Skywatch Friday – Sunset, Eclipse, River Views

I went on a walk one evening and found this sunset at the end.

We got a new backyard fence a couple months ago. I finally got my weather station reinstalled.

My sister and her husband came to visit. One day we had an eclipse party in the backyard. Everyone had the special sunglasses except for Kodi the dog but he doesn’t care about eclipses so it was all good. After this shot, I wished I had thought to launch my drone. Not to look at the eclipse but looking down at this group as it went up in the air. It would have simulated the rapture for me. Don’t worry, I’m not a rapture but I thought it would have been fun to simulate it.

I took a short bike ride and checked out the water behind the new dam on the Arkansas River here in Tulsa. The river sure looks like nice full of water.

I feel kind of guilty because the Arkansas River is braided prairie river. They have sandbars and multiple channels and support lots of wildlife. So I am conflicted. But the “new” river sure makes nice photos.

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And another Lego animal from our trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden a few weeks ago.

So that is it for this week. I am linking to Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World.

Suburban Backyard Critters

The wind blows here in Oklahoma and with a motion sensitive trailcam I can get hundreds of photos of nothing really fast if I point it to a hanging bird feeder or trees. Wind the wind blows I point it at our bird bath or a stationary feeder.

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We get a lot of robins showing up for a drink.

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And doves

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At the stationary feeder we offer whole peanuts and sunflowers seeds. Those are popular with squirrels, grackles,

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and blue jays.

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Not in our backyard but from the Tulsa Botanic Garden a monochromatic lego lion!!

I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters

Trails to Tulips!

Went on a hike on Turkey Mountain this week. (Like almost all weeks)

Checked out the new trail construction going on at the “String of Pearls.” Three ponds that used to be inaccessible because of thick shrubs and thorns.

Checked out the panoramic view at “The Hub” – the highest point on Turkey Mountain and has several trails going in and several going out including two wicked bicycle downhill runs.

We had a decent sunrise the house the other day.

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I went to Philbrook Museum’s gardens and checked out the tulips.

And a perfectly formed maple tree.

Made a photo of tulips, a redbud tree, the Tempietto, and the sky.

I told my wife Heather all about it.

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So I came back with her the very next day.

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The tulips and everything else and more was still there.

Son Logan came with us and we checked out the Cabin.

And had some ice cream at a nearby place. A good time was had by all.

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And yet another Lego critter, this time a zebra from our earlier trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden.

Sharing on Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World

Shadowy Lawnmower and Chris Isaak!!

On a recent trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden they displayed a Lego Lawnmower in a Shadow!! It would be nice if it worked but it would probably shake itself into thousands of pieces.

Happy Easter to you and your family. Also, Lego Easter Bunnies!

Shadow Shot Sunday

AAAAnnnnndddd! As part of Music Moves Me, I bring you a Chris Isaak Song. Check out RamblinWithAM to check out other entries.

Tulsa Area Critters

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A momma goose sitting on a nest on a sandbar in a creek flowing the through the grounds of Philbrook Museum of Art. Her mate was busy chasing people away, including us.

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A little chubby squirrel snacking on the grounds of Philbrook.

Another squirrel perturbed by us sitting out on our patio.

Kodi the Pomeranian loves laying out in the sun.

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A grackle getting a drink.

Kodi loves finding sticks. He exchanges them for a treat. Is that a spoiled brat looking face or what!

Lizzy the Cat gets kind of talkative every now and then. Critters are a hoot.

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Another Lego critter from our trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden. This one is a dodo bird. Which is extinct.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters. Check it out!!

Working and Enjoying

I have been busy. I love being busy. Especially being retired and doing the things I want to do.

I went out to Turkey Mountain and checked out the new board walk they installed over the western rock faces of the mountain. This is an area called Rock City and I love how they put the walk right in and over the boulders using cedar that was cut on the mountain.

It is a small network of new trails interconnecting with two trails, one on top of the rock faces and one below. I bet it would be fun on a bicycle. It looks like they put a mesh on top of the cedar to add a little traction for the bikes. You slip off the wood on a bike it would ruin your whole day. Me and gravity are not friends these days so I will never take my bike across this.

I ventured back to the parking lot on the Tiger Muffin trail. It’s the trail name for a friend of mine.

Last Saturday I put my cold weather gear on and joined a bunch of people from the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and Bike Club to clean up a trail called Mooser Creek Greenway. It had a lot of tree falls from Tulsa’s Father’s Day windstorm last year. The trails were cleared back then but a lot of the downed were a little unsightly. Plus there is a never ending chore of repairing erosion and wet spots on trails.

So I helped clear the limbs and trunks that were being cut up by people with chain saws.

I love the trail work days. Tulsa really responds to stuff like that and all sorts of people show up to help. I got a promotion with the Wilderness Coalition. I am now the Vice President of Government Affairs. My trail job didn’t change much. Moving limbs and cut up trunks off the trail is what I do along with whatever else needs doing.

Later that day Heather and I went out to the Tulsa Botanic Garden to check out the flowers and new projects.

They have added an event space in the middle of the pond. They are also converting some wild land they had into an arboretum. They have done a good job adding onto the gardens and it is getting more and more settled as time goes on.

The tulips put on a quite a show. Last year when we went some deer had gone into the gardens ate a bunch of the tulips and other plants.

They also had Lego animals scattered around the garden. I love this woodpecker.

And I always love redbuds. The Eastern Redbud is the State Tree of Oklahoma.

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The Daffodils were putting on a show even though their time is short.

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This was my favorite tulip. It looked black in the sun but is actually a deep purple. This one is the only one I spotted.

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And to end up, we had an almost full moon the other day. I captured the image in the late afternoon so it was almost a daytime moon. I love the moon in all its presentations but I especially love a good daytime moon.

So what have you been up to?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World.

Botanic Garden Shadows

My wife and I visited the Tulsa Botanic Garden Saturday to check out the tulips and other flowers and plants. I saw lots of those and also a few shadows.

I thought these bright containers and colorful tulips contrasted nicely with the shadows created by the steps and the handrail.

The garden has an exhibit of life sized animals made out of Legos. I thought this placement of the Lego coyote in the shadows was perfect.

On the deck at reception building I loved this complex pattern of shadows.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Saturday’s Critters – Late March 2024 Edition

My wife and I were taking our dog for a walk the other day and we came upon this guy/gal. INaturalist says it is a Ruddy Shelduck. It had three friends nearby and they had a very cool vocalization that I did not capture. I come to find out that a neighboring subdivision owns them and they escape quite frequently.

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My wife put up bird feeders and the grackles really appreciate it. Talk about loud and noisy though.

Lizzy gave me a big yawn when I was trying to get a portrait.

Skinnery Oak Bobwhite Sculpture

Here is a sculpture at a nearby park of a dog flushing some bobwhite quail.

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We visited Tulsa’s Botanic Gardens today and in addition to the beautiful flowers, shrubs, and other plantings they had an exhibit of animals made out of Legos by an artist. This is a spiny anteater.

That’s a wrap for this week. I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Check it out.

Skywatch Friday – The Other Side of Geocaching

I love geocaching. If you don’t know what that is, it’s an online game that you play in the physical world. People hide containers (geocaches) out in the world and then input the gps coordinates online (at geoaching.com) and then others go and look for them and record their success or failure online at the same web site. Most people use an app on their smart phone to play these days. (A better explanation is by geocaching.com at this link.) Over the years I have found almost 2200 caches and hidden about 30 or so. Only three are still active.

Loading the caches

There are ethics to geocaching that you take care of the caches you hide. If they go missing or get damaged or something changes in any way then the expectation is that the owner of the cache needs to replace or repair, or disable it so other people don’t waste their time looking for it. I had two caches that had gone missing so I set about replacing them. The caches are in remote areas and I like to make them easy to find. Also, the expectation is on longer caches is that there be trade items. Mainly they are there for people who bring their kids with them. The idea is that you can take a toy or item from a cache if you have something equal or better to trade.

The first cache I replaced is in a patch of urban woods at the junction of three freeways in Tulsa. It is in a floodplain and hardly anybody would just go there for recreation. So you can get close on a bike trail.

And then you have to duck under one of the freeways and head to the woods.

I put it several feet above the ground. The area floods a lot so there is no use hiding it on the ground plus I like to people to find my caches so I made it kind of obvious.

So I took a different route back to my car. That was interesting. It wasn’t the terrain I though it was going to be. I went close to several homeless encampments and the back property of several businesses and it wasn’t much fun in terms of a hike but it was interesting. The thing is I hate going out and back on the same route. I like loops so I made a loop.

The prettiest part of the hike!

The next cache was on Turkey Mountain. I use the Turkey Mountain parking lots it is 2.5 miles to the cache site. I was in a hurry so I parked at the YMCA adjoining the Turkey Mountain. I’m a member so I just checked in at the office and used the Y’s trails, which interconnect with Turkey Mountain’s trails and saved my a lot of time.

I love trail bridges!!

Here is a view of the Y from across their lake (on Turkey Mountain, ponds are called lakes for some reason. Probably because they named a hill, Turkey Mountain.)

And here is the sign, 2.5 miles to the other parking lot. So I got kind of an express pass.

So is the general location of the cache site. This is the Rock City area of Turkey Mountain. I hid the cache a lot better than I did the other one because there all sorts of bikers and hikers on trails on both sides of the cache. Years ago I hid the cache in amongst those rocks. Bad idea. Nobody could find it and nobody wanted to because they were afraid of snakes. I am afraid of snakes too!! Plus when I did look for it I never could find it. So I would hide another one. That is great except somebody say, “Hey I found two caches close together. Which one is the right one?” That’s embarrassing. So I started hiding it close to the same location but not in the rocks.

This cache is a lot more fun and interesting place to go hiking than the other place.

So I got them both replaced the same day. Lot of fun!! And you can tell that on this second hike, I made a double loop out of it.

I am linking this post with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World. Go check both links out.

ShadowShot Sunday – Spring Shadows

Here is Heather and I taking the dog for a walk. I love shadow selfies. I look so skinny and you can’t tell my hair is almost gone. It does look like I am missing arms though.

When I was out on my daffodil photo expedition I noticed clump of flowers cast a pretty good shadow.

For more Shadows check out Lisa’s Shadow Shot Sunday