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.
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 but they generally have some information about who the person is.
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.
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.
This is Macho, a horse stabled near where my son goes to school. Don’t worry about his ribs showing, I have it on good authority that he has bad knees and they limit his eating in order to keep his weight down and make it easier on him. So he is well cared for. Notice all the bright green grass? We have had some great soft rains and good sunshiny days lately. Things are really green around here.
I took the pic on late in the afternoon Thursday and I liked how he had a little bit of afternoon color on his flanks.
Saturday the weather was glorious. Nice and sunny with a steady cool breeze. It was perfect weather for a horseback ride at All-star Therapy Group north of Tulsa near the little town of Ramona.
Cisco even posed for a picture and Logan had big smiles. I love the shadows in this ic also.
Logan and Cisco, closely attended to by Russ went on a ride across the pasture and through the woods.
And then we headed back to the barn under a big blue Oklahoma winter sky. A great day for a ride. At least for Logan, Russ and I had to hustle to keep up with Logan and Cisco. Logan did a good job keeping his horse under control though.
This is Cisco, the horse rides at his weekly Therapeutic Horseback Riding lesson. Cisco is a sweet horse but he is a little lazy. If I’m in the arena he always heads for me especially if Logan has zoned out in the saddle. I’ll have to say, “Hey wake up, get your horse off of me!” Oh yeah he says. Teenagers, you know what I mean.
Here are they are in the arena, around and around they go, Logan with a big smile on his face. I’m told that that the horses head being down so low means the horse is relaxed. Sounds good to me!!
The stables had one old kitty who was something else. He slobbered all over everything. He won a fierce fight with a hawk who tried tohaul him off and was a proficient mouser. He died last year and now they have a whole bunch of cats to replace him, all males. This one is either brave or dumb. He likes to get out in the arena and run in amongst the horses feet as they go around and around. I think he is going to be dead and we’ll never know whether he is dumb or brave. He’ll be just as dead either way so I guess that it doesn’t matter.
This is Abby, sound asleep late at night. She is a sweetheart. She loves to eat. She got groomed yesterday so she is not as shaggy now. She is not the smartest dog we have ever had but she is very sweet. She likes to go out frequently and update her Barkbook status. Drives our neighbors crazy, me also.
Here is a collection of photos most of them with our critters, from my new Fuji polaroid style camera. I love the pics but I’m still trying to figure out how best to post the results. It seems a lot of people just strew them similar to what I did. It seems better than scanning them one by one. Anybody else out there have such a camera? What do you do? The black dog that I’m holding is Rascal our very black pomeranian. I have to get do some sort of HDR thing with him in order to keep him from looking like a big black blob.