Tag Archives: Our World Tuesday

Mosaic Monday – Butterflies & More at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

Butterfly Collage
Butterflies from the Tulsa Botanic Garden. My very first mosaic made in photoshop. I promise I will get better.

Saturday Heather and I decided to go up to the Tulsa Botanic Garden. It has been at least a couple years since we have been which nowadays is like a lifetime.

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Nucklehead pumpkins at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

The previous day, we were overwhelmed by what happened on the way home. In fact, about a block from where we live.

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They had a scarecrow contest. Heather and I both voted for this one.

Almost home and we came upon a scene that was hard to compute. Cars stopped in the road. People out and about and a man down on the ground.

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More knucklehead pumpkins.

We stopped, got out of the car to see what is going on. The man down on the ground threw himself out of the car his wife said. She had a grandson on the spectrum in her car. Heather went to check him out and calm him down.

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A persimmon grove. Over 100 years old, all these trees are connected via their roots. In other words, all these trees are the same tree.

So I stayed with the woman who was trying to calm her husband down. He was moving here and there, wanting to know what happened and begging for help. Two different cars of people were stopped, calling 911, reporting the incident.

A giant Oak tree. there is Heather off to the left.

Most people were just sliding by in their cars. Not stopping but getting a good look.

Heather on the trail. We both love the trails out in the woods.

The lady told me that he fell out of the car. I didn’t know why, I didn’t really care. He had a sharp crease on his scalp and was bleeding profusely. Also it looked to me like he broke a couple fingers. I kept trying to calm him, telling him help was on its way.

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Lots of butterflies!

I knew help was coming, but it seemed like it took forever. Meanwhile the guy was inconsolable and moving here and there. His wife was talking to him and I kept telling him that help is on its way. I felt like yelling at him, but you know, people in this situation don’t suffer from hearing loss.

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They had a scarecrow contest.

Finally, the ambulance showed up and and a fire truck. I was really impressed with the teamwork between the two groups of guys. You could tell they knew they had a serious situation and they moved quickly and urgently but in control.

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This was Heather and I’s favorites.

The police showed up and and also moved quickly, efficiently, and calmly, finding out what happened. The firemen had a stuffed bear for the child in the car.

So Heather was with the child, who was on the spectrum, in the car. I went up there and hung out and let the wife talk to the police in private about what happened. There was a lady who was asked to stay because she saw the whole thing from the beginning.

So hug your kids close and pray for those who are not so lucky.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday and with Mosaic Monday. Come join the parties!

Our World – Philbrook Flowers and Reflections

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The tempietto at Philbrook has to be the most photographed thing in town. I’ve taken a bunch myself. Back when the Waite Phillips family lived here way back when, the pond was a swimming pool and supposedly there was a changing room underneath the tempietto.

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The pond makes for some nice reflections.

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I love all the flowers at Philbrook.

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On another water body, Crow Creek, which winds through the property, there are lots of turtles.

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And another flowers.

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An invitation to look for a stone flower.

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There it is!!

Stumbled upon the secret garden. The restaurant at Philbrook uses it for growing herbs and such.

It was too early to catch the change of color in the trees. Almost as good is this installation. “Oklahoma Autumn” by Eric Baker. It’s my favorite sculpture in the garden. There are two other pieces of this off to the right.

They got a lot of stuff in the 25 acres of gardens. Over 1200 trees and fifteen sculptures. I wonder if somebody is in charge of the tree count?

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Give it a try!

Our World – My Toes in the Water…

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Here’s my toes during our recent vacation. I didn’t actually get a photo of them actually in the water.

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Here’s a beer in my hand, cans only, no glass allowed on the beach.

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How do you like my waterproof Kindle? 11 years old, hundreds of books and still going strong.

We just got back from ten days at the beach. Orange Beach, Alabama. We spent almost every day on the beach. A couple rainy days we read in our condo and went shopping and stuff. We had a really good time and got recharged. I got hundreds of photos. Most of them skywatch type, sky and water photos so I’ll be posting lots of those as time goes by.

This song is like twelve years old or so but I noticed just this year. Best lyrics ever.

Come join the fun over at Our World Tuesday. Lots of great bloggers linking up over there.

Our World – Union Pacific’s Big Boy Goes on Tour

One day earlier this month my friend Tom asked if I wanted to go see Union Pacific’s Big Boy locomotive. It was on a ten state tour and was going through Oklahoma on August 12. So the next day Tom and I went up to the little town of Vinita where the Big Boy was scheduled to appear.

Turns out about half the population of Oklahoma was there as well. Train fans of all ages were there. It’s nice to see that people still get all excited about trains.

The locomotive pulling this train is special. It is the biggest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world. With its tender, it weighs 1,951,000 pounds, it is 133 feet long and over sixteen feet tall. Twenty five of these monsters were built during World War II to pull freight trains over the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

They were in service up until 1959 when they were replaced by cheaper to run diesel locomotives. There are only eight left. Seven are static displays in museums. The one we saw, number 4014 is the only one operational. Union Pacific reacquired it in 2019 and brought it back to working condition. The originals burned coal, 4014 is converted to burning used motor oil. It is used for promotional purposes by UP now.

It is very impressive and very loud and everybody was excited to see it including me.

It is still on tour, so you can still see it if you wish. They are touring ten states and it ends September 7 at UP’s station in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Check here for details on the schedule and stops.

Hey everybody else was getting a selfie why not me?

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It stayed in Vinita for an hour or so while the crews fussed over the locomotive adjusting this and that and asking hundreds of questions.

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The crew and the other UP employees were obviously proud of the engine. I was proud also. I worked for an oil and gas subsidiary of UP back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They didn’t let me near a train but I still get their yearly train calendar.

And then it came time for it to go to the next stop.

There goes almost two million pounds of steel.

Tom and I got a few miles ahead of it so we could capture some motion. Locomotives are all about motion.

And so that was a good day back earlier this month.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Check it out!!

Here are some other good links

Big Boy’s Wikipedia Page

Facts and Figures on 4014

UP’s Press Release on the Tour

Schedule and Map of the Tour

Our World – On the Trail and the Road

Sunday morning after dropping the kid off at work I headed to Turkey Mountain for a little hiking.

Virginia Creeper?

I’ve been reading the novel, The Overstory by Richard Powers and it is blowing me away with its talk of how trees in a forest are all interconnected and they exchange nutrients with one another and with other plants via a network of fungal hyphae, miles and miles of tubular fungus that exchange minerals with trees for sugar. I already read the book and then I started reading it again. It’s pretty amazing.

Hairy Ruellia?

The woods on Turkey Mountain are very new. It used to be small farms and ranches but oil was discovered and what trees that were there were cut down for fuel for the boilers that powered the pumps.

Headache!!! I’m afraid some poor mountain biker hit his noggin.

So the trees that are there now are pretty new and mostly skinny. There are a few older ones that are bigger and are more spread out. I find the whole life cycle of tree thing to be fascinating.

American Trumpet Vine maybe

I know that Sunday I pretty much had the place to myself. Most people on Turkey Mountain stick to the more established east side with its overlooks of the Arkansas River and well developed trails. The west side is a little wilder and the trails less established and mapped.

I went all the over the the YMCA and took a pic. Not much going on there.

Shining Sumac perhaps

Just 3 miles but hey I was refreshed.

In the afternoon I checked out Route 66 for some geocaching. I stopped one of my favorites. The Blue Whale of Catoosa.

Right next to it was this. Apparently it is supposed to be an Ark as part of a journey through the Bible attraction but it didn’t really take off.

I found this museum in Catoosa. It was closed but it has a great mural out back.

And this is an old bridge on Route 66 that has been relocated. So I am continuing my turning 66 on Route 66 thing that I have going on.

I hope your Sunday was as fun as mine!!

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Hanging out in Okmulgee

Monday morning, I drove 43 miles south of Tulsa to the little burg of Okmulgee, Oklahoma in order to pursue my geocaching hobby. First up on the list is an Adventure Lab geocache at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Adventure Lab caches don’t involve finding a physical object, instead you have to navigate to various places and then answer questions about what you find. You use an app on your phone to navigate and it has technology that makes sure you are physically there where you say you are. It discourages “armchair geocachers.”

So it had me go all over the campus finding information. I learned that the campus started out as an Army Hospital during World War II and then later a hospital for German POWs. After the war the USA sold the campus to what is now Oklahoma State University for a dollar.

OSU loves the color orange, they put it on everything. Even their flowers are orange.

It is an applied technology school. You don’t go here to think the big thoughts. You go here to learn nursing, engine repair, cooking and a bunch of other fields. It has a 100% placement rate for their graduates.

This is a solar pond that helps reduce the campus heating and cooling costs. The water is circulated through a heat pump is how it works.

This is OSU’s mascot, Pistol Pete. He’s based on a real person, Frank Eaton. At eight years old, he witnessed his father’s murder by six vigilantes. Young Frank practiced shooting until he was fifteen years old and then spent the next six years hunting down and killing his father’s murderers. He later served as a US Marshall for Oklahoma under the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker. He became the mascot for OSU after he died in 1958. You can’t make this stuff up!! I love stories like this.

Nothing to do with the cache but this is the Natural Gas Compression Technology building. I spent about 40 years messing with natural gas compressors in various capacities. Compressors are what is used to move the natural gas all the way from the wellhead to industrial and home use. It is hard to get into this program. For years all of the graduates have had jobs before they graduate.

And then shifting gears to downtown Okmulgee. It was an oilfield boom town way back when and then went into a long slow decline as the production in the area waned. There is a new spirit in town. People are moving in buying and renovating the many beautiful old buildings that were decaying. They are also commissioning murals such as the one above by famed Native American Muralist, Yatika Starr Fields. The mural above may be the most beautiful mural I have ever seen, (and I have seen a lot of them.)

Even OSU Tech got in on the action converting the above building to an off campus dorm.

So with this cache I went to a lot different murals. It was fun.

With a Where I Go geocache, you eventually have to find a physical object and I did. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody but it is a nanocache which makes it tiny. Lots smaller than the tip of my pinkie fingers.

Anyway, a good morning. It took me a little more than an hour to log both caches and then headed home.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

To find out more about Geocaching

Our World – Deer on Turkey Mountain

The other day I went for a hike on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. Last time I was out I followed trails on the east side overlooking the Arkansas River. This time I took the west side trails.

I checked out the new trail segment that I helped build in early April along with a bunch of other people.

I got down close to the YMCA and turned back. I got along a segment paralleling 61st street thinking that that was the place to see deer. I looked up and there were two of them. I hardly ever see them in broad daylight.

We stayed there looking at each other for a couple minutes and they had enough and went on. Seeing deer on Turkey Mountain is a rare thing since the area became popular after a dipweed shopping center developer proposed an outlet mall on the mountain. (They dropped the project after overwhelming community opposition.)

A short video of my trek.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Come check it out.

Our World – Rock Climbing and More

Saturday I ventured to a popular rock climbing area in Tulsa near Chandler Park here in Tulsa to meet IRL a couple people I knew through social media, Tim and Brittany. They are rock climbers and they were going to let me use my drone to video them doing what they do. I’d never been close to the sport before and I guess what I learned is that I don’t have enough upper, lower, or core strength to even get off the ground.

I was impressed with the whole rock climbing infrastructure in the area. Previous climbers had already installed a lot of the bolts and pins they use for their safety ropes and harnesses. They told me that there is an app (of course, there is always an app, right!) that maps out the areas and routes. So I got to meet Tim and Brittany and learned a little about their sport. The video is on their youtube channel. Check out their other videos, they are very active. They hike, camp, bike, and go kayaking in addition to their rock climbing adventures and do a good job editing their videos. Give them a like and subscribe to see their other adventures.

I was flying in tight quarters between trees and the face of the rock so I wasn’t keeping up with the climber as I should have some of the time. Still it was nice to go somewhere besides my back yard to fly the thing.

They had offered to bring an extra harness so that I could try it. I’m like thank you but no. At my age gravity is not my friend!

Gilcrease Expressway Construction Update

After we parted ways I stopped nearby where the State is building a new expressway in west Tulsa. I got the drone out and started taking it up and due to high winds I had to call it off plus some small bird was flying around the drone in a not very friendly manner so I called it quits and brought it back down. Still not a bad shot.

Alan - Drone Piloting

And here is yours truly, the drone pilot in my element. Tshirt, boots, and hiking boots, I have totally gotten worthless. I love being retired. Maybe I can buy this old gas station and get it going again. Whaddya think. Maybe not is what I say.

Come join the fun at Our World Tuesday

Our World – Cry Baby Hill – Tulsa Tough Bike Races 2021

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One of the huge sports events in Tulsa is Tulsa Tough. A series of bicycle rides and races over three days that includes everything from a “Townie Ride” of a few miles to long distance rides and everybody’s favorite the Criterium Races which are short races on a closed loop of multiple laps. The criterium races attract professional riders from all over the world. Most of the riders though are talented amateurs.

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Last Year’s Tulsa Tough was cancelled as were all sorts of other events all over the world. This year it was back bigger than ever.

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I participated in the the shortest distant event two years ago at about 30 miles and got my butt thoroughly kicked. I didn’t even finish. We were going by where my car was parked and I was like, I am cutting this agony short. I hope you are not too shocked by my cowardly craven decision. If you are, that is kind of your problem (just kidding folks.)

So Sunday it was hot and I went out to the Criterium Course, officially something like the RiverParks Criterium but everybody calls it CryBaby Hill. It is a short course that starts on the Riverside Drive and then climbs up a steep hill and then comes down the hill and turns back on to Riverside a turn well sharper than 90 degrees. Do this about 14 times and you have the race. Sunday it was done in 90 degree temperatures.

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These guys and gals are very tough and very fit. I walked one loop Sunday and I was done. I left well before noon before it got hot.

So you got a race going on but you also have a big party that has approached legendary proportions. I’ve always left over the years before the legendary part.

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I’ve never spent too much time on Crybaby Hill. For one thing it is in residential neighborhood with no sidewalks so it is kind of crowded. Plus I don’t do well when I’m hot. I’m told the party really gets crazy after 3 pm.. Well Sunday I was gone before noon. So sorry, I missed it.

I think everybody is really glad to get back to normal. I just hope that we are not doing it too soon. I don’t feel too threatened since I am vaccinated and try to stick with outdoor events. Our world has forever changed though. But for these last three days Tulsa celebrated a return to normalcy.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday come check it out!!

Previous Years Tulsa Tough Posts

2015 Crybaby Hill Report

2016 Crybaby Hill Report

2017 Crybaby Hill Report

2018 Crybaby Hill Report

2019 The Year I actually participated in Tulsa Tough. Epic Failure with a good name “Grand Fondo” and a heck of bike ride. Didn’t go to Crybaby Hill

Our World – Memorial Day and More

It’s Memorial Day in the USA. A day where we honor those who sacrificed their lives for their country. It’s also a day were we honor all of our passed on relatives, forefathers, and friends. The cemeteries are very busy with people bringing flowers and sprucing up the grave sites. It’s a great day for remembering.

I am not aware of any family members who actually died in combat but I have plenty of relatives who served their country. My brother and brother-in-law both. (We have to remember that family members of servicemen and women also served as they suffer hardships when their families are deployed.) A niece’s husband is in the armed forces now. My father, at least two uncles, and many others also served.

It’s a great day to honor these men and women.

Our World Tuesday