A shadowy shelter survived a prescribed burn on Turkey Mountain.
Tag Archives: Oklahoma
Skywatch Friday – The North Woods at Oxley Nature Center
A week and a half ago, late on a Sunday afternoon, I went on a hike at Oxley Nature Center’s North Woods area. I love the North Woods area because it is beautiful, the trails are well maintained and hardly anybody besides me goes there even on a nice weekend afternoon.
It’s kind of a walking meditation.
Be careful while you are meditating and walking though. This thing will give you a headache.
The staff and volunteers are always tweaking and improving things on the trails.
It’s got water views and benches.
And what I call tree tunnels cutting through the woods. I love to come here when it is windy like it was on my hike. The woods are thick so there is no wind on the ground but you can hear the wind as it moves through the tops of the trees.
Later on in the spring, the reflections will be prettier.
I was hoping to see deer, not today!
And the end.
I try and go on all the trails during my visits to the North Woods. That entails taking some of the trails twice. That’s alright.
I am linking with Skywatch Friday.
2022 Dia de Los Muertos Art Festival at Living Arts Tulsa
Living Arts hosts normally hosts at Dia de los Muertos Arts Festival during or close to the holiday of November 1 and 2. Of course, nothing since 2020 has been normal. This year I wasn’t able to attend the festival which includes art and performances and food because of the weather but I did make it to the gallery to see the Ofrendas or altars to the dead.
I love the ofrendas. They are made to honor the dead. They have a lot of symbolism in terms of the colors and decorations used. Here is a great article about the symbolism. Many of the altars adhere to the pattern others do not so much.
I look at them as stories of a person’s life as told by the loved ones. Religious faith, professions, hobbies, loved ones, favorite foods, sports teams, and other facets of a person’s life is displayed. Obviously almost all of these people were much loved when they were alive.
So I try to never miss these. They are wonderful works of art with meaning.
This ofrenda was finished off by sand on the floor below with a beach scene. That could be mine, or a small trail in the woods.
Some ofrendas were communal such as this one offered up students at a local school or who made painted rocks in memory of a loved one of theirs that they had lost.
Dallas Cowboys merchandise was displayed on three of the altars. If somebody makes me an altar, they could add that.
Outside, there are murals in honor of deceased people.
RIP Frida Kahlo, what an amazing artist.
Have you thought about an altar for somebody. I have. I think it would be interesting and emotional coming up with a design and gathering the various elements and then putting it together. I think it is good to remember people. I am not one who wants to get rid of reminders of people. Yes, sure that can be sad, but what about all the happy memories?
I am linking with My Corner of the World. Go check it out.
2022 Tulsa Veterans Day Parade
We had a big Veterans Day Parade in Tulsa today. First one I have been to in a while what with being retired and Covid and all that mess. It lasted a long time. In Tulsa we love our Vets and we show up for them. We had several color guards for instance.
The motorcycle cops did some fancy riding and looking all intimidating and such.
I guessed that these are reservists or something.
My employer sponsored the race and a bunch the employees marched.
There were dogs.
These planes did multiple flyovers.
There were vets in trailers.
And vets on trucks.
We had guys in kilts.
And high school JROTC cadets looking sharp.
Lots of vintage cars.
One guy brought his personal tank.
A couple celebrity storm trackers showed up. They got more decals than NASCAR racers.
And high school marching bands with baton twirlers showing their stuff.
It was quite a show. For the vets.
My brother was in the Navy a long time, now retired.
My Dad was in the US Army during the occupation of Japan after World War II. He’s no longer with us but I think of him every single day. He was proud of his service. Dad’s grandfather served in the Army during the Spanish American War and Dad has a brother, my uncle, who was an officer in Navy. I have a cousin who served in the Army in Korea way back when.
My brother-in-law Irvin is an Army vet. He and my sister and their kids lived all over the place during his service. That is the thing about having a family and being in the military. They serve as well. Irv has a grandson and a son-in-law currently serving.
To all our vets, we salute you and appreciate your service.
A Voyage Solar System Walkway “Lifts Off” in Broken Arrow
On September 13, the City of Broken Arrow, OK celebrated their Voyage Solar System Walkway installation. The Walkway is a model of our solar system at a one to 10 billion scale. The scale involves both the distance between the sun and planets but also the size of bodies.
So the sun is the size of a large grapefruit. Earth is a small dot just a few feet away. Pluto, is 2000 feet down the street.
The installation is designed to help people understand just how vast our solar system is by bringing it down to human scale. Voyage was designed by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. The first installation was on the main mall in Washington, D.C. Other installations are in Kansas City, Missouri, Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, Palo Alto, Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, Ocala, Florida, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
It was interesting hearing about the efforts of many people over the years to get the Walkway installed. Money was raised by local businesses, individuals, and a go fund me page. The city helped out with construction, It was a community effort.
I love that it stretches from the front of an elementary school to the local high school. A ready made model for learning just steps away.
Here’s a video the City of Broken Arrow put out that explains it a lot better than I can.
And of course I made the Voyage to check it out.
I’m linking with My Corner of the World
Shadow Shot Sunday – Mystery Shadows
I was geocaching at a clinic’s gardens in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma when I came upon this sculpture. I thought, “interesting” and snapped the pic and moved on with my task.
I found what I was looking for and noticed the walkway circling the sculpture and saw roman numeral numbers, then the light went on in my head! The sculpture is a giant sundial and is keeping almost perfect time. Eureka. I love figuring out stuff like that.
I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday II – 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.
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.
I also found this egret, or white heron or something several miles north of the Eagle out in the river looking for lunch.
And white pelicans on a sandbar.
And a log with two pairs of turtles. I didn’t know that momma turtles gave baby turtles piggy back (turtle back?) rides.
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.
The Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
In 2016 the Tulsa based George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased Bob Dylan’s archives from him and several years later opened up the Bob Dylan Center in the Arts District just north of Downtown Tulsa. I visited it recently.
The archive consists of over 100,000 items. Everything from clothes, to piano frames, to manuscripts, art works, music recordings, diaries, all sorts of records. Dylan was some sort of pack rat it appears and now his collection is in a place where it can be cataloged, preserved, and put on display.
The center starts with Bobby Zimmerman from Hibbing, Minnesota and goes on from there through all his various personal permutations and tribulations.
One of the supercool features of the center are these Ipods that are activated at dozens of touchpoints throughout the facility. You can hear interviews, music footage, reviews and all sorts of stuff. I thought these were very nice and worked lots better than similar things I have used at other museums. And it is covered under your admission price.
I’ll have to admit that I was never much of a Dylan fan. He was about half a generation ahead of me and so he and I never synched up except for a few songs.
What I learned about Dylan though was that he was all about the music and not so much about sales. He morphed several times in his career, folk music to rock, to country, to gospel. Sometimes his fans didn’t really want to go with him, he didn’t care, he did what he had to do.
The center picked out several songs and displays in detail the painstaking process that Dylan went through writing and rewriting the songs, sometimes it would take years. The guy put everything he had into his music.
He kept his scribblings as he worked things over and over and changed the songs over time.
They also have many of the costumes he wore over the years in his concerts.
There is a gigantic virtual juke box machine curated by Elvis Costello containing almost every song he ever did, or wrote, or collaborated with somebody else on. Turns out he wrote lots of songs for other performers.
I was there for a couple hours and went over everything twice and listened on the ipod to at list a little bit of dozens of songs and interviews. It was overwhelming. I told me wife about it. She is all about music and now she is all excited about going, so I get to go again!!
He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 for his body of work. Reading his thoughts about it, it took him a while to understand that. He just couldn’t figure out why a songwriter was deserving of the honor. He accepted it though.
I strongly recommend the center. I loved it. And right down the block is the Woody Guthrie Center. Go check it out. I did a few years ago.
Here is a musical interlude. I told you that I wasn’t much of a fan but I loved Hurricane from 1975’s Blood on the Tracks album.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And another trackhoe
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.
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.
Tulsa’s Route 66 Roadfest
This past weekend I attended the Route 66 Roadfest in Tulsa. It was an event sponsored by AAA to celebrate all things Route 66. They had a similar event in Oklahoma City the previous weekend.
The event features cars (lots of cars!), music (which I missed).
They had a section on vintage travel trailers.
When I was a kid our family had a similar trailer, a little bit bigger. We went all over the place in the thing in our family of five. Soon, my brother and I got kicked out into a tent on our own, which was fine with us.
The thing I wasn’t expecting and enjoyed the most is the “pods” they had set up showing the history of the Route 66 by decade and highlights of the culture of that time. The above diner was in the 1950’s pod. They had hosts in costume who would show you around. (Who knew that women in poodle skirts could be so fetching?) So each pod was like a time capsule.
Also, in the 1950’s pod was a display of photographs by Charles and Irene Custer who got married in 1950 and took off on Route 66 supporting themselves with photography. Fast forward to recently when somebody found almost 90 negatives in a barn made with a medium format camera. They processed the photos, digitized them and put them on internet. They are incredible. Check out the site here. (I am not displaying any because they are copyrighted so check out the link.) They are incredible visions of an all but forgotten world.
The above was in the 60’s pod showing a wall on school safety. When I was in grade school in Price, UT I was so jealous of the crossings guards. I wanted to be one but I was not a cool kid.
Remember window decals. So many families plastered their cars with travel decals. There were two types of families back then, window decal families, and people who wouldn’t be caught dead with them (that was us.) It was fun looking at all the old stuff and talking with the people there. I loved the pods and had no idea they would be part of the show.
The best part though I just stumbled onto. Michael Wallis, the writer and historian, who wrote “Route 66: The Mother Road” among 20 or so other books, participated in a conversation about the history and culture of the road. His book is credited with a resurgence in interest of Route 66. He did most of the talking. And he is a great talker with a wonderful voice. “He was the voice of the Sheriff in the animated movies Cars.” Some of the high points of what he said were:
- He looks at the road, stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica, as a one big community traversing eight states. He said it is Blue on either end and red in the middle but the road itself is purple with very little rancor like you see in the rest of country. He is hoping that the road will help bring the country together as it approaches its centennial in 2026.
- He talked about how we cannot romanticize history. We have to be on a continual search for the truth. He said for example people get upset when he brings up the fact that the businesses on the road were just as racist as any place in the deep south and there were a bunch of sundown towns where people of color were not allowed to be after sundown. He said the racisim ebbed away after the Civil Rights laws of the 60’s were enacted. He said history is never set, it is like an onion that has many different layers and one cannot be afraid of you will find out.
- He said the road is for travelers not tourists. It is for people who are not in a big hurry and like to stop and look at things and try out local restaurants and independent motels instead of the chains.
- He also told a bunch of stories. One of my favorites concerned a snake pit in the Texas panhandle where a business had a pit holding dozens of rattlesnakes. He said at 4 pm every day a friendly grandmotherly lady would come out with a basket little chicks in it and dump them into the pit. He said that was a big hit. He had a bunch of other funny stories to tell.
- He finished by saying, “Remember, life begins at the off-ramp.”
His 45 minutes flew by. It was the best part of the show.
I think they are going to have this show yearly leading up to the centennial of the road in 2026. I’ll be back!! (And I’ll take in the music next time!!)
Linking to “Through My Lens” come join in!