffy clouds we are temporarily having. I say temporary because it clouds up and rains quite a bit these days.

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The Arkansas River is still high but within its banks and it is muddy as a soaked cow pasture.

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I love the big cottonwoods on the river. Even if some of them are suffering from storm damage.

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Almost all the River Parks trails are open now. They had a big sinkhole to fill in and repave here. There is still considerable work to be done getting the lights going again and fixing the plumbing at the restrooms. There was considerable damage to the river banks and they are trying to figure out how to rebuild and stabilize them.

So that’s the latest with the sky situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How they looking where you live?

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Skywatch Friday – First June 2019 Edition

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This is a shot of the electrical transmission substation at Keystone Dam. I don’t know a thing about such facilities but it looks a little old to me. I look at the Dam’s status every day and they haven’t generated any electricity in the few weeks I have been checking up on them.

Heather and I went to the Jimmy Buffett Concert here in Tulsa earlier this week. He put on a great show. Not only was the music good but they displayed huge high definition video of ocean, beach, and sky scenes on the backdrop behind the band. It was kind of mesermerizing. We love the beach and are headed there later this summer as part of our family vacation.

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This is from my sister’s property near Colorado Springs during our recent trip there. Colorado never fails for great skies. Check out Ellen’s blog and check out her and husband Irv’s brand new fifth wheel camper.

Your de Tulsa

This is a scene from the the Tour de Tulsa that I did a few weeks ago before all the rain and floods. It was only a 20 mile or so ride. I have another ride coming up Sunday for Tulsa Tough. It is going to be 32 hilly miles. I hope that I am up for it. The furthest I have ridden on my back is 25 and I was okay after it. I’ve learned that on these rides many people don’t really bust a gut, they take it leisurely. That will be me. I am one of the few people who ride them using a big heavy hybrid bike instead of one of the sleek ones. I need one with a big wide seat to, well you know, match my big wide seat. So wish me luck.

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