Well it is November and our weather up until today has been pretty mild, blue skies, and sunny skies.
My photo doesn’t really show but we had a crystalline clear moon one night. These was a few days ago just shy of the Full Beaver Moon or Frost Moon. I love moon shots.
My wife’s cousin’s wife (got that?) Sheri Lou has been taking photographs of the goings on around the family ranch in Western Oklahoma and she sends them to me and I doctor them up and post them and we have a pretty good partnership going on. I love the wide open skies of Western Oklahoma and the tough, big hearted people that live out there.
We have had a few funky skies in Tulsa. Here is a few weeks ago downtown in the late evening.
On Sunday, son Logan and I went for a walk on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. I had run a race the day before so I just wanted so get out and stretch my legs a little bit. Something called a “recovery walk” or a “recovery run” except I was not running.
Turkey Mountain has a few double track miles of trails but most of it is single track. Once we got a quarter mile away from the parking lot, we had the place to ourselves.
The air was just barely warm, and dry, and the skies were deep blue.
The just barely changed leaves were almost fluorescent with the sun shining through them.
The grasses are just now turning color.
Here is a track of our journey. We stayed on the “Snake Trail” not because of snakes but because the trail folds back on itself.
I’m running a 25K race this coming weekend on Turkey Mountain, the TurkeynTaturs 25K. We’ll be running the Snake Trail and just about all the other trails on Turkey Mountain as well. I’lve pretty much run them all. I plan on taking my time and trotting the non-rocky flats and downhill segments and walking through the rocks and uphills.
This is a cumulative “heat map” showing all the trails I had run as of several months ago. As you can see I run a lot on Turkey Mountain. I love it and the race Saturday will be a tour of all of it.
Wish me luck!! It will be the longest race that I have run since 1997 when I ran the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin.
Started when the sun was low which makes for long shadows. Since my knee injury a couple years ago I always walk a half mile before running.
I am being a little ambitious with my running this Fall. I have signed up for the Tulsa Run 15K and the half marathon event of the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon. I’m also thinking about doing the 25K event at a Trail Race on Turkey Mountain. And of course it is all well and good to sign up for this stuff but at you also have to train for the runs.
Tulsa is a city of trees and Up with Trees is a great organization that wants us to have even more!!
So most of my training runs have been up and down the River Trails here in Tulsa. I love the River Parks trails but you know, you need a little variety now and then. There is a park a few miles northwest of our house, Lafortune Park. It has an 18 hole golf course, and a 18 hole par three course, lots of picnic areas, tennis courts, a library, a tennis center, a lawn bowling pitch, a high school, with football and baseball fields, and best of all a 3 mile running/walking track that winds its way around all of those other things.
I ran by the offices of Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. This is a great organization that is devoted exclusively to the babies and their mothers. No time for wedge politics or anything like that. You want to do politics go somewhere else. If you are concerned about babies and mothers, this is your place.
I have run around the park many times, and Heather and I have walked around it a lot, even son Logan and I have done the three miles a bunch of times.
The closest thing to Fall Color I saw on my trek
Well I wanted to close the loop so to speak by running from the house to the park. From the house I have walked, run, and biked to the Creek Turnpike Trail. And although I have not done it all in one outing, I have walked, run, and biked about 20 miles to the east, and to the west and northwest probably 30 miles or more. So I wanted to extend my connectivity the few miles to Lafortune and get an 11 mile run at the same time. I had already done nine miles last week, so I wanted to do 11 this past weekend.
I love old signs. This sign has been there a long time even the store is long gone. It’s days are numbered though as there is some construction going on.
So off I went. It was different than running on a running path. First of all I wasn’t wearing headphones. Running on the street with headphones is a prescription for getting run over. I had a good friend who got run over and died while running on a freeway frontage road with headphones on. Second is the camber of the road. The crown. You really have to alternate what side of the road you run on otherwise you will tear up your knees or ITB band.
I passed a new restaurant going in at a busy intersection. I am a sucker for glass blocks.
But hey, it was all good. A nice brisk, sunny day.
Saint Francis Hospital.
It about wore me out. I didn’t have any time goals. I just wanted to finish and yes I walked a lot.
Probably 60% on the streets, roads, and sidewalks, the rest on park trails or vacant fields.
I know, I know, I should have been in church on Sunday morning but running had me totally in the moment and it all seemed to go by in a flash.
Next Saturday is the Tulsa Run 15K. It will be my 23rd. it is my favorite race of the year. It will be cold!!! but that is okay. I have the cold weather gear. I know how to dress for the cold weather, the hot weather, and wet weather, and dry weather. It doesn’t matter to me.
Here is the garmin video my very slow run.
Here is the much more fun “relive” version of the run. I like it much better for its 3D aspect plus it makes it appear that I ran the whole way.
My wife’s cousin’s wife, Cheri Lou took this photo at the ranch in western Oklahoma. I love the rolling hills, grassy rangelands, and the big skies out there. The people are great also.
Where we live in northeastern Oklahoma is more forest land and a lot wetter. Son Logan and I went on a little jaunt at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. Lots of wildlife in Oxley. Lots of water also and it is right underneath the main approaches to our local airport and is right next to the police gun range so it can get kind of noisy but I love it.
There are several sizeable lakes and ponds and it is known as a good birding site. I love birds but I don’t have the patience to put in the work.
Here you go, any photoblogger worth his salt has the obligatory first red leaf of Autumn. I think this might be my first red leaf ever.
This gave me a start! Don’t worry, it is a rubber snake placed near a geocache. At least I think it was near a geocache. I looked for it and didn’t find it. I lifted a rock and found me a real snake. Just a tiny little garter snake but I decided, enough is enough.
Saturday I had some time so I went looking for some urban caches in Tulsa. Found one near the Saba Grotto. I think it has some relation to the Masons. There were a few instagram pics with Saba Grotto. it looks like a big man cave. They have a pretty active facebook page and they seem to have all sorts of benefits and events. Who would have thought? Stuff like that intrigues me. People don’t seem to join clubs any longer. They belong to “affinity groups” where they do people who have similar interests but is a lot looser. Anyway, one reason I love geocaching is that I find new places and learn new things.
Another cache I found was on a freeway interchange. Talk about hiding something in plain sight. Lots of cars whizzing by while I figured out where the cache was.
I am still training for the Tulsa Run 15K the last weekend of this month. Last week I ran 9 miles after work and I actually felt pretty good. Cooler weather and a hydration vest works wonders. I had already signed up for the race and went ahead and signed up for the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. This weekend I am running 11 miles on Sunday morning. At least that is my plan. Check back later. Plans change.
A side benefit is running is the opportunity to take photographs. A great deal of my running (and a great deal of my photos) are along the Arkansas River. Tulsa really is a beautiful town. Of course I love the gritty west side of Tulsa where all the industry and refineries are.
In the Fall the skies get a lot more interesting. This is a sunset photo looking east with my back to the sun.
I’ll finish up with a selfie with a combuster at a waste treatment plant on the river. I was halfway on my nine mile run and I was really happy with how good I felt. Cooler weather, a hydration vest, and Metallica on the earbuds works wonders. That is about as big a smile as you will ever get out of me.
Monday night I was working out at my gym downtown and when I left to go home I captured this scene. I took a bunc of shots of it and spent some time “messing” with them with various filters. The above uses good old Snapseed, the free and very powerful and easy to use app from Google. The building is the Boston Avenue Methodist Church in downtown Tulsa. Designed by Bruce Goff and built in the late 1920’s. It used to be our home church and I will tell you that it is even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.
What I started out taking pictures of was the pink clouds. It was spectacular.
And this is from last week from my office looking toward our Library. We got soaked all day.
I took this homey pic of a scene across from my office building. I loved the glow of the lights and the reflections. And I really ramped up the HDR on this. I love using filters. I find that I don’t have the time to edit photos with my editing software any more.
We are having a couple cool days now but it is going to be back to the 80’s the day after tomorrow. What is the deal!!
And how about a kitten picture. This is Lizzie. She has taken over the house and is about as cute as cute can get.
This is Ginger and Logan. They are not so cute any more.
My last post was about a wedding we went to, this is about the day after.
I wake up earlier than everybody else and sure I drink coffee and read the paper but I like to get outside and I didn’t feel like running so I went geocaching.
A simple type geocache is a skirtlifter. Located on the skirt on a parking lot light. There were two close to our hotel so off I went to find them.
The caches have little paper logs that you sign to prove that you were there and also a separate web page that you “log” to show the world that you found it. Check out geocaching.com for more info.
Some of the containers are pretty small. Plus under one of the caches I spotted a black widow spider.
Who would of thought that high rise apartments in Oklahoma City would be around enough to need renovation.
You are saying, “Hey this a Skywatch post, where is the sky?” Right here, behind this architectual gem. I don’t know whether this is mid century modern or Googie or what but I think it is beautiful. It is also empty, but seems well cared for. I love those arches with the cables. I am thinking this used to be a bank.
This is the back side of what I think is a bank. I don’t know about you, but I really think they should install more lighting. Eleven lights is just not enough.
And this building is a special place. This is Founders Tower and there is a restaurant at the top that rotates and that is where Heather and I had our first date back in the 80’s. It was called the Eagles Nest then and now it is called 3sixty restaurant and bar. We had a great time. Or at least I did.
It is also and office building. The oil and gas industry at a certain level is almost a barter economy. You have geologists, landmen, and reservoir engineers who will work for an interest in a well rather than cash. Lots of those guys used to have offices here. That was back in the day when you could drill a vertical Redfork well in the Anadarko basin for “only” $1.5 million. Nobody does that any more. Now to drill and frack a horizontal Woodford Shale, or STACK, or SCOOP or other shale well is going to cost you $10 million. I have had customers with a straight face tell me about “pilot projects” with seventy such wells.
The technology invoved used to be almost generic but now the players keep their secrets very closely held. I am out of the game a little bit now but I wonder how the barter economy has survived. As Alan Jackson says, “the big money has come to town” or something like that.
And then back to the hotel. Notice the pedestrian friendly streets in Oklahoma City. I’ve always loved Oklahoma City for its pioneering boom and bust attitude.
Its late September and that means that I am spending a lot of time every week on the River Parks trails along the Arkansas River training for the Tulsa Run 15K that occurs in late October. This is the perfect time to run where we still have daylight savings time and the weather is beginning to cool. Last night I ran eight miles and it went splendidly. I have decided that I am going to sign up for the Route 66 Half Marathon which runs in November.
And the skies are a lot more colorful this time of year. I took this in the street in front of my home.
Every morning I drive by this greenbelt. At Spring and Fall the sun rises just perfectly.
My “cousin-in-law” Cheri Lu took this photo at her family’s ranch in Western Oklahoma. I love the big skies out there. Even with power lines.
Another scene from the bike ride Heather and I took last weekend. Autumn is Oklahoma’s best season as far as I am concerned. It is really long period of warm days and cool nights. It is time for backyard fires and camping.
On Sunday Heather and I went for a bike ride. We drove 14 miles in nice weather under a beautiful blue sky.
And because I’m such a nerd, here is a video of the route we took.
Saturday night we celebrated our Anniversary in style at a trendy restaurant downtown. The Bull in the Alley, only ten tables in the place. But it is deluxe.
We had lots of real estate to ourselves. We had a nice leisurely dinner. We’ll be going back.
The entrance is in an alley. Who’d of thought. No sign or anything.
We also have a new member of the family. A nice little female kitten. She has taken over the house. We are trying to name her. The vet we got her from calls her Wendy. We think Windy might be more apt because she is kind of gassy. We are thinking Izzy or Lizzy or Chloe sounds good. What do you think? She is very sweet and not scared of our goofy dogs at all.
Nana kind likes her also.
Heather is already hooked, and so am I.
Anway, that is what is up with us. I did post a bit of the sky so this is my Skywatch Friday post.
I got to see the Eclipse in Totality in Idaho Falls, Idaho. My dad’s assisted living center had a viewing organized for the residents, staff, and guests. My sister had already bought me a pair of glasses.
They brought out a bunch of chairs and provided refreshments and snacks. They had a narrator also telling us what was going on.
So I got out there kind of late. The sun seemed as bright as ever but you would tell that the temperature was lowering and a breeze was picking up. Also, as the eclipse progressed, it didn’t seem to get that much darker until the very end but we could hear the crickets start chirping and the birds started singing. Right before totality it started getting notably darker.
It got pretty dark but there was light on the horizon for 360 degrees around us. The narrator told us that we could take our glasses off and look directly at the eclipse. I didn’t bring my good camera, just my cell phone.
When we took off our glasses off, everybody gasped. I have not seen any photographs yet that gives the experience justice.
It was like living, breathing physics and astronomy and was a little overwhelming. I can understand a little more why people spent such vast sums of money coming from all over to experience.
The next total eclipse coming to the USA is on April 8, 2024 and is nipping the very southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The above is a NASA map of the route of totality. I’m going to do my best to experience it again.