Last Sunday morning I went hiking at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. I ventured first to their North Woods area where there is almost always no one but me.
And I lucked out I took off and saw no one. Suits me. Can’t do any better social distancing than that!
Didnt see any deer which was a disappointment but lots of birds and squirrels.
And lots of sky. All the trees have been stripped of their leaves so I lots of blue sky.
When I finished I drove to the main part of Oxley Nature Center and asked where the otters might be found. They told me where to go and said that it is best to get there around 5 am to 6 am. So I don’t know if I’ll ever see the otters or not.
They said head to the big beaver lodge in the lake and they hang out from there to the waterway. So I did, you never know, maybe the otters would be feeling bored on a Sunday morning. I didn’t see any otters but I saw lots of ducks and geese.
And some deer. I didn’t have a long lens so this very cropped shot is the best I could do with what I had. It was cool though. I was on a trail walking in parallel with their path so we stayed together for a couple hundred yards or so.
And I found this cool bridge.
The otters will have to wait for later. I’ve never seen an otter in the wild and I would love to see these guys.
How about you? You ever have a wild otter sighting?
Son is done graduated from college and is now looking for a job. He had an early morning interview at this place the other day and I liked the light on the east facing facade and the sky. Hey you know, you gotta get photos where you find them, right?
And this is a reverse sunset, looking south from the front yard.
And a similar shot from my brother’s assisted living place near our house.
And a sunrise photo from my back yard.
I launched the drone the other day at sunset. This is looking east. I love the pink that shows up in the sky opposite of sunsets.
And this is looking roughly north of northeast. The buildings just to the right of center is downtown Tulsa.
Tell you the truth I was not overly impressed with the photos so I ran one of them through a filter.
While I was flying the drone, I took a drone selfie of me. Heather got me that vest I am wearing. It is an electrically heated vest and I love it. Not only does it heat the front and back of the body, it heats the collar, and the pockets!! I’ve been testing it and I love it. It keeps me toasty warm. I haven’t been this excited about a Christmas present since I was a kid.
I am wishing everybody a happy and safe New Year. I hope everybody, who can, is up to date on their vaccinations, and are being careful. Our new infections are increasing rapidly. The public health professionals are saying to pay more attention to hospitalizations now. That metric is about double what it was in early November. I know everybody is tired of it but now is not the time to just give up.
And now I am going to brag on me a little bit. I mean why have a blog if you aren’t going to highlight yourself every now and then? Anyway I won the “Company Values” category for the photo above, taken on Memorial Day in 2020.
Happy New Year from our bunch. The day after Christmas the whole family made an epic three mile walk to a Barnes and Noble store to take advantage of their 50% hardback book sale. Heather and Logan were not as enthusiastic about the walk as I was. I led them along the greenbelt so there were no sidewalks or other modern conveniences and we had a to climb a fence. I had a blast and that is what counts right?
Even our critters got toys. Rascal loves his new toy. Rascal has been in therapy for hip and rear leg issues and has responded great to his accupuncture and land therapy.
So we are taking him on walks again and he has his mojo back.
Heather made some gingerbread cookies. My wordpress is being strange now. It is not showing me previews of all my photos so if things look out of whack that is why. I save and reboot and things work like they are supposed to for about five minutes and then quit.
This is a Skywatch post right? Here is a sunrise to the east of our front yard.
And a sunset looking across the street.
I wish everybody a happy and safe New Years!! I had more to talk about but maybe the internet has decided that I am done for now.
Here is Lizzie the Christmas Cat. She loves laying under her tree in our living room. She is kind of cranky right now because there are now presents under the tree.
I’m recycling this photo from a couple weeks ago. Santa water skiing on a lake in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
This is my brother’s Christmas tree in his apartment at assisted living. Please be thinking of him. He got a breakthrough infection of Covid despite being triple vaccinated. He has had the monoclonal antibody treatment and is recovering. The center has quarantined the residents to their room right now because of the Covid surge. He is a former marathon runner and he had been doing virtual 5Ks in his walker up and down the hall of the center. So no more of that. I’ll be able to go see him tomorrow.
This was a scene from Bentonville, Arkanasas in November. Kids just kind of make Christmas.
And a drone shot of our house decorations.
My MIL has great decorations. I love how she does the cast iron stove in her front entry.
Some people go to Turkey Mountain and decorate trees there. They do go and take the decorations down.
One of the project managers at my former employer had a pipeline construction Christmas tree. She added to the decorations every year. She and the rest of my former coworkers are still working remotely, since March of 2020.
My wife’s gingerbread cookies are always a hit!
One of the nice things about working downtown was checking out all the decorations in the various office buildings.
Oops!! I forgot, this a Skywatch Friday post!!! Here is a sky from the Bakken Oilfield of the North Dakota. My friend Josh took this photo and I am stealing it.
I hope everybody has a great Christmas. Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!
A few weeks ago after dropping Logan off at college I revisited the small Oklahoma ghost town of Cogar. It’s claim to fame is that a scene from the 1988 Movie Rainman was filmed here at a local gas station. The film stars Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. I can’t believe that it has been 33 years!!
The gas station is still standing, kind of, and it looks like a brand new sign is up. Cogar has become somewhat of a mecca for bloggers, instagrammers, and camera bugs. Abandoned stuff is big these days.
Logan is out of college now so I may never visit this place again.
In other news this week, Heather had a birthday, so the three of us celebrated with a hike among the venomous snakes of Turkey Mountain. We didn’t see any. I always get the feeling though they could see us.
And closing with a drone shot up over my back yard.
My wife and I went to Tulsa’s swanky Utica Square shopping center the other day. She really likes the Athleta store there. As an exercise instructor she lives in workout gear and Athleta’s stuff is great. So while she was shopping for her Christmas gifts from me to her I took my phone out and did some exploring.
I found this cool clock. Who uses a clock to tell time any more? We all have phones and stare at them all day long.
Found this sculpture of a little girl reading. I love to see young people reading. I volunteer with Reading Partners and tutor a girl in reading for an hour a week. She’s really a hard worker and stays engaged the whole hour. Unlike some of my generation, I see lots of hope in the future generations. If you are interested check the link see if they have a program in your area.
Right across the street from Utica Square is the Temple Israel Synagogue. I have long loved their bas relief of the Ten Commandments. I shot the photo from the shopping center’s parking garage to get a little elevation.
I also love their 3D Menorah. For the longest time I thought it was just a cool modern sculpture. Well duh, it’s a Menorah I found out on their web site.
Also across the street from the center is this cool office building. I love it’s design including the arches on the ground floor and all the balconies. It looks like it belongs on a coast somewhere.
Found this dolled up wooden sculpture next to a day spa.
So that’s it for the shopping center. You get the picture. I went drone flying earlier.
So here’s a sunset from 40 meters over my back yard. Somebody in one of my drone groups on facebook said that they were tired of sunset photos. Suck it up buddy, here’s another one is my response.
A new trail is being built on Turkey Mountain. Designed and constructected by the firm Progressive Trail Design out of Bentonville, Arkansas, it is the first professionally designed trail on Turkey Mountain. The rest were built by the users and followed old game trails, jeep tracks, oilfield roads, and the builders’ whims. This new trail is designed to last and be low maintenance and sustainable. They finally got started a couple weeks ago and have been making good progress. I went out there recently to check it out.
It looks very nice and “flowy.” People, especially mountain bikers like the smooth back and forth and up and downs. It’s apparent that it will primarily be a mountainbike trail and I’m just going to have faith that it will work out for non bikers as well.
It’s not open yet they have blazed a trail but the surface is still unfinished. They don’t want anybody on it until they are done and the surface is suitable for sustained use. (I stayed off the trail except at designated crossing points where it crosses existing trail.)
A banked turn. Lots of work before this is finished.
I paralleled the new trail on existing trails until I heard the sound of the trackhoe they were using to move the rocks and other heavy work involved. I went a little further until I saw the crew through the trees and that is as close as I got.
So I am very excited about all this.
About as excited as this tree I found while scouting out the trail.
Any you know it’s getting to be Christmas song. I love this new song my Carrie Underwood, “The Stretchy Pants Song.” My wife, who is also an exercise instructor, has been using it in some of her classes and her students love it.
We’ve had big Thanksgivings and smaller ones, especially with this pandemic we have been having. This year is a smaller one. A big treat is that we are having Thanksgiving on Wednesday with my brother at his Assisted Living Center. I’m looking forward to that.
It will just be a few of us on Thanksgiving Day. As our waistlines have expanded, we have downsized the meal. We don’t have the appetites we used to have anyway. We use disposable plates for the meal so nobody gets stuck with the dishes.
We’ll be counting our blessings as well. We have lots to be thankful for.
Tuesday was a very warm day here in Tulsa. After my yoga class I headed up close to downtown to Woodward Park. Lots and lots of trees here and tons of fall color. So I just wandered around.
I stopped by the Five Moons, Oklahoma’s Native American ballerinas. In the last century these five women, Maria Tallchief, Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, and Moscylene Larkin were at the top of the ballet world. Hit the link above to find out more. The sculptures are actually on the grounds of the Tulsa History Museum which is adjacent to Woodward Park.
I also stopped by “Appeal to the Great Spirit” to check him out. I love this sculpture. It used to be in a local high school until they tore the school down and the statue was moved to Woodward Park.
Lots of brilliant fall color on disply.
I love this blast of yellow as seen from the shadows.
A similar effect here.
And here is shrub bursting with sunlight.
Stopped by my favorite sculpture of all time. “Poems and Promises” by Rosalind Cook. I used the Hipstamatic and Snapseed App on this.
By now I was getting hungry and I was close to downtown so I headed off to the Arts District.
I got some coneys from James Coney Island. It’s been in Tulsa for over a hundred years. I get them with cheese, chili, and onions and add a healthy splash of hot sauce and pepper them chili powder. Don’t knock it until you try it.
They sky was clear Tuesday night so I took this shot. It’s the Beaver Moon at 93% waxing gibbous so not quite full.
I hope everybody is having a great week!! I”ll be linking with Skywatch Friday, come check it out!!