On my recent hike at Oxley Nature Center in Tulsa. I came upon lots of deer but they were skittish and took off and I couldn’t get a clear shot through the underbrush. I also saw a possum but had the same problem. I did come across these birds on a lake paddling around. I didn’t have a very long lens because I was trying for more foliage views than long range photography. I am not sure what kind of birds these are.
Wednesday here in Oklahoma started cold, about 29F but it was clear and it warmed up nicely and the skies were clear in the afternoon into the 40’s so I bundled up and drove to north Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center to get some trail time and sunlight.
I took the trail called the North Woods Loop. I have been on this trail dozens of times over the years and hardly ever see anybody. Today there was nobody at all.
The air was crisp and the skies were blue. It was late afternoon and the lowering sun illuminated everything perfectly.
There were lots of dead leaves on the trail which made it hard to walk stealthily.
The sun was brilliant shining through the remaining leaves leaving an impression almost like stained glass.
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.
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.
I took a hike on Turkey Mountain and captured a scene at Pepsi Lake.
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!!
Friday morning I talked son Logan into going on a hike with me to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center.
In the parking lot we spotted a swallowtail butterfly. Swallowtails move around a lot so I just kept taking photos hoping one would be okay.
Later on in our hike we found a doe and her fawn in the woods. They were kind of skittish and the woods were thick so it was hard to get a good photo.
And later came upon this armadillo rooting around for something to eat. It pretty ignored us. I don’t think they see or hear very well. Years ago when I lived in south Texas they got hit a lot on the roads.
And as we were leaving we saw this doe and her two offspring. I think one might be a yearling and the other a pretty new fawn. They ignored as well.
Here’s my hiking companion, son Logan who has started a couple classes in the local community college’s Paralegal Program.
Earlier this week I spent the morning at Oxley Nature Center here in Tulsa. I was hoping to see some deer but I went too late for that I think. I did find some mosquitos, or rather they they found me!! Thanks to slathering on my 40% DEET repellant and I emerged unscathed from them but they followed me everywhere.
While still on the boardwalk off the visitor center I spotted this gray squirrel and their friend. They are very shy.
Just off the boardwalk I found these. INaturalist says they may be a wild iris. I loved the color.
I walked on down to Coal Creek and stopped at this swampy area. There was a guy there with a huge camera and one of those gigantic grey colored lens on it. He said there was a green heron. He told me where to go to see it which was just a few steps from where I was standing. So I went over and looked and looked, he eventually wandered back and tried to help me find it but he couldn’t find it either. He showed me one of photos he captured and then left. So I stayed for a while and two other people showed up making lots of noise and then the heron sprang up from right where I had been looking and went into the tree canopy and I lost sight of it. I just got a glimpse of it. I’d never seen one before.
And then I walked along Coal Creek hoping to see the otters that live there but again, too late in the day. These turtles were all over the place.
I was walking along one of the muddy trails and saw this snake wriggling its way along the same trail. It slithered into the brush so I went and found it. I think it is a rat snake. Lots of them at Oxley.
And here is a Relive Video of my first hike at Oxley.
I went back to the Visitor Center and drove to a remote section of Oxley called the North Woods and hiked their loop. I saw no wildlife at all except the mosquitos were really out. I was hiking along and I heard this sound like some critter was really in distress. What in the world I thought and I came up on this group of four guys with big huge cameras and they had an electronic device that was making very loud bird calls. All the birds in the area were responding to it and the guys were scoping the trees with binoculars. When they saw me they acted a little sheepish, and told me they were trying to call warblers. I said okay and walked on and they took their device and moved on elsewhere. Anyway I enjoyed the rest of my hike without the racket they were making.
Here is the Relive Video of my second hike.
On the home front, we put out a hummingbird feeder and within a day we saw a hummingbird feeding at it. I put up my trailcam and no hummingbird’s on it yet. We got this squirrel checking it out.
The only bird I’ve captured is this hawk (I think it’s a hawk) high in the air.
Speaking of squirrels, here is an action shot of me mowing the yard.
Last week was the busiest I have been in a while. I helped out at the Leave No Trace event here in Tulsa so I was there for most of it. Not that big a deal really, about four or five hours a day so don’t feel sorry for me but it was a lot to me.
It started Wednesday and ended Saturday. Lots and lots of good stuff happened and I was glad to be a small part of it.
The way I recover from stress is to head back to nature. Sunday night I went to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. They close the gate at 5 pm so I parked outside the gate and climbed over the fence. (Totally legal folks!!) One of the people I met at the event told me where to find the river otters at Oxley. That got my attention!! I have never seen one in the wild. (Spoiler alert, I still haven’t seen one.)
It was beautiful, the sun was getting low and the leaves were glowing.
There is nothing like a lonely trail through the woods.
I didn’t find the otters but I found a few deer including this one who posed for me.
The next evening I went back to Turkey Mountain. Not too many people in what is called the back country when the sun starts going down.
I found this deer and a few of his siblings and mom. I just had my point and shoot with me and this is the only photo I got. I have gotten pretty good at figuring out where the deer are in the evening on the mountain and how they move.
The sun was going down and the trees were putting on a show.
Sunset near what is called Rock City.
At some point the color is going to get a little better and then we’ll get a big wind and all those trees will be on the ground.
And again, give me a trail through the woods anytime.
Monday morning I decided to go check out the North Woods trails at Oxley Nature Center. I heard there was a new trail and I wanted to go check it out.
I don’t need much of an excuse to go to Oxley, especially what they call the North Woods Unit. Seldom do I see another person.
Usually there are lots of birds and squirrels. This day I saw a bunch of deer running through the woods, too far away to even try taking a photo.
The leaves have pretty much got blown off the trees already so you can see deep into the woods now.
Oxley is kind of low. There is almost always water. It is kind of halfway a swamp.
Hah, I found the new trail. It’s not very long, its kind of a cutoff from one part of the existing trail system to another. That’s okay. I love networked trail systems. It makes for options and I love options.
I soon got to the boardwalk. One of my favorite spots. Something about a boardwalk in the woods looks great to me.
Oxley hasn’t added the trail to their trails maps yet so I am doing it for them. It’s the blue line highlighted in yellow above. I’m a thinking when I start trailrunning again I can do a cool 4 mile route of the new network. I had been reading on social media on the new trail at Oxley but I couldn’t figure out where it was, so now we know.
The other day I had some time all to myself and I was thinking that I would go to the boat show, but it was a very nice day so, heck with the boat show, I am going to Oxley Nature Center. A day out in the woods and marshes beats a day at the boat show anytime.
I only had an hour and half before it closed but I have been out there lots of times and knew what I wanted to see so I went on a circumscribed circuit.
The trails were very muddy in places but there are enough trails that one can get around the soggy areas.
There are lots of woods there, and lots of ponds, lakes and marshes to get around. So I finished my outing in plenty of time, all refreshed and ready to go.
Oklahoma since the demise of the Dallas Cowboys is now College Football territory and people don’t talk much about NFL football. I did find this Kansas City Chiefs fan at a gas station. I think he’d make a great defensive lineman. He’s not very fast but nobody is going to move him off the line.
I am strange guy I guess. I love the Superbowl for the football and hardly notice the ads or the halftime show. I hear that there were lots of nearly naked women in it. I am shocked! shocked I tell you. If you missed it, check out the video with 79 million other shocked people here. After you watch be sure and log on to facebook and express your shock, everybody else is, especially those who have not seen it. Above is the one ad I did notice. Bill Murray in a “Groundhog Day” themed commercial. I loved it.
I hope you are having a great week!! I am linking with Skywatch Friday
Earlier this week I wanted some outside time and wanted to try something different so I decided to do some running/hiking at Oxley Nature Center. Flat, no rocks, no people, perfect.
So I took the back way in which is the closest access to downtown and I knew they had some gates they close on weekends and late at night. When I got there I found this locked gate??? So, okay, I’ll just go with it. So I parked outside the gate and stepped over it and off I went. There were no signs saying I couldn’t.
Just before the trailhead I found this group of wildflowers.
I got to the trail and started down it and noticed that it hadn’t been mowed or much of anything done in the way of maintenance. Oxley holds half the worlds population of ticks and chiggers and so I had doused myself with deet before I left the car so I wasn’t too worried.
The boardwalk had damage and had not been cleared or anything. By now, I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t be there but I was also kind of into it pretty far so I just plowed on ahead.
I didn’t get any photos because I wasn’t fast enough but I saw lots of deer running through the woods, a raccoon, and a turtle. Also, lots and lots of small frogs hopping here, there and everywhere.
At the far reach of the North Woods Loop the trail was completely overgrown and I was convinced that the trail was probably closed. See that bench up there? I am a rule follower and if I had known the trail was closed I wouldn’t have gone down it. I guess that I should check the web site. I don’t generally do that before going hiking.
I love being on trails where there is nobody else. In maybe fifteen years of going on this trail I have literally seen maybe a dozen people, probably less. I love it especially on bitterly cold sunny windy cold days. There is no wind at ground level but you can hear the wind howling through the trees above. I know I am weird, but I love that.
It is quite watery their. The area borders Lake Yahola, Bird Creek, and some oxbow lakes formed off Bird Creek. I am glad I was deeted up as this is mosquito heaven.
Toward the end of my outing, the sky reflecting off one of the oxbow lakes.
And another sky photo.
And an aerial view of my outing. Not very long but I enjoyed myself immensely. And I can report that apparently I put enough deet on, I only have two mosquito bites on the back of my neck.