Author Archives: Alan Bates

Caturday in Tulsa

Meet Lizzie, our chunky cat

And LJ, Lizzies elderly brother. We are temporarily without dogs but we are getting one mid December. Son Logan said that we need to “restore the natural order of things.” He thinks the cats are getting way to comfortable without a dog to keep them in line.

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

A Walk Along the River in Tulsa

The other day I went on a geocaching hunt on the Arkansas River. The hunt was fun but I really loved the walk even more.

It was very chilly, windy, and sunny. The sun was getting low and I loved the light on the trees and leaves against the clean blue sky.

It was magical.

So I took my time.

At one point I could look all the way down the river to downtown Tulsa.

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A closeup.

Back to the sunlight and trees.

What a nice break in the afternoon! Tulsa has lots of nice winter days like this. Of course Winter is 35 days or so away.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!

2022 Dia de Los Muertos Art Festival at Living Arts Tulsa

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Living Arts hosts normally hosts at Dia de los Muertos Arts Festival during or close to the holiday of November 1 and 2. Of course, nothing since 2020 has been normal. This year I wasn’t able to attend the festival which includes art and performances and food because of the weather but I did make it to the gallery to see the Ofrendas or altars to the dead.

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I love the ofrendas. They are made to honor the dead. They have a lot of symbolism in terms of the colors and decorations used. Here is a great article about the symbolism. Many of the altars adhere to the pattern others do not so much.

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I look at them as stories of a person’s life as told by the loved ones. Religious faith, professions, hobbies, loved ones, favorite foods, sports teams, and other facets of a person’s life is displayed. Obviously almost all of these people were much loved when they were alive.

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So I try to never miss these. They are wonderful works of art with meaning.

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This ofrenda was finished off by sand on the floor below with a beach scene. That could be mine, or a small trail in the woods.

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Some ofrendas were communal such as this one offered up students at a local school or who made painted rocks in memory of a loved one of theirs that they had lost.

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Dallas Cowboys merchandise was displayed on three of the altars. If somebody makes me an altar, they could add that.

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Outside, there are murals in honor of deceased people.

RIP Frida Kahlo, what an amazing artist.

Have you thought about an altar for somebody. I have. I think it would be interesting and emotional coming up with a design and gathering the various elements and then putting it together. I think it is good to remember people. I am not one who wants to get rid of reminders of people. Yes, sure that can be sad, but what about all the happy memories?

I am linking with My Corner of the World. Go check it out.

Woolaroc’s Bison

Not much in the way of wildlife lately so I am posting some photos from years ago from a trip to Woolaroc about an hour north of Tulsa. Woolaroc is Frank Phillips’ ranch near Bartlesvville. Phillips is the guy that started Phillips 66 Oil Company and he donated his ranch and art museum years ago to a private foundation that now runs it and is open to the public.

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There is a nature preserve there that visitors can drive through. Bison, various breeds of deer and other animals can be seen.

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Woolaroc comes from “Woods, Lakes, and Rocks” and that pretty much describes the property.

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I’ve always enjoyed visiting Woolaroc. They have a great art museum and several trails to explore, a petting zoo and lots more.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters

2022 Tulsa Veterans Day Parade

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We had a big Veterans Day Parade in Tulsa today. First one I have been to in a while what with being retired and Covid and all that mess. It lasted a long time. In Tulsa we love our Vets and we show up for them. We had several color guards for instance.

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The motorcycle cops did some fancy riding and looking all intimidating and such.

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I guessed that these are reservists or something.

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My employer sponsored the race and a bunch the employees marched.

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There were dogs.

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These planes did multiple flyovers.

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There were vets in trailers.

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And vets on trucks.

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We had guys in kilts.

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And high school JROTC cadets looking sharp.

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Lots of vintage cars.

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One guy brought his personal tank.

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A couple celebrity storm trackers showed up. They got more decals than NASCAR racers.

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And high school marching bands with baton twirlers showing their stuff.

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And Firemen!!

It was quite a show. For the vets.

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My brother was in the Navy a long time, now retired.

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My Dad was in the US Army during the occupation of Japan after World War II. He’s no longer with us but I think of him every single day. He was proud of his service. Dad’s grandfather served in the Army during the Spanish American War and Dad has a brother, my uncle, who was an officer in Navy. I have a cousin who served in the Army in Korea way back when.

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My brother-in-law Irvin is an Army vet. He and my sister and their kids lived all over the place during his service. That is the thing about having a family and being in the military. They serve as well. Irv has a grandson and a son-in-law currently serving.

To all our vets, we salute you and appreciate your service.

Skywatch Friday – Mid November Edition 2022

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It looked like a nice sky was possible at dusk the other day so I launched the drone and captured this image. Looking west from south Tulsa.

I went and voted Tuesday morning along with millions of fellow citizens. The highlight was a lady come in to vote. She was 100 years old and very spry. She said Truman was the first President she ever voted for. I loved it. Saw this tree just off the parking lot of my polling place.

I love the trees at Tulsa’s Lafortune Park.

A view from the Ridge Trail on Turkey Mountain looking east out over the Arkansas River and south Tulsa.

A rainbow in our neighborhood.

Some fall color in my mother-in-law’s neighborhood.

And now an image generated by Artificial Intelligence based on the text string I inputted which is below the image. Go generate your images for free at freeimagegenerator.com.

AI mountain lake with fall colors
“mountain lake in the fall with trees fall colors photorealistic”

I’m still trying to decide whether I like AI images or not.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in the fun.

Backyard Bonanza 5K, 12.5K, and 25K Trail Races.

This past Sunday a bunch of trailrunners and walkers congregated at the Herman and Kaiser YMCA on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain to run the Backyard Bonanza series of races (5K, 12.5K, and 25K). It kind of takes the place of the old Turkey n Taturs races that took place at the Y a few years ago. This race was created and operated by RunnersWorld Racing. Runners World was involved in the Turkey n Tatur Races as well. This is not the biggest race in town but it is lots of fun. I think this is the second year of the race and I think they had a 30% growth in participants from last year. It takes time to build up a race.

Just as I got there, the 12.5K and 25K contestants were were getting pre-race instructions. Pretty simple really, follow the pink ribbons, don’t cross the yellow ribbons, be nice to other people on the mountain cuz the course is still open to the public, have fun. With the Turkey n Taturs races I did the 8K a bunch of times and the 25K once. I have also cooked hamburgers maybe three times, and helped out at the aid station once or twice. This year I did the 5K event.

So stationed myself at the first turn of the race and got a video of the “peloton” of runners/walkers. And then I waited a half hour or so for the 5K to start.

I started at the back of the pack as usual and pretty much just power walked up the hills on the outward bound part of the course. We ran legacy trails on this segment, pretty hard up and downs.

And then things flattened out a little bit and I found I could trot pretty well without much difficulty. I can’t tell how long it has been since I could run.

We ran on a segment of new trail that was unfamiliar to me. I could have sworn that I have been on all the new trails except the downhill bicycle only Zingo but I was wrong. Not the first time I’ve been wrong.

We ran into what I call the cloverleaf. It is kind of a mix master where you end up running in a bunch of different directions. If you scroll down you will see it on the route maps at the lower left hand (southwest corner of the maps). Still flat and I was still trotting. I ended up doing negative splits and the final mile was 15 minutes, 30 seconds which is close to my “peak” when I ran a lot.

So at the finish, they had bottle openers instead of medals. Suited me fine. Medals have taken over the races and lots of people covet them.

They also had freshly made pancakes. Sign me up for a pancake anytime. They had pumpkin butter to put on them in addition to syrup. That was delicious.

And finished off with a silver bullet on the terrace of the Lodge. The Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA is deluxe. The powers that be had been gathering donations for some time and when they had to shut down for covid they hired some contractors and got to work and they had a brand new facility when the reopened. In fact they had a race on opening day in June, 2021 and I participated in it.

And of course the tee shirt was deluxe.

I ended up winning my age group!! So that was nice even though I was the only one in my age group.

So this race was the whole package. I’ll be back!

Facility 5 stars (out of 5)
Course 5 stars
Markings 5 stars
Food and Drink 5 stars
TShirt 5 stars
Fellow contestants 5 stars
Awards 5 stars

As you can tell I liked the race.

Gulf Coast Beach Wildlife

I’m running late on all my posts. Life has been busy lately which is a great thing!! I’m not a fan of being busy busy busy but I am a fan of enjoying life and spending time outdoors instead of glued to a computer. So these are wildlife pics from our trip to Orange Beach, Alabama a few weeks

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We saw several great blue herons. This one started out on the beach in front of our condo and it slowly walked to the barrier dune in front of our condo. It looked like he was following a lizard or something. We thought he was going to dart down and grab the lizard and eat but he never did. He flew down the beach after a while. We have these herons in Oklahoma and they hardly ever move a muscle unless they are spooked off. (By the way, if I miss an ID feel free to let me know. I welcome corrections.)

This is a different heron hanging out by the beach. We encountered standing next to somebody surf fishing. One guy said that the bird was his best buddy. Waiting for a treat.

This guy/gal was hunkered down in the grass at a state park.

Even in October, there were lots of sea gulls.

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I’m not sure what this one is but there were lots of them as well, and other birds.

One day we ventured off to Pensacola and walked on the pier. There was this brown pelican there. I think it is a teenager as it was kind of small and some downy feathers. It didn’t move much. A couple of nearby fishermen would toss it something every now and then.

We had a great time on the beach. We had enough warm weather for four days of laying on the beach and we found something to do the other days. We love talking walks on the beach and we did plenty of that.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out. Lots of good photobloggers link up there.

Shadowy Bleachers

I went for a little hike the other day at a local park. I noticed a little used trail and decided to see where it went. It turns out that it went to some property owned by a local private school. The property was not posted and there were no students or anybody else out and about so I explored some more and found their football field. You can tell it is not a big school. It is a school with a very good reputation. I’ve met the headmaster and he is a fellow geocacher.

Have you been exploring lately?

I’m linking up with Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Check it out, join in!!