Tag Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The Skies of October

I’ve been enjoying my October so far. The weather has been good and I have been doing a lot of hiking and wandering. Above is the sky over Lake Bixhoma south of Tulsa about ten miles. I love it there during the week because nobody else is there.

This is a photo taken by “cousin-in-law” in western Oklahoma of Angus cattle on their ranch.

And this is at Martin Nature Center in Oklahoma City. I stopped there for a short hike on my way to pick up son at his college.

I’ve shown these chairs before. The City of Bixby repurposed the old auto bridge across the Arkansas River to a pedestrian bridge and added all sorts of extras such as these recliners.

And of course I had to try them out.

Here is the view I had.

History Marker

The bridge ties into Washington Irving Park in Bixby where the man camped during his tour of what is now Oklahoma back in 1832.

And here is sculpture of the man. This is part of an outdoor amphitheater. The park is another good place to go during the work week cuz of hardly anybody else being there.

And this always makes me think and ponder. This is one of the girders from the World Trade Center that were destroyed on the attack on America.

So I’m really enjoying the moderate weather. How about you?

Come join me and and bunch of other photobloggers at Skywatch Friday

Late night bonus content – I flew my drone for a little while this evening.

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Roughly a little south of northwest. All these were taken at about 150 feet elevation.

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Looking almost straight west

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Roughly a little north of southwest.

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A really big cloud was passing over Tulsa. This is looking almost straight south.

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A little bit north of northwest.

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Almost straight north.

I flew the drone in “periscope mode” in other words I launched it straight up from my back yard and just rotated it and snapped a few pics.

Route 66 Skywatching, Channeling Paul McCartney

Son Logan visited us over the weekend and on Monday I took him back to college. Our little 6′ 3″, 250 pound son is in his final semester (he better be in his final semester) and graduates this Fall. We are really proud of him! Anyway, dropped him and his stuff off, made a visit with the bursar and paid his tuition and fees and headed back to Tulsa.

I took the scenic route on part of it on Route 66. I was hunting down geocaches and doing a ten state Adventure Lab geocache at the same time. Hit the links to find out more about what I’m talking about. First stop was Pops on Route 66. They have a gas station and a huge selection of pop. I got me a selfie cuz I am 66 years old this year on Route 66.

Pops is a stop on the Adventure Lab and it also has a real geocache that I had found previously. Nearby there was another one.

A little bit down the road is the Round Barn of Arcadia, another stop on the Adventure Lab. With an Adventure Lab you don’t find a physical container, you have to answer questions about the stop.

And nearby is minor attraction in Arcadia. Tutons Drug Store. I think it has been closed very years but I love the rock work.

And another stop is an “Auto Trim Museum.” It was closed but I got the information I needed from the gate.

Paul McCartney Sighting

And then this find. Paul McCartney, on his 66th birthday, drove Route 66 with his girlfriend back in 2011. Not being a geocacher the former Beatle got lost and had to stop at a house and ask if if he was still on the Old Road (as Route 66 is called by some.) This was on an “alternate alignment” of Route 66 and I never would have found it if were not for geocaching. I guess great minds think alike.

Washington Irving Camp Site

Another stop was at this marker commemorating a stop Washing Irving made on his travels in Oklahoma way back when. Another bit of info I would have never known if hadn’t been for my sport.

It was close to here while looking for another cache that a couple of sheriff deputies stopped and asked me if I knew that my car tag was almost two years expired. I said no I didn’t. We chatted about that for a while and then they asked what I was doing and I told him all about it. So they said to get the tag renewed cuz they don’t care about it but you get a highway patrolman in a bad mood they have been known to impound your car and leave you standing by the road. (I took care of the tag the next day.)

And then a little later, I stopped at this old gas station from the early in 20 the century. Anyway I had earned the Adventure Labs cache and was a little unnerved by the thought of encountering a highway patrolman in a bad mood so I went on home.

So thanks for sticking with me. Here’s a photo from our vacation looking out the back side of the condo we were staying in. I took my drone but didn’t fly it. We were on the 15th floor so it was kind of like a stationary drone.

I hope everybody is well. I got my third jab yesterday and a flu shot. I’m still being careful and avoiding crowds as much as I can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday, come join the fun!!

Skywatch Friday – Stormy Weather on the Drive Home

We drove home last Saturday from our vacation on the Gulf Coast. My wife and I shared the driving duties and so she drove the middle third of the distance, much of it in the delta country of Mississippi and Arkansas. There was lots of weather during much of the drive especially early on in Alabama. The rest of the time we dodged the rain and got see some great clouds.

So Heather drove and I snapped pics of the sky and country. The above two are in Mississippi.

I snapped this as we crossed the Mississippi River.

And this was in Arkansas.

And so was this. I am not sure just where but I really liked it. And no, we didn’t drive into that storm. I’m not sure where it went.

And this is Oklahoma. I was driving and I confess I took the photo while driving. Lock me up officer, throw away the key!!!

Anyway we got back safe and sound from a great vacation.

I hope that everybody is being safe, while also enjoying life. Please find that balance.

Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday

Thirty Second Anniversary Skywatch

Wednesday morning, Heather and I, left the house at around 5 am, already prepacked the night before and headed for the Gulf of Mexico.

We were ready, it has been two years since we had a vacation and its our thirty second anniversary. So off we went childless. Son Logan is at college.

So we are staying about a week or so. If you are thinking about robbing our house know that we have a full time house sitter and they are kind of mean and ornery but they take good care of the dogs.

So we got there in about 13 hours stopping only for restroom breaks and gasoline. We unloaded our stuff, got dinner, and sat out on the balcony for a while.

First thing on the agenda was a three mile out and back walk to lifeguard station number one. Then reading on the beach, lunch and cocktails.

A good time is being had by all. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday but I may not return all comments right away.

Skywatch Friday – Vacation Edition

This week I didn’t know if I was going to be able to post a Skywatch Friday post. Our son is going back to school soon and we wanted to give him some sort of vacation after his summer of taking Spanish classes online (three hours a day, four days a week of Zoom, ouch, I hate zoom), working hard at Loews Hardware, and socially isolating during this resurgence of Covid in a state that is not doing anything it about in order to maintain “freedom and justice for all.” (Yes, literally the state is doing nothing at all.)

So we said goodbye to our worthless cats and incredulous dogs.

Loaded up the car like the Okies we are and headed to Branson, Missouri. (Aka, the “Baptist Las Vegas”) to stay at a cabin for fun and social isolation. No shows, no, Silver Dollar City, no elbow to elbow jostling with anybody, cook most of our own meals and go at off times and eat outside when we do go out to eat.

This cabin had some strict rules. Most cabins have don’t type rules, this cabin had “do” rules. We liked these rules, what about you?

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The first day we went kayaking. It doesn’t get more socially distant than this.

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So we went here, there, and everywhere in the cove of the place we were staying.

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So we have done a ton of reading, hanging out at the swimming pool, and just kind of in general chillaxing.

We made one trip into the “Belly of the Beast” Branson Landing which is pretty much deserted. Taney County, which includes Branson has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the county, about 30% according to the state. I’m like wow! A city so dependent on outside visitors is doing everything they can to discourage travelers. Their brand new mayor is actually proud of their anti public health stance. What are we doing here!! We walked up and down the deserted area without entering any of the places that were open. Personally, I think they would be smart to get ahead of the issue instead of sticking their head in the sand.

Back in our bubble!! They skies are pretty cool. I tried to fly my drone but the cabin in in a no fly zone for some reason. Probably because we are so close to the lake.

Cabin internets are highly variable and I didn’t think that I would be able to post from there so I set Skywatch Friday up in advance and thought well I’ll just post when I get home but it turns out it is blazingly fast. So I am linking up with Skywatch Friday. Come join us!!

Skywatch Friday – August, Osage County

July, Osage County, Oklahoma

I actually took this photo in July, not August, but I loved the Play and the Movie. I have figured out where the exterior shots for the movie were filmed and I am going to visit the house one of these days. Not going to buy it though. Five bedrooms and one bathroom.

Went riding my bike on the RiverParks on Wednesday. I’ve always loved this group of cottonwood trees. One of them formed a rainbow over the trail and it finally broke off and the RiverParks Authority had to remove it. You can see the stump on the lower right hand corner of the photo above.

And a photo from Turkey Mountain from one of my recent outings.

I hope everybody is doing well. Covid in Oklahoma is skyrocketing so our family is back to avoiding people and wearing masks in stores and other inside places.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Running Through the Woods

I went on a recently on Turkey Mountain. It was morning but it was hot but the trails were shady.

I was also looking for a geocache. I thought it was below the above ledge so I climbed down below and nope, there is another ledge further down and I needed to get below that. It was too hot and sticky so, as we say in the energy biz, I temporarily abandoned that project for a day when I feel better. Getting down ledges is easy, getting back up is sometimes harder. Further south there is a trail I could descent to and walk out. So I’ll finish this on another day.

It was still morning as I made my way back and the morning sun was making the leaves glow green. It kind of reminded me of a stained glass window except it was bright green. It has been wet this summer and the leaves and grass still have that fresh green look to them.

Went by Wagon Wheel Lake and it was full and overflowing. I have seen it dry as a bone by this time some years.

Sky to the south one afternoon.

I’m still flying my drone. I am kind of boring. I send it straight up and rotate it. I don’t want to fly it over anybody’s property but mine. Most of the time I go to 50 meters. Doesn’t seem very high but I can hardly see it at that height. You don’t get much better views higher than that and I can maintain control of the aircraft. I went up to 75 meters and suddenly the controller said it had lost contact and was going to try and land the drone automatically. That was kind of panicy but the drone came on down and reestablished contact so I kept it up in the air.

Sky to the northwest another day.

So I am not too adventurous it. It costs too much money. I know guys who fly their across rivers and subdivisions and all that. Not me I am not flying it anywhere I can’t walk to it, legally. Plus if it fell it could hurt somebody and I would feel terrible. It is tiny, only 249 grams in weight but something like that falling from 100 feet would give somebody a headache or worse.

I am amazed by the device. It is a technological marvel. It can fly for thirty minutes, it takes great photos, and stays rock solid when you stop it due to its built in GPS. If I can fly it, anybody can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the party!

Skywatch Friday – Summertime non-Blues Edition

We’ve had some pretty good skies up until just very recently when the smoke from the forest fires in the west showed up and grayed or pinked everything out.

The morning that I took these pics, the air was cool and fresh, a front was blowing through. We live for such summer mornings here in Tulsa.

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A 5/8ths moon on a clear night a few days ago. Last night the moon was orange because of the haze.

Last weekend my wife and I visited some Parade of Homes houses. We love checking out the new styles. Here in Tulsa we are seeing a lot less brick and stacked rock on the outside and lots more stucco and squared off lines with dark trim. Times and styles change. I captured the above pic at a new subdivision. Pretty darn muddy.

This is a good place to get cleaned up. We like to look at the big expensive houses. It’s the only way we’ll get into one, legally. Wealthy people apparently like big bathrooms and I guess to save time they like to shower together. I hope they have a big water tank. Most likely they have a tankless water heater. We priced one as our old tank water heater has got some years on it and wow! They are expensive.

And here is a big tub with a built in diving platform. Careful!! The water is kind of shallow.

Here, you can belly flop off the vanity if you like. I like the frosted glass. This was a very light room. We see so many houses with big picture windows right over the tub. Kind of a waste. We have a big picture window over our tub. We installed blinds on that window and they have never been open. Nor will they be!! Ever!!

That’s enough foolishness for today I think. Everybody be safe out there! Oklahoma is now a top ten state in Covid cases per capita. We have only 40% of the population fully vaccinated. Fortunately the most vulnerable population, 65 and over, is about 80% vaccinated. Unfortunately ages 12 to 20 is only about 20% vaccinated. So we have a situation here. It’s frustrating because so many other countries do not have widespread access to a vaccine yet and so many people here disdain it. My wife and I, fully vaccinated, have started limiting again our exposure to indoor crowds and wear masks in indoor situations.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain Hike

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The other day I went to my yoga class and decided that I wanted to go hiking or walking so I went to Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa.

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I parked in the lower lot, which I hardly ever do, and took the Red Trail which is kind of short. It has been a long time I have been on it. I was looking for just two miles or so. It was hot and humid.

About a quarter mile in on the trail I came across this electric cord strung across the trail. I have no idea why it was there. I hope somebody wasn’t trying to injure somebody. It was too high for a runner or walker but somebody on a horse could be injured or a bicyclist maybe sitting up. So I sent in the lat langs and the photo to the RiverParks office for them to take a look at it. I didn’t have any way of cutting it down. I have no idea why anybody would do such a dangerous thing.

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At the bottom of the Red Trail it was pretty muddy.

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And then you finish the Red Trail by going up to the parking lot on the paved trail. That was only about a mile so I wanted one more so I headed out on the Yellow Trail to get some extra distance.

RiverParks has put in a new selfie station on the trail. So here I am. Older, fatter, balder, and dumber than the last time you saw me.

I went out on an overlook I had never been on before and explored briefly a couple trails I had never been on. I could have sworn I have been on them all.

So here are my wibbly wobbly wanderings. No, I was not drunk!! I was pretty sweaty.

And from an earlier evening, a drone shot of the sunset from about 30 meters over our back yard.

And a morning skywatch shot from ground level.

And from three years ago plus or minus. A drilling rig in the STACK play of Oklahoma. The fracking vendor was setting up his frack tanks and positioning the pumps in preparation of fracking the well. You can see the green pipes laying on the ground. The gas gatherer is building their pipeline to the well pad. The well is fracked over a day or so and then they flow the water back from the well into tanks and then the gatherer takes the gas as soon as it is available. If the gatherer is a day late, the economic loss is permanent because you can’t flow twice as much the next day. So lots of pressure to get the timing right right on everything. Despite all that it was a pretty summer day in Oklahoma with beautiful clouds.

I hope that everybody is having a good week.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday – Road Trip to Osage County

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Tuesday, I didn’t have anything going on and son, Logan, didn’t have school or work so we decided to head up to the little city of Pawhuska in Osage County about an hour northwest of Tulsa.

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Martin Scorsese is filming “Killers of the Flower Moon” in Pawhuska. We were able to get some glimpses of the set. They have taken a big part of downtown and transformed it back to the early 20th century by putting dirt down on top of the asphalt and redoing the fronts of many buildings. The movie people have taken over the whole town with all their trailers and equipment. It is very interesting. The movie is being directed by Martin Scorsese and is starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

The movie is based on a non-fiction book that describes how Osage Indians were systematically murdered in the early twentieth century for their money. It was the first case that the newly created FBI worked on. It is a great read.

After checking out the movie guys and gals, Logan and I went to Pawhuska’s swinging bridge across bird creek. It is pretty bouncy but I felt safe on it. It bounces more than it swings.

And great photos of the sky over the muddy Bird Creek.

And then we decided to head out of town to check out Blue Stem Falls. I had to stop and get photos on the way. Osage County is beautiful.

But just short of our destination the road was overrun with water. Turn around, don’t drown is my motto. So we’ll check it out next time.

And I saw this sign. I asked Logan if he had news for me and his mother.

Price Tower

We went back to Tulsa via Bartlesville. Home of the Price Tower. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only high rise he designed that actually got built. The 19 floors are cantilevered from a central core which gave Wright the opportunity to use lots of glass on the exterior walls since they had no structural function. The structure now houses a hotel, restaurant, and an arts center. I think it is the coolest high rise in Oklahoma.

And Route 66 doesn’t go through Bartlesville but it is home to Phillips 66 who has this big 66 just waiting for me to use it in honor of me being 66 years old this year.

And then after some barbecue in Bartlesville we headed home. Still had big skies but the threatened rain didn’t happen.

And that evening we had a pretty cool sunset which I captured with my drone.

And so we had a pretty cool time. I’m linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out. I’m also linking with Skyview!