Saturday’s Critters – 2 March 2024 Edition

Heather, my wife, was gone for an evening and our little pomeranian Kodi got so lonely he decided he would sit with me. That hardly ever happens. He loves to play with me but gets grumpy if I try and do anything else like pick him up.

We had a really nice, warm, sunny day. Kodi went outside and just basked in the sunshine. He’s generally here, there, and everywhere but he was happy in the moment in the sun.

A walk in the neighborhood park gave us this great blue heron fishing in the creek.

On my walk around Lafortune Park found this guy and his girlfriend.

Also came across Mother Goose. Behind her you can see Alice and Peter Rabbit.

Here is a closeup of them.

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I also found these feeding geese in a backwater of the Arkansas River on a recent bike ride.

I put my trailcam in the backyard again. I activated video. Stills are fine and are easier to edit but I like seeing the critters move. Here is a bird in the middle of the night.

That’s all my recent critter sitings. I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Snow Moon and More

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The latest full moon, yep, I amped it up too much so it is a little grainy. My bad. I like it though.

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I never get tired of Tulsa’s downtown skyline, as humble as it is.

I never get tired of seeing the flag wave in a stiff breeze. I think everybody should be proud of their country. Since I started tracking it, people from 152 countries have visited my humble blog. I wish them all well.

A local Pony League baseball field. Baseball is right around the corner!!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Turkey Mountain Work Day

A bunch of people got up early last Sunday morning and headed out to Tulsa Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness for a Work Day. I’m a member of the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the organizer of the event. Lots of people from the community joined in. Notice the camera lady interviewing the President of TUWC? Check this link on the coverage they provided of the event.

It was a perfect storm of great weather and great publicity. Also, there was a promised pancake breakfast. All told about 70 or so people showed up to work on a variety of project. Everything from picking up litter and lopping trees and brush on the trails to some heavy duty trail armoring involving moving heavy rocks (100 pounds or so) to help with erosion control. There were also fence building projects to separate hikers from the downhill bicycle trails, and other erosion control projects.

The various projects were described and people gathered around the designated project leads for what they wanted to do. All tools and equipment are provided. We ask participants to bring gloves, water, and appropriate clothing. I was the designated lead for those who wanted to pick up litter and clear limbs. I ended up with about ten or so people of all ages, including some Boy Scouts and their moms and a dad. So we got our garbage bags and loppers and off we went to clear out the Snake Trail.

It took us about two hours to work on the two miles of designated trails. Everybody stayed with it very well.

I had another event to go to so I didn’t get to participate in the pancake breakfast but from all reports it was a success. I think everyone involved enjoyed the event and they really did some good. Check out the TUWC facebook page for over a hundred other photographs and some more descriptions of the work that was done.

I am linking with My Corner of the World

Saturday’s Critters – Geese and More

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I took a bike ride along the Arkansas River and found these geese swimming in a backwater of the river.

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I took a walk at Tulsa’s Lafortune Park and found these two geese grazing.

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And on the other side of the park I saw these geese resting.

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And this mallard duck paddling around.

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A dove sitting on a fence at the park. Dove are the ideal critter models. They generally stay put if you don’t get too close.

And a moose sculpture near a pond.

And not too far away, this sculpture of a mother bison with a red dog (bison calf) stay on her heels.

I’m linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters.

Skywatch Friday – Geocaching Adventure at Lake Bixhoma

Lake Bixhoma is a water supply lake for the Tulsa suburb of Bixby. It is known for its clean water and protection from wind since it is surrounded on three sides by hills. It has a few hiking trails that are known for being kind of tough plus they have all sorts of venomous snakes there. I’ve been lucky and never seen one except for a water snake last year. The place also has a geocache that has not been found in four years. So I wanted to do two things. Find the cache and hike completely around the lake which I have never done before. I also wanted to lessen the chances of serpent encounter by doing the hike while the snakes were still in brumation (the snake form of hibernation.)

So I started off at the beginning. I couldn’t make heads nor tails of this map at the time. All I wanted to do was avoid the “snake farm” indicated on the upper part of the map. Off I went. You don’t really need a map. Just keep the lake in sight and you’ll be okay. That turned out not to be totally true.

The trail is a mix of old road, nice single track and some pretty technical rocky sections.

Old Picnic Pavillion

They used to have a road that went deeper into the park and had picnic pavilions, restrooms and such. These are now abandoned.

Old Model T Axle

There is evidence of old farms and houses here. I’m told that this is a model T axle. How it got there, I don’t know.

There is a little creek flowing into the lake.

Woman Crossing Creek

Last year I came looking for the cache and turned back at this creek crossing. I had my good camera with me and no walking stick. So I didn’t want to take a tumble into the water. This year I came upon a young woman who had two dogs on leash who was considering the crossing and went ahead and did it even though the dogs were pulling here pretty hard. I said, okay if she can do it I can so I got across with dry feet.

Soon after crossing I started deadheading to the cache. No trail so I was going around thorns and such. Found me this old turtle shell.

And a skull of some unlucky critter.

I got to ground zero which was almost on the lake. It looks like one could take a kayak almost all the way there. In fact almost all the previous finders used a kayak but had to beach it in marshy areas and get all muddy coming in.

I looked for the cache for an hour. I was envisioning something big like an ammo box. I was convinced that the cache had gone missing. “Muggled” they say in the geocaching world. I looked for it for an hour or so and couldn’t find it. I had marked ground zero with my blue water bottle and when I gave up looking for the cache well then I couldn’t find my bottle. So I had to hunt for the water bottle and when I found it, I saw the cache. Which is why I marked the zero point with my bottle. I could have saved an hour, oh well.

The thing is that the cache container’s top had been chewed by some critter and the container was level full of water. So I obviously could not sign the log. I’m still claiming it! I logged the find online and cache owner got back with me and said that they would replace the container.

So then I hiked out. Since I wanted to circumnavigate the lake I had to take the long way out. It was a mile and a half to the cache site and I hike almost two and a half miles to get back out. A good time was had by all is my motto.

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

Shadow Shot Sunday – Valentines Shadows and More

On Valentine’s Day my bride, Heather, and I visited the Philbrook Museum here in Tulsa. I found this shadow outside. It reminded me of a carpet runner.

And then here is me casting my shadow on another set of stairs.

We warmed up briefly here in Oklahoma and I declared it to be the year’s first shorts day. I went to Ray Harral Nature Center and captured this shadow on their revamped hiking trail bridge.

Toward the end of my outing the I found this scene where the pine tree crown is in the sun while the bottom of the trees are getting shadowed by the declining sun.

I’m linking with Lisa’s Shadow Shot Sunday. Check it out.

Saturday’s Critters – Squirrels, Bugs, and a Dog

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My wife and I went to Philbrook Museum on Valentine’s Day and found this valentine’s squirrel out and about.

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I took my “good” camera to Ray Harral Nature Center. I saw all sorts of birds and squirrels but the brush was so thick I couldn’t get a decent photo of anything, but I got this body shot of a squirrel with no head.

And they had a nice bug hotel. Does that count?

Kodi the Pomeranian and I are getting along a little bit better.

He had the zoomies the other day in the back yard and was quite playful.

I’m linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Still Looking Up!

Things change fast around here in northeast Oklahoma. Just a few days ago it was freezing and we had snow on the ground.

And then it warmed up! Way past my sweet spot. My sweet spot in the winter is in the 40’s. It keeps the snakes brumating and the ticks and chiggers at bay.

So it has been pleasant the past few days.

On Valentines Day Heather and I spent the afternoon together. We toured Philbrook Museums galleries and gardens, lunched at the tony Utica Square shopping center and then shopped at Trader Joe’s.

Today, son Logan and I hiked two miles and change on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. It was glorious.

I saw this strange double bent tree. My bet is that it is haunted. Turkey Mountain has a long history of outlaws, moonshiners, fourtune hunters, drug labbers, railroaders, ranchers, and worst of all oilfield workers (aka oilfield trash.) So yeah, there is a lot of haunting going on.

They are busy at even more things to play on the mountain. We chatted with the guy building this thing. He and his 87 year grandfather are working on it. It’s going to be for mountain bikers. It looks like a crappy way to die to me.

So that is it for this week. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

My Corner of the World – Making the World Smaller

Sometimes I think I do too much social media type stuff. One of the things I do is PostCrossing. It’s a site where people from all over the world exchange post cards. If you send a card to somebody, then somebody else sends you card. I have exchanged 321 cards over the years with people from 49 countries. Most exchangers are perfunctory but I always check and see what their interests are and if they are on social media. So far I’ve added a few people that way on instagram and found a few geocachers.

You can request what kind of cards you want and I say I like art so I get quite a few cards showing photographs of art works from all over the world. I got a card from somebody from the Ukraine with the above image on it. The back of the card said “I want to introduce you to the Belarusian artist Leonid Afremov… He lived in in Mexico and the USA for many years.” My interest was piqued because here is a guy from Belarus painting a bull fighting scene. I googled Leonid Afremov and sure enough he was an artist who lived in the USA for several years and then moved to Play Carmen, Mexico and then died there.

His family still runs his studio and offers his art up for sale on the internet. I love his style to extravagant and colorful and the prices are reasonable. Go check it out.

The bad part of social media is the creeps you end up running into. The good part is how you can learn things about people from one to one interactions. I have online friends all over the world and I value them tremendously. I hardly ever get the opportunity to meet one in real life.

I’m linking up with My Corner of the World.