Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

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!

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.

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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!!

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!!

Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain Hike

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The other day I went to my yoga class and decided that I wanted to go hiking or walking so I went to Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa.

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I parked in the lower lot, which I hardly ever do, and took the Red Trail which is kind of short. It has been a long time I have been on it. I was looking for just two miles or so. It was hot and humid.

About a quarter mile in on the trail I came across this electric cord strung across the trail. I have no idea why it was there. I hope somebody wasn’t trying to injure somebody. It was too high for a runner or walker but somebody on a horse could be injured or a bicyclist maybe sitting up. So I sent in the lat langs and the photo to the RiverParks office for them to take a look at it. I didn’t have any way of cutting it down. I have no idea why anybody would do such a dangerous thing.

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At the bottom of the Red Trail it was pretty muddy.

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And then you finish the Red Trail by going up to the parking lot on the paved trail. That was only about a mile so I wanted one more so I headed out on the Yellow Trail to get some extra distance.

RiverParks has put in a new selfie station on the trail. So here I am. Older, fatter, balder, and dumber than the last time you saw me.

I went out on an overlook I had never been on before and explored briefly a couple trails I had never been on. I could have sworn I have been on them all.

So here are my wibbly wobbly wanderings. No, I was not drunk!! I was pretty sweaty.

And from an earlier evening, a drone shot of the sunset from about 30 meters over our back yard.

And a morning skywatch shot from ground level.

And from three years ago plus or minus. A drilling rig in the STACK play of Oklahoma. The fracking vendor was setting up his frack tanks and positioning the pumps in preparation of fracking the well. You can see the green pipes laying on the ground. The gas gatherer is building their pipeline to the well pad. The well is fracked over a day or so and then they flow the water back from the well into tanks and then the gatherer takes the gas as soon as it is available. If the gatherer is a day late, the economic loss is permanent because you can’t flow twice as much the next day. So lots of pressure to get the timing right right on everything. Despite all that it was a pretty summer day in Oklahoma with beautiful clouds.

I hope that everybody is having a good week.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday – Road Trip to Osage County

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Tuesday, I didn’t have anything going on and son, Logan, didn’t have school or work so we decided to head up to the little city of Pawhuska in Osage County about an hour northwest of Tulsa.

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Martin Scorsese is filming “Killers of the Flower Moon” in Pawhuska. We were able to get some glimpses of the set. They have taken a big part of downtown and transformed it back to the early 20th century by putting dirt down on top of the asphalt and redoing the fronts of many buildings. The movie people have taken over the whole town with all their trailers and equipment. It is very interesting. The movie is being directed by Martin Scorsese and is starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

The movie is based on a non-fiction book that describes how Osage Indians were systematically murdered in the early twentieth century for their money. It was the first case that the newly created FBI worked on. It is a great read.

After checking out the movie guys and gals, Logan and I went to Pawhuska’s swinging bridge across bird creek. It is pretty bouncy but I felt safe on it. It bounces more than it swings.

And great photos of the sky over the muddy Bird Creek.

And then we decided to head out of town to check out Blue Stem Falls. I had to stop and get photos on the way. Osage County is beautiful.

But just short of our destination the road was overrun with water. Turn around, don’t drown is my motto. So we’ll check it out next time.

And I saw this sign. I asked Logan if he had news for me and his mother.

Price Tower

We went back to Tulsa via Bartlesville. Home of the Price Tower. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only high rise he designed that actually got built. The 19 floors are cantilevered from a central core which gave Wright the opportunity to use lots of glass on the exterior walls since they had no structural function. The structure now houses a hotel, restaurant, and an arts center. I think it is the coolest high rise in Oklahoma.

And Route 66 doesn’t go through Bartlesville but it is home to Phillips 66 who has this big 66 just waiting for me to use it in honor of me being 66 years old this year.

And then after some barbecue in Bartlesville we headed home. Still had big skies but the threatened rain didn’t happen.

And that evening we had a pretty cool sunset which I captured with my drone.

And so we had a pretty cool time. I’m linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out. I’m also linking with Skyview!

First Skywatch of Summer 2021

Geese

Went for a walk at Lafortune Park here in Tulsa. I saw all these geese including some youngins’ coming out of the pond in a single file line. As I got closer they saw me and broke rank. I messed up the whole shot all by myself.

This was Fathers Day last Sunday with Heather, my wife. I am 66 years old this year so I am trying to get as many Route 66 icons in my posts as I can. This is Buck Atoms on Route 66 just east of downtown Tulsa. I had a blessed Fathers Day. Cards and gifts from Heather and son as well as from my MIL. Son had an online Spanish class test so he was tied up most of the day Sunday. I’m blessed and thankful to have him for my son. It’s been quite a summer with the intensive summer school plus working at Lowes Hardware quite a bit.

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He’s a great kid even if dislikes geocaching. Shows how smart he is maybe.

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This is four years ago at Orange Beach, Alabama, our favorite vacation spot. We didn’t get a vacation last year for obvious reasons. Maybe later this year.

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I love cow pics. This is a bunch of Angus cattle at my wife’s cousin’s ranch in western Oklahoma. They look like they want to know what is going on. No, they didn’t really want to know. Cows don’t die of old age on a working cattle ranch if you get my drift.

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

Skywatch Friday – Electric Lights!

Arkansas River Reflections

Our skies have gone from looking like this every day.

To about as blue as you can get. I’ve taken a couple of bike rides and they have been grueling in the heat.

Flag Day

Even on Flag Day. Not too many people celebrate Flag Day any longer.

While going to the library the other day I checked out this installation nearby.

I love fun stuff like this.

I don’t know who made or who paid for it but I’ll take it.

And a shot from the past,

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From the past!! This is (was) the the River West Amphitheater on the west bank of the Arkansas River in Tulsa. Back in the day there were all sorts of concerts, local and touring bands and orchestras, rock, country, anything. It is now all gone. I never saw an event there but the performers were on this stage out floating in the water and everybody else was on the bank. I took lots of photos of it on my after work runs.

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The American Dream at Oxley Nature Center

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Sunday morning I was wanting to get out of the house so I enlisted son Logan to go with me to Oxley Nature Center for a hike. I ran a trail race the previous day so I didn’t want anything that that had hills or rocks, just some nice flat trails through the woods.

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And some nice skies and open prairie.

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We came across some art installations using marigiold blooms. “The American Dream” by Sarah Ahmad. We only saw a few the installations. It was very muddy and the mosquitoes were out in force so we left after just a couple miles.

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An American Dream is part of the Greenwood Art Project which was part of the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 where a white mob, many of the deputized by law enforcement, burned the mainly black Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood, to the ground, killing several hundred residents while doing so. There is lots of places to learn about the event and aftermath, the History Channel has a really good summary.

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The story of the Massacre and the aftermath, and the ongoing injustice, is so big, outrageous, and so complicated that I can’t really deal with it except by looking at small parts of it at a time.

The installations all have a Biblical theme apparently. I am not the Bible scholar that I should be so I didn’t catch the references. This installation nestled in the plants at the edge of a lake brings to mine the story of baby Moses in the reeds as told in the Book of Exodus.

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In addition to the art, Oxley still has its timeless beauty. It doesn’t get as many visitors as other places in town, which is fine by me.

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I plan to make it back to see the other pieces in the installation, if the rains hold off.

Later on Sunday, Heather and I went to visit one of our favorite breweries and I snapped this photo of a big cloud to the south.

Scared me so much I took Heather’s beer as well as mine. I kind of like this photo. Makes me look skinny, kind of, and it doesn’t show all my double and triple chins. You don’t need to tell me to slow down on the beer drinking and all those chins would go away on their own, I already know that.

And still later, we had a nice sunset and I launched the drone. I have a watch that tells me when sunset is and so I go out and check the sky and if it looks promising I put the drone back together and launch it. I’m still at a max of a hundred meters. We are in the flight path of the Tulsa Airport and the FAA will only let me get up to 150 meters. It’s amazing cuz they are not on the honor system. My drone’s electronics will physically not let the drone exceed that height.

When Joe Biden came to Tulsa a few days ago to speak about the Massacre, the FAA grounded everything all day long. My drone would not get off the ground. I think it is sad that they have to do that but all it takes is one bozo who don’t think the rules apply to them and a tragedy may occur.

Oh well, this is all I have for Skywatch this week folks. Everybody please be safe!!

Skywatch Friday – Hello June

This is the sunset on Wednesday evening. Looking west from south Tulsa.

And this was the reverse sunset, looking just north of east. I’m getting braver with my drone. I’ve inched it up to 75 meters. The controls act a little delayed and the video feed gets pixelated. Next I’m going to 100 meters.

Here’s the backyard from 75 meters. It is way down there!!

Broken Arrow Museum Mural

The Tulsa area is exploding with murals. This is a new one still being painted in the suburb of Broken Arrow.

Son Logan is home and taking summer school online.

This is the boathouse at the Gathering Place in Tulsa. Yep, I used an app to filter the photo.

This isn’t my photo. It was taken by a friend of mine working in the Bakken Field in North Dakota. This is a natural gas processing plant used to separate propane, butane, natural gasoline from wellhead natural gas. The plants are technological marvels.

This same friend took this photo of a rainbow over the plant. I hope you are not offended. All sorts of nice people work in the oil and gas industry.

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Up Periscope!

Sunset over Tulsa 2_HDR

We are having some great sunsets the past few days. We get a little bit of rain sometime during the day and then the remaining clouds reflect the setting sun perfectly. I am launching my drone from my back yard straight up to about 150 feet and pointing it west. It is about the same height as when I worked in downtown Tulsa in a high rise with a window looking west. The DJI Mavic Mini drone that I have has a gps that holds the craft in place. If the wind is too much too hold it sends an alarm and I will lower it a little bit.

This is our back yard at about 150 feet up.

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This is quite a bit lower. I liked the reflections in our neighbor’s pool.

I hope that everybody has a great holiday weekend. I’m retired so they are all holiday weekends for me..

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the fun!!