Category Archives: Skywatch Friday

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.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out!!

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!!

Skywatch Friday – Loving the Cloudy Skies and Rain

We’ve had lots of rain and cloudy skies lately. Kind of hard on the hiking but great for growing stuff and taking skywatch photos. I launched the drone from the backyard for the above photo. The controller was squawking at me about the high winds and dark skies but I sent it straight up over the back patio and straight back down. This is the view to the northwest of our backyard.

Wednesday I went back to Philbrook Museum for the first time since they shutdown last year. I really missed hanging out in their gardens. I took this photo with my cell phone. Everything looks scrunched up.

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For contrast I took a similar photo with my Nikon. It’s more realistic looking with more depth in the photo. Cell phone cameras in my experience do a lot of flattening the perspective.

Crow Creek Reflections

Crow Creek winds through the gardens of Philbrook on its way to the Arkansas River. I loved this tree reflection in the creek.

Rock Poetry

Out behind the Timpietto they had a poetry rock garden so I gathered up a few and made me some rock poetry. The Philbrook gardens is my happy place. I’ve spent hours there over the years and taken hundreds of photos and always find something new to see.

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Meanwhile, back at the house. I think rainy overcast days are my favorite for breaking out the macro lens and taking photos of flowers. These are some of Heather’s zinnias that she planted last week.

Bicycle Riding the Osage Prairie Trail

Wednesday morning I loaded up the bike and drove to Skiatook about a half hour so north from Tulsa. There is a north south rails to trail called the Osage Prairie Trail that runs from just north of downtown Tulsa to a couple miles north of Skiatook. I always ride from the north end.

It was in the high 50’s when I started out with a pretty good breeze. I am glad that I brought a jacket. I started out going out and back the two mile segment north of Skiatook. It is a lot easier than what it used to be because their is now a pedestrian crossing with a light. Getting run over would ruin my whole day.

Very soon I was in some nice counryside, woods and meadows.

And some swamps. You can tell it has been raining here lately. There are several geocaches along the route and a few I have not found yet. I am not really wanting to wade in shin deep water to find them though.

Lots of cattle grazing on the route.

I loved the high thin clouds. After a short while it warmed up enough and I took my jacket off.

When I think northeastern Oklahoma, this is the kind of scene I think about.

The right of way for the trail is that of the old Midland Valley Railroad which was constructed early in the early 1900’s. It reached down into the oilfields around Tulsa and prospered for a while. They languished during the Depression. The railroad no longer exists. This is one of the original bridges.

I passed through the little town of Sperry and stopped at and old gas station what was used for filming a scene from the move “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. They shot at locations all over the Tulsa area and I have tracked down many of them along with the new Outsiders Museum here in Tulsa. Check it out here.

I finished up at about 18.6 miles. There were no hills but I am kind of out of shape. I had fun though. It was like a two hour moving meditation and I was totally in the moment enjoying the wind and sun on my face and the bucolic scenery passing by. I came to and woke up at the country road crossings though. Don’t want to get run over at this point in my life. It was a fun two hours.

I have made several other posts of the Osage Prairie Trail over the years here, here and here if you are interested.

And then last night I noticed there was a little color in the sky at sunset so I launched my drone and snapped a few pics.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday, come join the fun!

Skywatch Friday – Spring is Having a Little Trouble Springing

We are having a very wet and cool Spring here in Tulsa. We get soaked with rain for a day or two and then the sun comes out and all the mosquitoes celebrate!

I like the cloudy skies because they make for more interesting photographs. I like the sunny days because they are fun for walking or riding my bike.

I go outside with the dogs every morning to keep them from barking and bothering the neighbors. Sometimes though when I let them out and their are rabbits and squirrels in the yard the dogs are going to bark, and bark a lot!! And then if there are other dogs in the neighborhood barking, then our dogs are going to do what I call “Update their Barkbook Status”

Sometimes one can get pretty decent skywatch photos from your own home. I got this last week when I was out retrieving the paper. I think papers are a thing of the past. Used to be almost everybody had a paper on our street, now I think we are the only one.

Lafortune Stadium Baseball

Son and I went walking around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park and I noticed that some kids were playing baseball at Lafortune Stadium. I think it was what used to be called Pony League. I think they have a different name for them now. I love baseball, at any level, from peewee t-ball up to the major leagues. Tulsa has a AA Los Angeles affiliated team, the Tulsa Drillers. They didn’t play last year, I’m hoping to catch a few games this year if it seems safe to do so.

This is another Route 66 site. The Rhett Mansion in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. The former home of an oilfield gazillionaire back in 1911. It is now a wedding venue and from what I can tell on their web page and it has been very nicely restored and furnished. I love when historical buildings are repurposed into profitable enterprises. Not every building is suitable to be a museum.

The thing about Route 66 is that is more like a threaded stream of roads. The original road was called the Osage Trail. They didn’t build the Trail from scratch, they pieced together a bunch of existing roads and called them that. And since the start the various states would replace sections of Route 66 with new, wider, more modern roads and the old “alignments” as they are called reverted to being just local county roads. On one of these forgotten alignments sits the Teepee Drive in Theater on the outskirts of Sapulpa. It closed in 1990 and has sat there ever since. Apparently somebody wants to reopen it. So we’ll see what happens.

I know that I am on a little bit of Route 66 thing right now. Two things, first there are a lot of geocaches on it now in the Tulsa area especially the new Adventure Lab geocaches and I turned 66 last month so I am on a “66 on 66” type thing right now.

I wish everybody a great week! I am linking with Skywatch Friday, come check it out.