The Week in Critters


On a guided hike on Turkey Mountain, I was lagging behind the group (I like to lag) and found this butterfly. Google lens tells me that it is a Red Spotted Purple butterfly. Other resources say Red Spotted Purple Admiral. I don’t know, I just thought it was different.


An overhead view of the same butterfly.


I visited Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum and took a walk around the gardens. I saw this little pollinator working away, doing its thing.


And then a wasp looking critter working on these blooms.


And yet another pollinator, pollinating.


And a duck on the museum grounds. Do you suppose he snuck in without paying?

And they had sheep. I loved these sheep. They were on a secluded part of the grounds up until 2014 and then disappeared. They are back now in a more visible part of the grounds. There were lots of teenagers visiting the museum the day I was there and the sheep were a hit. Up to six or seven kids were sitting on them at a time. I just bided my time until they left to get this shot.


And then shift to our backyard. I was sitting on a bench reading and this downy woodpecker landed on a nearby branch and stayed for a little bit.

Lizzy sticking her tongue out at us

And going inside the house, Lizzie the cat spent a big part of a recent day with her tongue sticking out. Silly cat!!


And here’s the Kodi the Pomeranian puppy showing a little bit attitude during a training session.

And here he is at puppy school doing everything my wife asks of him. He’s a rock star at puppy school. When it is not his turn to do something he watches the other dogs and people closely. He’s taking it all in. I’m learning what it is like to have a dog smarter than I am.

And that’s a wrap this week for critters. I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Springtime in Oklahoma

Spring is really getting going now. The leaves are almost electric green. I take photos and when I look at them afterwards they look almost unnatural.

Sometimes the skies are incredibly blue.

The air is light. The temperature may so 39F outside when I wake up but it doesn’t feel near that cold.

It’s a great time to be in Oklahoma.

I took a walk with a young friend and former coworker. One of the legions of people I know leaving the hydrocarbon industry for renewables like wind and solar power. Amazing the things he told me, the innovations that are occurring right now. He’s telling me about the hydrogen economy and the role ammonia could play. I am falling behind. I have to do my homework.


You hear the phrase, there is nothing new under the sun. I have never believed it. There is plenty new under the sun and the moon.

In celebration of Spring in Oklahoma, here is “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”

And you know, if you play one Oklahoma song you have to play the ultimate Oklahoma song. In this state everyone knows the songs and the correct arm and hand motions for “lazy hawks circling in the sky.”

Nobody else has as great a state song as Oklahoma does.

That’s enough for now. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday and also with Music Move Me.

Getting the Word Out

I’m on the Advisory Board of the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, (“TUWC”). I am also retired so although I am pretty busy I have a lot of flexibility with my time so lately I have been working some informational type functions for the TUWC.

Back in mid April we had a work day on Turkey Mountain. The manly men and strong women do the heavy duty lifting, digging, shoveling and such on the trails. I worked a table with another guy doing user surveys for the River Parks Authority tallying information and asking people about their outing.

On April 19, again a day event hard for working people to man, I worked a table with others at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green during the Enviro Expo. There were all sorts of environmental organizations present. It was kind of cool.

Double cool because my former employer was a sponsor of the event and they had a bunch of people I knew there. I stole this photo off their instagram feed so I hope they don’t get too mad with me. It was fun catching up.

And then that Friday I worked a table with fellow board member Marci at an Earth Day event for school children at Tulsa’s Chandler Park. Marci knows all sorts of things about the natural world including butterflies, plants, critters, all sorts of stuff. She is also a long time educator and she knows how to talk with school kids and their teachers and parents. She was amazing to watch in action. She has a way of leading people to come up with answers on their own. It was a fun event. The kids were all excited about the topic. I love it when kids are enthusiastic about learning.

I have worked with TUWC the past several years and love it. If you want to get involved or volunteer check out their website at We have a work day coming up in June and in May we raise money for the group by volunteering at the Tulsa IronMan competition. Check the TUWC web site above for the details.

And this week ended my school year work as a Reading Partners volunteer tutor at a local school. So I said goodbye to a student I have been working with for the school year. The kid was a hard worker and very enthusiastic all year and showed tremendous improvement in their reading ability this year.

This is my fourth year of volunteering for the group and the most satisfying. The previous two years were virtual and that was tough. It is very difficult to form bonds with students over a computer. I felt bad for the kids because they spent a big part of their day online. If you want to learn more check out their website.

So what do you do for fun in your spare time?

Saturday’s Critters – Gilbert, the Man, the Legend

I went on a hike last week on Turkey Mountain starting from the YMCA on the northwest side of the mountain. Best deal ever for Y members, free parking, not crowded, restrooms, water and everything else you need.

I went on my hike and as I got back to the Y I saw some wild turkeys. A tom and two hens. I posted it on instagram and facebook and a person I know with Y said the strutting tom was named Gilbert by the staff.

I only had my phone with me and he was keeping his distance so these are the best photos I could get.

In other news, our Pomeranian puppy, Kodi, is really doing well at puppy school. He’s fearless and will try anything, eager to please and scary smart. I don’t know who is training who sometimes.

As you can tell, he’s our baby now.

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters by Eileeen.

Dungeons & Dragons – Honor Among Thieves – the Movie

Thursday night my wife was having bookgroup at our house. Happens about once a year and they have been together for about 30 years or so. Son and I have to vacate the premises. We call it “Boys Night Out.” This year for BNO we had dinner and a movie.

The movie was Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves, with Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and others.

I thought it was pretty good, the plot was beyond me. but I don’t think people care about plots in these kinds of movies. It’s all about the action and the action was great. The movie had some really funny parts as well. Nothing really gruesome and best of all, everybody kept all their clothes on.

I highly recommend this movie. I give it five stars!

Skywatch Friday – This and That

I dropped my son off at a church function a few weeks ago and I noticed that the lowering sun, the dark clouds, and the rain had the making of a decent image so I captured it on my cell phone.

We took a whirlwind trip out to western Oklahoma earlier this month. I captured this sunrise while walking the dog at the motel early in the morning. I love the western Oklahoma skies.

Nearby Broken Arrow, Oklahoma at its Veterans Park has a memorial to veterans who took their own lives when they got out of the service. Their are about a dozen silhouettes of actual people who are now gone. They call it the “War at Home Memorial.” It’s one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.

Captured this image of the sky over the neighborhood elementary school on a dog walk.

This is an image from Tulsa’s Woodward Park earlier this month while it was still warm.

And a shot over my back fence to a sunrise last week.

That’s it for this week. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday!

My Corner of the World – Bentonville, Arkansas

Early in April, Heather and I ventured over to Bentonville, Arkansas for a little weekend getaway. Bentonville is of course the headquarters of Walmart. A gigantic company by anybody’s standard. It is also home to the amazing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by a Walmart heir. Bentonville is also in an area of incredible natural beauty, woods, hills, lakes, ravines, streams. It is gorgeous.

High rises are going up in once sleepy little Bentonville

You couple that with Walmart’s reported insistence that companies that do business with them have a local presence.

Hunger by Walter Ufer
A painting from the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa at Crystal Springs as the Gilcrease is being rebuilt.

So out of this mish mash stew, an amazing city has sprouted up. Great restaurants, coffee bars, brew pubs. As people all over the country have converged on the city and transformed it.

Johnny by Susie J. Lee
A high definition video of an oilfield worker, on display.

The art museum has ballooned all over town and is building an addition that will add 60% more space to the main museum.

Bachman Wilson House by Frank Lloyd Wright
A Frank Lloyd Wright designed house bought by the museum and reassembled on the museum grounds. – No interior photos allowed.

Talk about a fun place to visit. Just a couple hours from Tulsa.

Pecos Escarpment - by Walter Hogue
An oilfield paintingl

And the main part is all walkable. We rented a condo just a couple blocks off downtown. We were able to walk to the museum over some beautiful trails. We walked to restaurants, coffee places, and bars and went for long walks in the woods.

Talk about edgy, pink here there and everywhere.

We saw some incredible edgy art that I don’t quite understand. I think art should take you to your limits. That is where growth happens.

A night time installation of flowing letters that assemble into words and sentences.

The dividing line between art, museums, town, and nature are very blurred in Bentonville.

Seen on the trail from the town square to the museum

We had a great time. We celebrated my birthday. Another trip around the sun.

Another seen on the trail to the museum

It is a rejuvenating place. It almost has a Santa Fe vibe about it.

Ok, just one more.

We’ll be back.

Another nightime outdoor installation
Alright last one.
My patient bride.

I’m linking up with My Corner of the World.

Saturday’s Critters – Tulsa Style

River Bird 1-2

I went on another bike ride the other day on the Arkansas River Trails here in Tulsa and saw this bird way out on the River. INaturalist is not certain but they think it is a bald eagle. Is it a teenage bald eagle maybe. Help me out fellow bloggers, please!


I saw these birds snoozing. I think they are tired white pelicans.


I took my camera with a macro lens to a nearby park to take pictures of tulips. While there I saw this little guy and took his photo with the macro lens.

I found a Koi Pond. I love Koi ponds talk about chill. Nothing like watching koi swim around makes me very chill.

And here is our little chocolate Pomeranian Kodi at puppy class. He’s a regular champ. So smart, he spends the downtime watching the other dogs and when it is his turn to do things he does great. He’s six pounds of fearlessness and smarts.

I’m linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Lots of great posts from bloggers all over the place. Check it out.