Skywatch Friday – Running Through the Woods

I went on a recently on Turkey Mountain. It was morning but it was hot but the trails were shady.

I was also looking for a geocache. I thought it was below the above ledge so I climbed down below and nope, there is another ledge further down and I needed to get below that. It was too hot and sticky so, as we say in the energy biz, I temporarily abandoned that project for a day when I feel better. Getting down ledges is easy, getting back up is sometimes harder. Further south there is a trail I could descent to and walk out. So I’ll finish this on another day.

It was still morning as I made my way back and the morning sun was making the leaves glow green. It kind of reminded me of a stained glass window except it was bright green. It has been wet this summer and the leaves and grass still have that fresh green look to them.

Went by Wagon Wheel Lake and it was full and overflowing. I have seen it dry as a bone by this time some years.

Sky to the south one afternoon.

I’m still flying my drone. I am kind of boring. I send it straight up and rotate it. I don’t want to fly it over anybody’s property but mine. Most of the time I go to 50 meters. Doesn’t seem very high but I can hardly see it at that height. You don’t get much better views higher than that and I can maintain control of the aircraft. I went up to 75 meters and suddenly the controller said it had lost contact and was going to try and land the drone automatically. That was kind of panicy but the drone came on down and reestablished contact so I kept it up in the air.

Sky to the northwest another day.

So I am not too adventurous it. It costs too much money. I know guys who fly their across rivers and subdivisions and all that. Not me I am not flying it anywhere I can’t walk to it, legally. Plus if it fell it could hurt somebody and I would feel terrible. It is tiny, only 249 grams in weight but something like that falling from 100 feet would give somebody a headache or worse.

I am amazed by the device. It is a technological marvel. It can fly for thirty minutes, it takes great photos, and stays rock solid when you stop it due to its built in GPS. If I can fly it, anybody can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the party!

“Later” by Stephen King

Book Cover for "Later" by Stephen King

“Later” is one of Stephen King’s old school thriller, horror, books kind of based on cheap paperbacks. King can spin a yarn better than anybody in my opinion. We start out with kind of cute little boy who has this thing where he can talk with the recently dead.

So it starts out kind of cute and fluffy and as the novel progresses, the cute becomes less, and things get strange and then they get scary and all the sudden the novel hangs a hard left and sprouts knives, axes, teeth, and chainsaws and I swear it turns again right back at the reader. All before we know what is happening.

And after the story’s climax, King drops something else on us. Not a horror, but something else, just as horrible.

I finished it with like, what just happened here?

I strongly recommend this book. I got my copy at the library.

Our World – Hanging out in Okmulgee

Monday morning, I drove 43 miles south of Tulsa to the little burg of Okmulgee, Oklahoma in order to pursue my geocaching hobby. First up on the list is an Adventure Lab geocache at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Adventure Lab caches don’t involve finding a physical object, instead you have to navigate to various places and then answer questions about what you find. You use an app on your phone to navigate and it has technology that makes sure you are physically there where you say you are. It discourages “armchair geocachers.”

So it had me go all over the campus finding information. I learned that the campus started out as an Army Hospital during World War II and then later a hospital for German POWs. After the war the USA sold the campus to what is now Oklahoma State University for a dollar.

OSU loves the color orange, they put it on everything. Even their flowers are orange.

It is an applied technology school. You don’t go here to think the big thoughts. You go here to learn nursing, engine repair, cooking and a bunch of other fields. It has a 100% placement rate for their graduates.

This is a solar pond that helps reduce the campus heating and cooling costs. The water is circulated through a heat pump is how it works.

This is OSU’s mascot, Pistol Pete. He’s based on a real person, Frank Eaton. At eight years old, he witnessed his father’s murder by six vigilantes. Young Frank practiced shooting until he was fifteen years old and then spent the next six years hunting down and killing his father’s murderers. He later served as a US Marshall for Oklahoma under the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker. He became the mascot for OSU after he died in 1958. You can’t make this stuff up!! I love stories like this.

Nothing to do with the cache but this is the Natural Gas Compression Technology building. I spent about 40 years messing with natural gas compressors in various capacities. Compressors are what is used to move the natural gas all the way from the wellhead to industrial and home use. It is hard to get into this program. For years all of the graduates have had jobs before they graduate.

And then shifting gears to downtown Okmulgee. It was an oilfield boom town way back when and then went into a long slow decline as the production in the area waned. There is a new spirit in town. People are moving in buying and renovating the many beautiful old buildings that were decaying. They are also commissioning murals such as the one above by famed Native American Muralist, Yatika Starr Fields. The mural above may be the most beautiful mural I have ever seen, (and I have seen a lot of them.)

Even OSU Tech got in on the action converting the above building to an off campus dorm.

So with this cache I went to a lot different murals. It was fun.

With a Where I Go geocache, you eventually have to find a physical object and I did. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody but it is a nanocache which makes it tiny. Lots smaller than the tip of my pinkie fingers.

Anyway, a good morning. It took me a little more than an hour to log both caches and then headed home.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

To find out more about Geocaching

Shadow Shot Sunday – Small Town Downtown Shadows

Found a sculpture with its own bench in downtown Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The name of piece is “Infinity.”

Power pole shadows cast in a back alley in Broken Arrow.

And some planters cast a shadow in the morning.

I scared a baby cottontail in our back yard. It’s hiding in the shadows of a flower bed.

Visited some family in western Oklahoma. Went out into their yard in the morning and got this shadows of the fence.

And this morning back in our yard. The first rays of the sun hitting one of our plants.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday 2 by the Magical Mystery Teacher.

Skywatch Friday – Summertime non-Blues Edition

We’ve had some pretty good skies up until just very recently when the smoke from the forest fires in the west showed up and grayed or pinked everything out.

The morning that I took these pics, the air was cool and fresh, a front was blowing through. We live for such summer mornings here in Tulsa.

IMG_2665-adjust

A 5/8ths moon on a clear night a few days ago. Last night the moon was orange because of the haze.

Last weekend my wife and I visited some Parade of Homes houses. We love checking out the new styles. Here in Tulsa we are seeing a lot less brick and stacked rock on the outside and lots more stucco and squared off lines with dark trim. Times and styles change. I captured the above pic at a new subdivision. Pretty darn muddy.

This is a good place to get cleaned up. We like to look at the big expensive houses. It’s the only way we’ll get into one, legally. Wealthy people apparently like big bathrooms and I guess to save time they like to shower together. I hope they have a big water tank. Most likely they have a tankless water heater. We priced one as our old tank water heater has got some years on it and wow! They are expensive.

And here is a big tub with a built in diving platform. Careful!! The water is kind of shallow.

Here, you can belly flop off the vanity if you like. I like the frosted glass. This was a very light room. We see so many houses with big picture windows right over the tub. Kind of a waste. We have a big picture window over our tub. We installed blinds on that window and they have never been open. Nor will they be!! Ever!!

That’s enough foolishness for today I think. Everybody be safe out there! Oklahoma is now a top ten state in Covid cases per capita. We have only 40% of the population fully vaccinated. Fortunately the most vulnerable population, 65 and over, is about 80% vaccinated. Unfortunately ages 12 to 20 is only about 20% vaccinated. So we have a situation here. It’s frustrating because so many other countries do not have widespread access to a vaccine yet and so many people here disdain it. My wife and I, fully vaccinated, have started limiting again our exposure to indoor crowds and wear masks in indoor situations.

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

“Leave Only Footprints” by Conor Knighton

My son gave me Conor Knighton’sLeave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park” for Fathers Day and I just finished reading it.

It’s a cool book. Knighton, a correspondent for CBS News, went to all our National Parks in one year in 2016. I think there were 59 National Parks in 2016 and it looks like we are at 64 now. He starts out on New Year’s Day on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park where the sun first shines on the contiguous USA and ends at Point Reyes National Park on New Year’s Eve which is the last place the sun sets (on that date) on the contiguous USA.

In between he travels to all the other parks and has a little bit to say on each one of them. It’s more than just a listing of highlights. He talks about why he is going on this journey (spoiler, he got dumped by a woman) and his experiences. I found out we have a lot of parks that I have never heard of that are hard to get to and are not very “wired” although given the book was based on his 2016 experiences.

He also has something to say about the Parks not being very diverse in terms of their racial diversity and what is being done about that.

This was a surprising book and I loved it. I highly recommend it.

Our World – Tess 5K Trail Run on Turkey Mountain

Saturday I raced my second race since the pandemic started. It was the Tess 5K Trail Run. It was on Turkey Mountain and was a fund and awareness raiser for the Tristesse Grief Center a local Tulsa non-profit that provides grief services such as counseling. The event also included a 10K run.

I did the race with my race friend Paula. We basically walked it and trotted it when we found non-rocky relatively flat places which on Turkey Mountain are not many.

I told everybody that I finished first in my age group, and I did and I was also dead last of the 13 men who ran the race. I was there though and finished vertically.

Got this nice medal. Truth be told, I am not a fan of the medals. They don’t really fit into my wife’s decorating scheme for the house.

Here’s the route. We started at the south parking lot (bottom of page) and went straight up the mountain (hill really) and did a loop, and came back down. The course was marked enough to where we didn’t get lost. Apparently somebody on a bicycle messed up the markers for the 10K so it’s results were in chaos. I am not knocking cyclists. They way outnumber the trail runners when it comes to cleanup days at the local trails.

So a good time was had by all. We each got a beer to go with the medal so that was an unexpected bonus.

The event was a win/win/win.

Challenging well marked course, check!

Unflappable course timers, I got the wrong tag number but the timer guy figured it out quickly without a lot of drama, check!

Nice tee shirt, check!

Beer, check!

Friendly race director and well organized volunteers, check.

I had a good time, I will be back!!

Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Bike Ride at Oxley Nature Center and Mowhawk Park

Monday I loaded my bike up and headed to Oxley Nature Center and Mohawk Park which are located adjacent to each other in north Tulsa.

The Zoo is there also and it was a zoo both inside and outside the cages. Everybody in town was there. Hardly anybody was out on the roads and paved trails of Oxley and Mohawk.

Handmade Cloth Marigolds

I saw some of the installations for the The American Dream that I missed on my last outing here while hiking with Logan. The American Dream is part of the Greenwood Art Project that was held in conjunction of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Here is my post on my last visit. Check out the The American Dream site for more information on it.

This tent is part of the installation. It symbolizes the tents that the massacre survivors lived in after the homes were burned. Reportedly some of the survivors escaped the massacre by going to what is now Oxley.

The inside walls are covered with photographs from the Massacre. Most of the installations for this project at Oxley were vandalized just a few weeks ago. It’s unknown who did it.

But I was back on the quiet trails of Oxley. I saw four deer, a small green snake, and lots of birds and butterflies.

Here’s a track of my wibble wobbly route.

Back at home, I am still launching my drone from my backyard when the skies look interesting.

I caught a rain shower to the north on midafternoon.

Other things going on. Wife, Heather taught a cardio drumming class at our gym. It was a “pop-up” class. Everybody had a good time.

First Light on Backyard Flowers

The flowers are still growing. Here is a shot from early Wednesday morning catching the first light.

The grass is still growing. I turned on my Garmin GPS Sport Watch while mowing the yard so it tracked my movements. Our lot is about 1/6th of an acre, so very small and I walked about two miles. The grass was long and I cross hatched it so you can see that in the front yard (lower part of map). It also looks like I ventured into both of my neighbors houses. (I deny everything!)

Moon

I usually shoot full moons but we didn’t have one this week so here is a 1/8th moon. Sometimes we just have to go with what we are given!!

That’s about it for this week. I hope you are doing well and staying safe.

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

Our World – Idaho Falls, Idaho

The Snake River in Idaho Falls, Idaho

The Snake River as it passes through Idaho Falls, ID. A photo I took in 2016 and re-edited recently. The city has built very attractive trails on both sides of the river and that is where everybody goes on warm summer evenings, tourists staying at the nearby hotels, residents, runners, bicyclists. It is quite a gathering.

Our World Tuesday