Tag Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Flying Over the River

I felt like flying the other day so I took my drone to the west side of the Aransas River and flew a little bit. The video above looks like kind of hurried but when I was making it, thought I was going very slow. Part of the learning process.


And I took a photo of the running and bicycle trails.


A view on the east side of the river looking upstream to the northwest.


And then almost a 180 turn, looking toward downtown Tulsa.


And here’s the pilot, a retired slacker. You can tell by the untucked shirt.

Reconciliation Tower
Tulsa’s Reconciliation Park at its opening years ago.

And of course Tulsa, like lots of other communities across the country, and the world, had protests over the George Floyd murder. They are not only of course protesting the murder but protesting how people of color are treated by the police in general. I didn’t attend any of the protests which by all accounts lively and peaceful. The events were marred by vandalism and looting by a small number of people generally after dark.

The protests came at a poignant time for Tulsa. May 31 was the 99th Anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre where a white mob descended on the black area called Greenwood north of downtown and burned it to the ground. Several dozen people were documented killed and suspicion lingers that there were far more. The Tulsa History Center has a web site dedicated to the event. Nobody was ever charged with any of the crimes and there was never any reparations. The survivors just had to suck it up and survive. Here is a link to a post I wrote on the subject.

It’s a scar that still affects life in Tulsa today. Of course many people think we should ignore it but personally I think it needs to see the full light of day, otherwise we will not have learned anything.

Skywatch Friday – The Skies of May


Went downtown the other day and brought home personal stuff from the office. The office has been closed since the middle of March and won’t open, at the earliest until the end of June. The only people working there are a cleaning staff and a security guard. Plus our pipeline control people which is staffed 24 hours a day. They have spread those folks all over the building to avoid cross contamination in case Covid-19 gets somebody sick.

I realized that yes, I am going to miss the job and the people, and I am really going to miss downtown. Weather permitting, I walked a mile to 3 miles every day at noon and poked into every square inch. I’ll be checking out from time to time. On weekends, when parking is free, cuz I am cheap.


Lots of nice evenings as the sun sets in the back yard.


Watching the weather. I love weather watching. Everybody in Oklahoma stays aware of the weather and watches the skies this time of year. We are all very conversant with terms like hook echos and such as that.

Lots of walks in the neighborhood for our dog Rascal. He kind of walks us is how it works. He routes us by all his friends.

Our tubby little kitten, Lizzy is wondering why everybody is around all the time. It interferes with her napping. She’s appropriated this basket that Heather was going to use as a centerpiece on our coffee table. So I guess that Lizzie is the centerpiece. It is peaceful to me watching a cat in deep sleep.

The greenbelt from our back yard. I fly the drone straight up mainly. I don’t really want to fly over other people’s property. So I send it straight up and use it like a periscope.

So Oklahoma is gradually opening up. Heather and I went to our favorite tap room and had a couple beers in their outside area, maintaining extreme social distancing from everybody else. The gyms Heather teaches are opening up as well and they are communicating protocols for staff and members. Myself, since I am in a high risk group I am holding off going to a gym until July. I’ll be playing it by ear.

What have you been up to?

I am linking up to Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Another Storm Blows Through

Looking northwest after the storm

A few days ago we had a fast moving storm with threatened tornado and possible hail come through. (You could say that about any day in May here in Oklahoma it seems.)

Looking straight west.

So we sheltered in place and watched the TV news and yes we had some very heavy, brief downpours, no hail though, no tornadoes, thank goodness and then we emerged from our houses and the air was a little breezy and cool so I launched my drone. Not too high though, it senses windspeed and alarms if it might get away from me, so I lowered the altitude and and snapped a few photographs and a short video.

Looking northeast across the green belt.

This is the back side of the storm as it moved on further east in Oklahoma and on into Arkansas.

A short panorama of the western sky.

Anyway, chalk up another spring storm we survived.

Full Moon 2020-05-05

And here is a shot of a near full moon. I amplified the detail on the moon and added a penciling type texture to the space around the moon to provide a sense of depth.

How are things where you are? Oklahoma is loosening up the restrictions a little and it seems that many of us are abandoning the guidelines and engaging in risky behavior. I just hope that we don’t have a second wave of infection.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join us!!

Skywatch Friday – Scanning the Skies

Sunset about a week ago

How is everybody doing with their social isolation. Here in Oklahoma the Governor, despite the advice from the medical community, has decided to start opening businesses starting tomorrow (Friday, April 24). So we’ll see what happens. Our family will continue with the social isolation until we deem it safe as we do have extended family members in town that are at risk.

Sunrise that same morning

In the meantime I have my cameras including my new drone to keep me occupied. It turns out that although it is capable of some fancy aerial maneuvers I use it mainly like a periscope. I find myself in the morning and the evening looking at the sky and if I see something interesting I launch it. I still am using what I call the “training wheels” the propeller guards which add quite a bit of weight and lower the performance but I can still get it up to about 125 meters which is I can barely see it when it is up there. So get it up there and turn it this and that to see what is going on with the sky. Nothing to get in the way then.

Evening sky after a Thunderstorm

I am kind of an incrementalist, plus the thing is kind of expensive, so I will gradually let it fly higher and a little bit further as time goes on. I don’t think I’ll ever let it out of my sight.

And I am still experimenting with it. Here is a grain elevator near where we live. So just did an elevator eyes so to speak with the drone. Going from street level up and then back down. I edited the video on my Iphone. Imovie is a great app that is simple to use.

And then, this has nothing to do with skies but I love watching videos of the Irish dancers. How do you get your legs to move that fast is what I want to know.

I wish everybody a great week ahead and I hope everybody and their friends and family are staying safe.

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Droning On

As I mentioned before, I got a drone for my birthday. It is a Mavic-Mini. A very small drone with with some big features. Mainly a built in GPS that enables it to hold its position and a nice camera. Click the link above, it has some fun videos and to be honest the drone is as easy to fly as it shows in the link.

I have been experimenting with it in various places. I went to a local freeway interchange that featured a very high overpass. The drone flew right up there and stayed in a pretty good wind. If you run the video you can see it bouncing around.


I took it to a local park and flew it around and it did fine. Got into some conversations about it with people. They thought that I was “very good at flying it.” Not really, its just that it is very easy to fly. This is my third drone, the other two were okay but they had a mind of their mind especially the slightest wind.

I got confident enough to fly it in our back yard where we have lots of trees in a small space.

drone 01-adjust

This is toward the northeast of our house overlooking the greenbelt

More maneuvering around the back yard.

drone 03-adjust

To the west toward the setting sun.

Looking down on our back yard. Abby is one of our three dogs. She loved the drone, barking at it and wagging her tail.

This has nothing to do with Skywatching or Drones or anything. This video of some Irish Dancing at a wedding caught my eye. I hope you don’t mind it. I thought it was cool.

That’s about it for this week. We are still trying to flatten the curve. I hope everybody stays healthy and takes precautions. I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – A New World

A new world was born for me this week.

Heather with Rascal
Heather and Rascal – they leave me behind when I start take photos, I don’t blame them. Nothing more boring than watching other people take photos.

Social distancing, remote working, hunkering down fell down on us in the US quickly as our national leadership finally acknowledged the reality of the Corona Virus and started treating it as a public health problem instead of a public relations issue.

TWo pear trees impression
Yep, I edited this heavily. Topaz Studio is my favorite right now.

Better late than never orders are out to shut down restaurants, schools, gyms, almost any public place. The RiverParks authority has even requested that we maintain six feet of space if come upon somebody while running or bicycling on their trails.

It rained heavily this morning and was threatening more is the reason I didn’t go to Turkey Mountain. Yep, this is edited also with Topaz Studio to get an impressionist type feel.

I’m kind of worried about my brother who is in a rehab hospital. I try and visit him every day but I worry about putting his and other patients health at risk. Nobody else visits him though so I show up every day during the restricted visiting hours and visit with him. Phone communication has worked out very well with him.

tree lichen 1
For some reason I am loving taking photos of lichen lately. And yes, I edited this photo as well. True Confessions.

From what I read, we may be hunkering down for quite a while so figure out a way to survive and thrive. I went on a walk with my wife and one of the dogs in the neighborhood with my camera. I am looking at familiar things in new ways, trying to determine what my new normal is going to be.

So be safe, make sure that you double check your sources of news, wash your hands and lets be kind to one another. We are all each other have.

Skywatch Friday

Oklahoma Spring Skies


We have had some strange weather in Oklahoma lately. Except that all the weather in Oklahoma is strange. It makes for some nice sky scenes. The above is from south Tulsa looking north. You can just barely see downtown Tulsa in the left center.


From the same vantage point to the southwest. The high rises just to the right of center is the former Oral Roberts City of Faith Medical Center, now just office buildings.

I always say a prayer when I see an ambulance, fire truck, police car, or medevac helicopter.

And a helicopter came buzzing in to the hospital building where I shot these images. The heliport is on the top floor. My brother still has serious medical issues and your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I am thankful for the dedicated doctors, nurses, nursing techs, therapists, case managers, and others who are in the medical field that work hard to take care of sick people.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Shannon Springs Park

More views from our trip to Chickasha, Oklahoma to see our son who is attending college there.

Shannon Springs Wicket

We spent some time at Shannon Springs Park which started out as a stop on the Chisholm Trail during the post Civil War years. The trail was how cattle got from Texas to railheads in Kansas. Shannon Springs was a major source of water on the trail.

Shannon Springs Lake

It became a city park and later enhanced by the WPA. The city has continued to add to and maintain the park and it is quite attractive.

Shannon Springs Christmas Tower

It is the site of the Chickasha Festival of Lights held during the Christmas season every year. I’m guessing the tower above is a big Christmas Tree.

Shannon Springs Strange Stuff

I puzzled over this thing for quite a while and don’t know what it is. Do you suppose it represents a Loch Ness monster of some sort only in the park’s lake? Nah, I don’t either.

Shannon Springs Caretaker Cottage

I loved the stone caretaker’s cottage. I don’t think it is occupied any more.

Moon 2020-02-08 topaz hdr dramatic

To end the post, this is the Wolf Moon, or Snow Moon last week. I love taking moon photographs.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday