Tag Archives: Arkansas River

Skywatch Friday – Tulsa Skies

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On a bike ride a week or so ago I stopped and took a photo across the Arkansas River to this power plant. Yep, I used a filter.

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From the same spot I turned about 30 degrees to my right and captured this scene of the new pedestrian bridge and low water dam going on. They are really busy, busy, busy with all the work going on. Who knows when it is going to be done.

A few days later I took my bike back to the river to do another dam inspection trip and the skies opened up. Fortunately, I hadn’t started my ride yet.

A few days later I was walking in a park and captured this scene.

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I took a hike on Turkey Mountain and captured a scene at Pepsi Lake.

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The trail I was on came out on a powerline right of way and hey, there is the office building I worked in for about half my career way on downtown. I waved, “Hey guys, get your butts back to work.”

That’s about it for this week. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in the fun!!

Skywatch Friday – Oklahoma and Wyoming

Below is not my photo. This is a jigsaw puzzle I did on my Ipad of the Mouton Barn at Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This may be the most photographed barn in the world!!

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I’ve always loved Mormon Row, it reminds me of a ranch that my aunt and uncle had in Idaho not that far from this scene in Wyoming. The closed up barn with great patina. The brutal winters mean not too many windows.

Moulton Barn Mormon Row October 2019

This is a photo I made a few years ago. Just looking at how the west barn eave cuts into the tree line I think I was standing just 10 to 20 feet west of where the person who took the photo for the puzzle was standing.

And while we are loosely of the subject of architecture. Above is a photo of Westhope here in Tulsa. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I think it is one of only three of his designs in Oklahoma. I knew of it but had never chased it down until last week when I did a geocaching AdventureLab focusing on oil millionaires houses in Tulsa.

And this is from a bike ride I did earlier this week in Tulsa. The river is the Arkansas River and the hill across the river is Turkey Mountain. An Urban Wilderness in the middle of Tulsa.

And here is the monarch waystation I help take care of on Turkey Mountain.

And a couple of sky photos from a hike at Oxley Nature Center.

And a shot of a prairie at Oxley.

And a drone shot from our backyard in south Tulsa looking west toward the sunset.

That’s all I got this week. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out!!

Tulsa Wildlife Update

I went hiking earlier this week on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. I came across this tiny frog traversing the trail.

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I also went for a bike ride and took my camera with me again. As I was going down the trail I spotted a bald eagle flying high over me but headed down to the river. So I pulled out and spotted this guy fishing. That’s two weeks in a row I’ve seen a bald eagle in approximately the same location. Sorry for the fuzzy photo. I was at the far end of the range of my Canon Superzoom.

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I also found this egret, or white heron or something several miles north of the Eagle out in the river looking for lunch.

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And white pelicans on a sandbar.

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And a log with two pairs of turtles. I didn’t know that momma turtles gave baby turtles piggy back (turtle back?) rides.

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And a great blue heron. Again at pretty good range. They are skittish!!

That’s it for this week. I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Lots of really good posts there. Check it out.

Arkansas River Critters

Last Monday I braved the heat for a bike ride on Tulsa’s RiverParks trails bordering the Arkansas River as it flows through town. I took my Canon SuperZoom camera along in a backpack hoping to take some photos.

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I found what I think are great egrets. (I’m not a very good birder so if you have better ID I would appreciate it very much.) This one was looking for lunch in the shallow water.

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This nearby group seemed more into grooming than eating.

Great Blue Heron

Further down the river I spotted this great blue heron. They are very skittish and so by the time I stopped my bike, and retrieved the camera from the backpack and focused, this guy was ready to leave.

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Nearby, this group of pelicans were hanging out together.

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I saw something black with a white spot almost clear to the other riverbank. It turns out that it is a bald eagle. The first image of one I have captured in the wild. Sorry about the poor quality but it was at the far range of the camera.

I was pretty happy with my photos. Again, if I have misidentified any of them please let me know.

I’m linking with Eileen’s Saturdays’s Critters.

Skywatch Friday – Construction Stuff

I went on on another bike ride the other day on Tulsa’s RiverParks trails along the Arkansas River. I took my Canon Superzoom Camera with me. I stopped again at The Gathering Place to check on the new pedestrian bridge and new dam being constructed. Not much progress so I focused on the construction equipment being used.

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In the bed of the river they had this huge concrete pump putting concrete around boulders on the riverbed. So it looks like in addition to the bridge and dam maybe they are shaping the river for other purposes. I’ll have to check into that.

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There were lots of tracked backhoes at work (I call them track hoes.) This one was actually on the west side of the river doing something not related to the bridge or dam.

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Here are several more on the riverbed. The contractors have constructed a huge cofferdam to divert the river flow to the west side of its banks to make room for construction.

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And another trackhoe

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And yet another. Not too many of them were being operated the day of my ride. I have no idea why. The weather was great.

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And this one had a jackhammer type attachment.

As you can tell, I love construction equipment and checking out construction and trying to figure out what they are doing and how they are going about it.

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

Skywatch Friday – Courthouse Skies

It was beautiful weather this week and I got to spend much of the first part of it at the courthouse. Nope I wasn’t in jail, I got called to jury duty. So I got to wait a lot in the jury room in the basement and then I got to wait a lot outside the courtroom and then wait some more while they questioned us one by one. It was a first degree murder trial so it was all pretty serious.

Tulsa County District Court Jury Guide

I was impressed with the whole thing. Lots of waiting I know but the important thing is to get things right. Execution was off the table but life without parole was a possibility. I was impressed with the other 39 potential jurors. They all took it seriously, none tried to get off the jury, and they gave thoughtful answers to questions. I didn’t get picked and so I am “on call” the remainder of the week. So I’m free at last!! I went home, after being dismissed, and researched the case. I’ll say more after the trial is completed which should be Friday or Monday.

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Meanwhile, here is my beloved Turkey Mountain from across the Arkansas River as it flows through Tulsa.

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And another shot across the river with some funky looking clouds.

I’m thankful this week for our justice system. For all its faults I think the people in it try and do their best. I am thankful for my freedoms that I have in this country and the opportunity to be on a jury.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join me!!

Weekend Reflections – Arkansas River Sunset

Heather and I went to eat at a restaurant on Tulsa’s Arkansas River front. We left right after sundown so we walked to the bank to check out the sights.

The above is just to the southwest. It is a turnpike bridge over the river. The water is very low right now.

Turning a little bit to the northwest we have a slightly different scene.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections. Come check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Summertime on the River

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Summer is here and I am retired and I am spending a lot of time outside including lots of time running and riding my bicycle on the RiverParks Trails here in Tulsa.

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The trails are on both the east and west bank and stretch for miles. I love them especially for biking because there are no street or road crossings. I hate riding my bike on the road.

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Anyway, a perk of being retired, I can pretty much go to the river whenever I feel like it.

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I’ve been scanning old photos. Here is a scene from a cruise that Heather and I took in the 90’s. I think the ship on the left was ours. It had a bar up on the smoke stack at the back of the vessel. We spent a lot of time up there.

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And this is me in La Jolla, California during a vacation to the area back in the 90’s. We loved it there. Too many people though and I think that has gotten worse.

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And this is Heather way back when. We were doing social distancing from the critters in the background.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Skywatch Friday – Happy New Year 2020

Up until a few years ago I went running every week, regardless of weather, after work on the Arkansas River trails. The only thing that stopped me was thunder and lightning. I have all sorts of cold weather gear to where I could run relatively comfortably down to the single digits if I had to do so. Since the tread on my knees has gotten a little thin as one doctor told me, I have cut my running way back. More cycling, more yoga and aquatics classes. But still I like to get out and run every now and then and participate in a race.

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I got out of the car, and saw this and took the closest path to the waters edge. That’s way there are trees in the way. I love the glow on the water.

Last week, the temperature wasn’t so bad so I went to the river to run and the sunset was just waiting for me. Actually I hurried because we skywatchers know that the sunset waits for no one.

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I moved upriver to a clearer vantage point.

There is nothing like a great sunset. They are so hopeful and I am looking forward to 2020. 2019 was a mixed year (aren’t they all?). Our son started college, Heather and I got to be empty nesters for a little bit and took a couple of great trips to the Teton Mountains and southeast Oklahoma. It was nice. The year ended with my brother coming down with viral encephalitis. My wife, my sister, and her husband and I dealt with that the last couple of months and will continue to deal with that for some time.

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This is looking north, upgriver after the color faded from the sunset.

So for 2020, our son heads back to college in a few days. My brother will be moving out of skilled nursing into long term care or assisted living as he continues his recovery, and life will go on as it always has.

So keep your friends and family close, be thankful for what you have, and help each other out. I wish all of you a Healthy and Happy 2020.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – on the River

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I am loving the big blue skies and the white fluffy clouds we are temporarily having. I say temporary because it clouds up and rains quite a bit these days.

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The Arkansas River is still high but within its banks and it is muddy as a soaked cow pasture.

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I love the big cottonwoods on the river. Even if some of them are suffering from storm damage.

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Almost all the River Parks trails are open now. They had a big sinkhole to fill in and repave here. There is still considerable work to be done getting the lights going again and fixing the plumbing at the restrooms. There was considerable damage to the river banks and they are trying to figure out how to rebuild and stabilize them.

So that’s the latest with the sky situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How they looking where you live?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday