The latest full moon, yep, I amped it up too much so it is a little grainy. My bad. I like it though.
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!!
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.
They used to have a road that went deeper into the park and had picnic pavilions, restrooms and such. These are now abandoned.
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.
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.
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.
Life sure is better when you can get outside and do things!
Launched my drone again from my back yard. I thought the sunset was going to be better than what it was. Better than nothing though.
I pointed the aircraft west and oriented the camera down a little bit and caught the west side of our neighborhood.
Son, Logan and I went for a hike on Turkey Mountain the other day. It was beautiful. We spent some time on the paved trail next to the Arkansas River.
We had a good time.
I went geocaching the other day. The sky was pretty cool, and I had a successful hunt. It was close to residences and I was feeling watched.
Found some more at a neighborhood park in an older part of town. It was an historic park. For one thing it was close to aircraft manufacturing plants during World War II. The men were at war so the housewives worked. There was an old retired guy who looked after the kids at this park during the workday. I bet that was a zoo.
I got lucky and found a very small geocache, It still counts.
For whatever reasons I haven’t been out much since the first part of this month. Too cold, too rainy, blah blah blah. I’ve got lots of excuses.
The above is a tree in my backyard. We are still waiting on a new fence. I’ve paid the guy a deposit now we just need it to stop raining.
This photo and the two following are of Tulsa’s Own Park just northwest of downtown Tulsa. I think it may be Tulsa’s oldest park. It has fallen by the wayside. The city keeps the grass mowed, picks up litter, and chases off vagrants and such but it has been abandoned to the neighborhood and they seem to love it.
It is such an old place and feels settled in. And over the years their have been lots of geocaches planted there so I was there in December hunting down a couple of new ones.
And I love the pond. It is home to quite a menagerie of waterfowl. I think many of them are escaped or released pets.
This is a re-edit (all the photos in the post are re-edits) of a shot I took during out trip in December to Colorado Springs. We drove through the Oklahoma panhandle. You can see forever out there. I found the big sky and lonely highway exhilarating.
This is a tree on a hilltop at Tulsa’s Bales Park from a hike I took a year ago. (Another re-edit.) It was a dark, cold day and I had the place to myself. You cannot really tell from the photo but the hill in the background is the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. Between Bales Park and Turkey Mountain is a four lane limited access highway, US 75.
Speaking of Turkey Mountain this is re-edited photo of some sort of bicycle obstacle built there by volunteers. Back in the day, Turkey Mountain was pretty wild. The powers that be lightly administered it. They certainly didn’t build and maintain sustainable trails like they do now. So people, especially the bicyclists, would haul in lumber and build their own features. All over the place. Most of it was pretty rickety. It was wonder nobody died. At least I don’t think anybody died. If they did, I think the other bikers might have just dug a shallow hole, dragged the pour soul into it, covered them up, toasted him or her with a beer and kept on keeping on. Snitches get stitches is their motto.
It has been a week! We have had some wicked cold weather and a little bit of snow.
Last Friday, my brother got sick and we spent hours in the emergency room. Turns out he had covid. So they bundled him up and sent back to his residence where he is being isolated for a while. I went home and tested negative but have been self isolating for five days. So stay at home, no gym nor anything else where people are. Low single digits inhibited me from doing anything outside so I’ve been a couch potato.
I had this bright idea of taking the drone out to various places around town and launching it. First though the batteries were all low and it took hours to charge them up. I went on a little test run in the back yard and I got just a little ways up in the air and the drone went crazy and one of the motors started barking. The screen on the controller said “Too Cold” so I nixed that but I got a few photos showing the snow in the neighborhood.
Normally with as sunny as it is our one inch would be gone but it is sticking around because it is so cold.
It took me about 20 minutes to push the snow off the driveway and walkways. If I didn’t it would turn to ice. Now that is really fun to deal with, especially when you are 68 years old!
So tomorrow I’ll self test and I’ll be free again!! (If I test negative) Plus it will be warmer outside. Probably going to be too muddy to go hiking ethically but I’ll find something else to do. Don’t you worry!! And my brother is doing okay as well. He is apartment is kind of small and he is going stir crazy. They will be testing him and if negative, he’ll be free as well! Being free is good in my book.
The other thing that happened last week is that I got notified by the internet company that hosts my blog that I had way too much traffic on it and it wasn’t coming from my friendly global blogging friends. It was coming under attack by evildoers! Traffic was up by a factor of 47,000!! They said fix it or we are going to shut you off. They were nice about it though. They sent a bunch of data on what was happening and gave me seven tasks I could do that would probably work.
Hey, couldn’t go anywhere, so the next day I went through the seven things with a sense of dread. Computerspeak is like a foreign language but with the links they provided I was able to tighten up security and upgrade things and it only took a few hours so I asked them to evaluate again and they said I fixed it and complemented me on how quickly I got-er done. Whew, big sigh of relief. My motto on the blog is if it is not broke don’t fix it. Turns out that is not too smart.
On our recent trip to Colorado to see family after Christmas we took a southern route through the Oklahoma panhandle and New Mexico to avoid some snowy weather. Tell you what the panhandle has some big skies and great vistas. Heather took over the driving for a while so I took some pics with my phone.
Sorry for the internal reflections!!
We drove by this train in the late afternoon. I loved the late afternoon light on the boxcars. The line was at least a mile long.
And a little bit later we got a good sunset.
And a great reverse sunset looking east via the mirror.
I just love it when Heather drives. I get to take photos and I also regale here with fascinating (to me) information via Wikipedia on all the small towns we go through. I don’t know why but she always turns up the volume on the radio when I am trying to give her a good tidbit of information. She keeps saying stuff like “I don’t care.” Oh well. Not much she can do about it since she is driving, right?
After our recent post Christmas trip to Colorado Springs to see family, we felt the need to get outside and walk a little bit so we ventured up to the North Woods segment of the Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center to get a couple miles of fresh air and sunshine.
It was a great day. Cool, sunny, and very little wind. The North Woods loop is very pedestrian friendly, flat, no rocks, and no bicycles allowed. We did encounter a couple of friendly bikers. I wasn’t even irritated. The ground was solid so they were not messing up the trail and they were good natured and there were only two of them.
I brought my “good” camera with the 300 mm lens hoping I would see some birds or other critters. I saw flashes of birds and birds way up high, and birds in very thick underbrush. I saw a group of four or five deer running parallel to us about a 100 yards away, but no, no photos on the trail. I got some grainy duck photos of waterfowl on a pond. I will post them tomorrow on my Saturday’s Critters post.
Very rarely do we I see anybody on this particular trail but we saw four or five groups on our outing. That was okay. Lots of room for everybody still.
Captured some fungi images! They are easy, they don’t hide.
Christmas and the end of the year buzzed by really quickly this year. Sorry I have been incommunicado all the sudden but hey, I’m back. So I’ll bring you up to speed.
A few days before Christmas we joined another couple for a Christmas music show at historic Cain’s Ballroom featuring several very talented local singers and musicians.
Isaac Hanson, of Hanson, showed up and played a couple of songs. Heather and I remember when he was just a little boy and played for free at local events with his brothers. He’s all growns up now and has a whole bunch of kids of his own.
Heather made her traditional gingerbread cookies. They are always a hit.
They go fast.
We made a visit to my brother Bob at his residence.
And gathered around the tree.
On Christmas Day we went to my MIL’s house and we opened gifts and had steak and baked potatoes for Christmas dinner. Bad blogger me, didn’t get any family photos.
A couple days later Heather, son Logan, Kodi, and I drove a roundabout route to Colorado Springs. My sister and BIL were hosting their family for Christmas. We hadn’t seen them for years so they graciously assented to our presence.
They are an active and fun loving bunch. If you are going to hang with them you better get up early and be prepared to stay late. They were very welcoming to us crashing the party.
Here is Logan with my sister and BIL’s dogs. The little dog is Maisey and is very sweet the big dog is Aspen. Aspen kept trying to play with our little dog, Kodi but Kodi was intimidated.
Sister and her husband treated us all to the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs. It was great. There are lots of things to look at and videos of past performances and artifacts like the costume above worn by Peggy Flemming who won the Gold Medal in figure skating at the 1968 Winter Olympics. I always thought she was classy and elegant.
Back at my sister’s house, Kodi went for a walk and got to meet Jasper the horse and get sniffed and inspected really good by the horse. I think our city dog thinks he doesn’t want become a ranch dog.
On the drive back to Tulsa Kodi found an earth cache. A specialized form of a geocache. So now I call him Kodi the Geodog.
I also got a shadow photo of Kodi so I guess he is a shadow dog as well.