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As explained in my last post, recently I traveled up to South Dakota for a family reunion. It kind of goes on for several days with different things at different places. One of the things we did was we convened at a family member’s farm and he had arranged for his neighbors to come and give horse drawn wagon rides to everybody. You can bet that I was in the first group.
The horses are Belgian mares and furthermore they are both pregnant but they did a great job taking everybody on a ride. The neighbor takes his team to different events around the state and you can tell it is a labor of love for him. The wagon and the horses tack were perfect. He doesn’t pull reins to get them to go one way or another, he says “Haaa” and “Geee” and they respond.
Stuff like this is making memories especially for the little ones on the ride. Big smiles from them, and big smiles from everybody!
Last time I was at the reunion, four years ago, the same neighbor came over with a stage coach. Check it out here. That was also lots of fun.
I went on a bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail north of Tulsa. It is a Rails to Trails project done years ago where an railroad is converted to trails. I love it because it goes through a lot of back country including ranches. I saw this Hereford cow looking happy in some tall green grass. Don’t see too many white faces like this any more.
And some of his friends, Angus cattle also grazing.
And in a different pasture I found some horses with their heads down.
And I found this little turtle crossing the road. Why did the turtle cross the road? (To get to the shell station!)
And a few miles away another, bigger turtle getting across the road.
And on a different outing on my first hike on Tulsa’s brand spanking new Mooser Greenway trail system I found myself a deer.
I love seeing deer.
Later on I found this feather. Google lens says it is from a red tailed hawk. I left it near where I found it.
And this might be the Shell Station. Just so happens I worked for Shell Oill for a short time and I learned that nothing makes a die hard Shell Oil employee madder than calling their logo a clam. It’s a pecten they will say in a heartbeat. So of course I doubled down on calling it a clam. Alrighty, sorry, I’ll get back to Saturday’s Critters.
I found this fresh cut disk cut out of a tree blocking the trail. I tried to count the rings and I came up with a 102 years old.
And speaking of red tailed hawks, this dude was up- on power pole looking for his lunch. He was a long ways away. At the very limit of my ancient Canon Superzoom camera. How far away you ask?
He was on top of the rightmost power pole as seen from our back yard. I love my DSLR with all the various lens but it is hard to be beat a superzoom for lightweight and usefulness in a wide variety of situations.
Here’s another photo of the hawk.
And here is the mandatory pic of Kodi the Pomeranian in a pensive mood. He’s the same color as our floor so he is Kamo Kodi in dim light inside.
I”m linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out. Lots of talented bloggers link up with her.
I love the time between Christmas and New Years Day. The days leading up to Christmas are all in a rush especially if somebody in the family gets ill. Afterwards you can relax a little bit hopefully. I took advantage of one bright, sunny, day and went on a bike ride.
One of my favorite trails is alongside a turnpike on one side and fields and farms on the other. I ran into a mutt and jeff combination of horses.
You got the little one, all cute and fuzzy.
And the older one, both looking for something better to eat than the dry grass on offer.
I got to the end and rested a bit in the shadow of a billboard.
When I came home, this guy was waiting for me. iNaturalist tells me that this is a Coopers Hawk. He was using our mailbox as an observation perch. We have lots of squirrels and bunnies in the neighborhood and he was looking to eat one of those cute little critters.
Hey you know, cute little critters don’t live forever and hawks have to eat to right?
Are you on instagram? If so, are we following each other? My handle is @yogiab. These are my top nine posts for the year. I love instagram.
Do you live close to Tulsa? Come join in the First Day Hike and Scavenger Hunt on Turkey Mountain. It was supposed to be New Year’s Day but we postponed it until Saturday, January 8th from 8 am to 5 pm. Check out this facebook post for the details. We are hiding the above repurposed jewel boxes for people to find. They are going to have various Turkey Mountain stickers and key rings to find. There are also going to be a bunch of tee shirts hidden on the trails for people to find.
Do you like the cd cases. I repurposed them and designed and printed new covers and the liner notes are the Leave No Trace seven principles. I hope that I am not spoiling the surprise. The RiverParks Authority posted the photo on their website so I figured I can post my own photo on my site.
That’s about it for now. I wish everybody a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2022. Take Care!
I am linking with the following memes. They are all fun so check them out!!
Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Oktoberfest on Thursday night. We drank a little beer and ran (walked actually) a 5K race and then drank a little more beer and had some German food for dinner. At some point we bought Heather a new hat.
At the opening ceremonies we saw some horses. I love horses. I don’t want to ride them or own them or much of anything else to do with them but I do love taking photos of them.
The big white horse was my favorite. What a presence it had and checking everything out.
I went on a bike ride the other day after work. I took a trail alongside a rural turnpike that has lots of hills and if I am lucky some good skywatch shots. I found these horses, they were not too friendly so I just have photos of their rear ends.
Headed back, some clouds showed up and threatened rain. It didn’t.
Another uncooperative horse in a pasture. We have had lots of rain and the grass is high and green.
I had a good outing of about 16 miles of some nice hills and good scenery. It doesn’t get much better than that.
This newborn calf is walking around the same day as it was born. On a ranch in western Oklahoma owned by my wife’s family.
And this is son Logan with kitten Lizzy. Lizzy is affectionate, but she doesn’t like to be held, unless I am holding her, and even then I get about 30 seconds before her “I’ve had enough” signals to let her go.
I went on a bike ride last week on a suburban freeway trail and saw this horse.
We got a duck pair hanging out in the afternoon in our front yard. Heather fed them once and and now they come back every day, and if we don’t feed them, they head to the garage. Ducks are such moochers. We have another pair of male ducks that also show up. We call them the gay ducks, (no offense, seriously) and they get demanding about getting fed also.
My employer had a few events during Earth Week and one of them was a presention from a couple people from the The Tulsa Hub (check them out, they do lots of good stuff. They are trying to change lives through bicycling) about basic maintenance on bicycles. I’ve had mine for a few years now and have not done anything so I paid attention and even asked a few questions about several things especially, chain maintenance. I’ve had my bike for several years now and have not done anything besides air up the tires since. So I went to the store and bought the degreaser and the chain oil and got some rags and cleaned and oiled both my bike and Heather’s. Last Sunday I decided to go out for a ride. Heather couldn’t go so I went by myself.
We live within a mile of a part of Tulsa’s extensive bike path system so I rode my bike from the house over there and made my way east to the Liberty Trail in Broken Arrow paralleling the Creek Turnpike Extension. The Liberty Trail passes very close to my MIL’s house and I have walked over to her house about three times so far. It’s about seven miles so it is not a bad walk at all. One of these days Heather and I will ride our bikes to her house.
I only stopped to rest once on my leg out. I liked this tree and I liked the water fountain. A miscalculation on my part was not enough water. I brought a water bottle but I thought there was more water available along the path than what there turned out to be. I have a hydration pack that holds 1.5 liters. I might bring that, in addition to a bigger water bottle next time I ride this route. I also was reading about leppardlaw.com in case in got into a bike accident.
And here is a shadow selifie of me at the halfway point. Tired and thirsty.
I did a little more sightseeing on the way back. I stopped to take a photo of the horse. He (I guess it is a he) walked up to me seeming pretty friendly. He let me rub his nose for a little bit.
Nice horse but I had to go.
And I saw this little thing out in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea what it is about. There are lots of roadside memorials in Tulsa in memory of people who died in car accidents involving negligence or reckless driving but they generally have some information about who the person is. Try to investigate this site to find out about the best injury attorney who will help you claim injury compensation for the injured or the deceased member to provide a good life for their family. If you need lawyers for medical malpractice claims, it can be checked out here!
Stopped near the end to take this photo. I have taken this shot many times but what I liked about this was that the sun was low enough that the reflections actually illuminated the bottom of the bridge. Yeah, sorry, I like stuff like that. People can check out Moore Injury Law for the best injury related cases.
Anyway, I got home very tired and thirsty. Just shy of 25 miles. Not bad for an old guy who hasn’t ridden since September. Time to rehydrate with a couple craft beers and a gallon or two of water.
I love horses and the people that work with them. Thy are so graceful, even the nags are graceful to me. Although from an engineering point of view, it seems to me that their bodies are way too big for their slender legs. I also enjoy watching people ride horses. There is kind of a mutual feedback between the horse and the rider and subtle changes in a rider’s posture and how they hold the reins and how they respond with their bodies to the horse’s movement affects the movement of the horse. We have put Logan’s therapeutic horseback riding lessons on hold for a couple months because he has a lot going on at school including some Saturday rehearsals at the same time that his riding lessons were. I am already missing the long drive to Pioneer Woman country to take his lessons and occasional talks and walks with the director Bob.
Bob had a way of simplifying everything and when I asked him why riding was such a great therapy for people with autism he said basically that when you get on a horse and it starts moving that you need to adjust yourself so that horse doesn’t move out from underneath you. It is this responsiveness to an outside force and feedback that is so important to people who don’t have that response instinctively.
So Logan had those lessons for a few years and I took literally hundreds, if not thousands of photos of him riding the horses and I think the lessons “worked.” Just what they did, I don’t know exactly but I could tell that Logan loved riding the horses. People ask what the horses “do” exactly. I say, they make him better. How, I don’t know.
Well, I’ve kind of digressed a little bit. Now I have to feed my horse jones via the horses in the top photo. They are in a pasture next to Logan’s school and after I drop him off and the horses are close to the fence and there are no cars behind me I’ll stop and take a quick photo of them. It is a good way to start out the day, looking at horses I mean.