Tag Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – The Sun! At Last!

The cold, sleet, ice, and snow went away so we have been able to go outside and it is liberating. I’ve been on a couple bike rides. I’ve been retired for a year and a half and I still feel guilty taking off on a bike ride in the middle of a weekday afternoon. Most days feel like the first day of summer vacation when I was a kid. They days are just full of possibilities.

Oklahoma history is different. One of my recent bike rides took me by this old cemetery in the middle of suburbia in south Tulsa. It is the Rentie Grove Cemetery named after the family that owned the property. The Renties were freed black people who were slaves owned by Creek Indians who brought them along to Oklahoma when the Creeks were forced to leave the southeastern Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.

We’ve been taking on our dogs on daily walks during not too bad weather. We have a one mile route that takes them by many of their “friends.” They and the friends give each other a good barking. A side benefit is good views of the skies with trees. Yep, powerlines but hey that’s part of it.

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With the better weather I’ve been launching the drone more. This is a sunset at 50 meters.

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And this was another day with a lower elevation. No, I wasn’t spying on the neighbors. I just liked the view of the sky.

I’m crazy about Route 66. It’s quite a history of the country and Oklahoma has more Route 66 mileage than any other state. This is a sculpture installation on the Riverparks Trails called “Where East Meets West” showing the conflicts between the old and the new, horse drawn wagons vs new fangled gas powered cars.

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I am seeing a ton of homeless people in Tulsa these days. From what I understand it is a nationwide thing. I don’t have any answers but am glad to know that Tulsa is decriminalizing homelessness. If you call the police non-emergency line they will send out people to try and get people services rather than just rousting them out or putting them in jail.

My mother-in-law gave me a camera that my father-in-law owned. It is a 1960’s model Pentax SLR. It doesn’t work but I took it to a good camera shop and the guy said it looked like it is stuck mid-cycle. He was going to have the mechanic look at it and give me a call let me know if it can fixed.

I’m hoping it can. My father gave me his Canon film camera from the 60’s and I love the feel and heft of it and the action is smooth as silk. I have high hopes for this Pentax.

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I finished another jigsaw puzzle on my ipad. I’m really slow at these things and I love working them and love the finished photos. When you finish it the puzzle lines vanish and you can save the image.

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I am thinking and praying for the Ukraine.

That is it for this week’s Skywatch post. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Check it out!!

Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain Reverie

Monday was shirtsleeves weather here in Tulsa and I went to Turkey Mountain for a hike and see the progress on the trails. In the above pic, if you squint really hard you can see a small tracked backhoe working on a new trail. I gave them room and went the other way.

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The new trails, are wide, and rock free, for the most part. They are built to be kind of “flowy” so there is gentle bends from side and side and up and down to enhance the experience for moutainbikers.

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The new trails are open to everybody except horseback riders. They are trying to get the trails packed down really hard. They have a bunch of signage to encourage people to share the road. The mountain bikers love the trails and can get going pretty fast. So far I have not had a problem with bikers not being polite.

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The new trails seem to be encouraging more people to go deeper into the mountain park than before especially families. The old trails were very rocky and technical and not family friendly at all. So people are getting away from the parking lot it seems.

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But even though there were a lot of people on a sunny afternoon, there was lots of room for everybody.

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There was some recently opened new trail on the cliffs overlooking the Arkansas River. It is nice having professionally designed switchbacks. Before this, the vertical trails just went straight up the hill and given all the rain we have the trails turned into gullies quickly.

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So it was a good day for chilling out.

The RiverParks staff likes to have fun with the visitors. They are also continuing to build more trail and I expect there will be networks and loops of professionally designed and constructed trail reaching deep into the park. I’m loving it so far!!

A brief video of my adventure Monday.

Wednesday night, Russia invaded the Ukraine is a puzzling power play. Lots of people have died already. Earlier this week I got a postcard from somebody in Berlin showing the Berlin Airlift back in 1948 or so. It’s so ironic that here we are over seventy years later dealing with Russian aggression in Europe.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Skywatch Friday – Close to Home

The skies from our driveway a few days ago. Just a little bit of snow remained.

A family down the street made a snow family. It is all melted now but I thought it was cool then.

Big treat, warm day and we went to Trader Joes!! I stocked up on my favorite snacks.

I took son to an offbrand video game store. I noticed this sign board off to the side. It looks like a relic from an earlier time. I love mysteries.

Heather and I went to the Philbrook Museum of Art. They had a special exhibit on the “The Transcendental Painting Group” a group of artists in the 1930’s in New Mexico. Pure art, no relation to the world at all but this looks like a sky to me. What about you?

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This is from March 2016. A photo I took of the Tulsa Driller at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.

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I am now addicted to online jigsaw puzzles on my ipad. When you finish, the make a great picture.

What have you been up to? I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check us out!!

Skywatch Friday – Meandering on the Mountain

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Went on another hike on Turkey Mountain this week. Another cold, and to some, unpleasant day. To me, it wasn’t raining and I had the right clothes on so it was a great day.

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Turkey Mountain has all sorts of relics from its past life. Near I guess what used to be a farm there is this grizzled old tree wrapped a bunch of times with barbed wire. Ouch!

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The wire is holding up this old fence of some sort of chicken wire, hog wire, whatever wire.

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And an abandoned cistern nearby.

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Moving on to the west I came upon a cleared part of Turkey Mountain. It was cleared by the land owners at the time who were trying to sell the parcel.

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They ended up in a contract with an outlet mall developer but that led to a huge fight in the city and the developer left in a huff and cut a deal with a suburb and started building the mall there but then changed their mind and there is now a few slabs, and some structural steel that is rusting away. Turkey Mountain missed a bullet is what I say. Money was donated to by the property from the owners and it is protected now.

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Moving on, I was in a tree mood today. I love trees in all seasons. In the winter we get to see their bones.

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Headed north to the revamped Y and came across an abandoned oil gathering line. Turkey Mountain used to be a prolific oil field but it played out but there is lots of remnants today. Old pipelines and pumpjack foundations scattered across the landscape, and a few old wellheads.

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Getting closer to the Y, their abandoned disc golf course.

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And their ropes course. You ever ropes? I think that ropes and other team building exercises are a huge scam. I participated in a bunch of them and I hated all of them.

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And then the little lake at the Y where they have kayaks and canoes, fishing, and swimming. Now stuff like that is fun.

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And then headed back to the parking lot, another mystery on Turkey Mountain. A deep hole, a homemade ladder and a camouflaged drier vent hose. Meth lab, the hangout of the last Democrat in Oklahoma? Who knows?

And here is my route of about three miles. I started at the very lower right corner, the upper parking lot and went in a clockwise direction and then returned.

And now a bonus sky, one morning’s sunrise with a reflection off my car.

And a drone photo from above my house looking south one evening.

And that is it for this week’s Skywatch post. I am linking with Skywatch Friday come join in!!

Skywatch Friday – The Skies Are Back

So lately our plain jane skies have spiced up a little bit, especially at sunset. So I have been flying my drone quite a bit.

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There are even interesting skies on our dog walks.

One day we had a spectacular sunset to the west and…

to the East we got a nearly full Wolf Moon rising.

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And a big thank you to Klara. Her excellent moon shots reminded me of my humble Wolf Moon shot for this month. Go check the link and see what she did with the Wolf Moon. Truly Spectacular.

Happy Skywatching to you! I am linking up at Skywatch Friday.

First Skywatch of 2022!!

Son is done graduated from college and is now looking for a job. He had an early morning interview at this place the other day and I liked the light on the east facing facade and the sky. Hey you know, you gotta get photos where you find them, right?

And this is a reverse sunset, looking south from the front yard.

And a similar shot from my brother’s assisted living place near our house.

And a sunrise photo from my back yard.

I launched the drone the other day at sunset. This is looking east. I love the pink that shows up in the sky opposite of sunsets.

And this is looking roughly north of northeast. The buildings just to the right of center is downtown Tulsa.

Tell you the truth I was not overly impressed with the photos so I ran one of them through a filter.

While I was flying the drone, I took a drone selfie of me. Heather got me that vest I am wearing. It is an electrically heated vest and I love it. Not only does it heat the front and back of the body, it heats the collar, and the pockets!! I’ve been testing it and I love it. It keeps me toasty warm. I haven’t been this excited about a Christmas present since I was a kid.

Graph by moi, compiled from Oklahoma State Department of Health Data

I am wishing everybody a happy and safe New Year. I hope everybody, who can, is up to date on their vaccinations, and are being careful. Our new infections are increasing rapidly. The public health professionals are saying to pay more attention to hospitalizations now. That metric is about double what it was in early November. I know everybody is tired of it but now is not the time to just give up.

And now I am going to brag on me a little bit. I mean why have a blog if you aren’t going to highlight yourself every now and then? Anyway I won the “Company Values” category for the photo above, taken on Memorial Day in 2020.

That’s all for now. I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join us!!

Skywatch Friday – New Years Edition

Happy New Year from our bunch. The day after Christmas the whole family made an epic three mile walk to a Barnes and Noble store to take advantage of their 50% hardback book sale. Heather and Logan were not as enthusiastic about the walk as I was. I led them along the greenbelt so there were no sidewalks or other modern conveniences and we had a to climb a fence. I had a blast and that is what counts right?

Even our critters got toys. Rascal loves his new toy. Rascal has been in therapy for hip and rear leg issues and has responded great to his accupuncture and land therapy.

So we are taking him on walks again and he has his mojo back.

Heather made some gingerbread cookies. My wordpress is being strange now. It is not showing me previews of all my photos so if things look out of whack that is why. I save and reboot and things work like they are supposed to for about five minutes and then quit.

This is a Skywatch post right? Here is a sunrise to the east of our front yard.

And a sunset looking across the street.

I wish everybody a happy and safe New Years!! I had more to talk about but maybe the internet has decided that I am done for now.

Come link up at Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Christmas

Here is Lizzie the Christmas Cat. She loves laying under her tree in our living room. She is kind of cranky right now because there are now presents under the tree.

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I’m recycling this photo from a couple weeks ago. Santa water skiing on a lake in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

This is my brother’s Christmas tree in his apartment at assisted living. Please be thinking of him. He got a breakthrough infection of Covid despite being triple vaccinated. He has had the monoclonal antibody treatment and is recovering. The center has quarantined the residents to their room right now because of the Covid surge. He is a former marathon runner and he had been doing virtual 5Ks in his walker up and down the hall of the center. So no more of that. I’ll be able to go see him tomorrow.

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This was a scene from Bentonville, Arkanasas in November. Kids just kind of make Christmas.

And a drone shot of our house decorations.

My MIL has great decorations. I love how she does the cast iron stove in her front entry.

Some people go to Turkey Mountain and decorate trees there. They do go and take the decorations down.

December 2019 from Phone

One of the project managers at my former employer had a pipeline construction Christmas tree. She added to the decorations every year. She and the rest of my former coworkers are still working remotely, since March of 2020.

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My wife’s gingerbread cookies are always a hit!

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One of the nice things about working downtown was checking out all the decorations in the various office buildings.

Oops!! I forgot, this a Skywatch Friday post!!! Here is a sky from the Bakken Oilfield of the North Dakota. My friend Josh took this photo and I am stealing it.

I hope everybody has a great Christmas. Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!

Skywatch Friday – Rainman Revisited

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A few weeks ago after dropping Logan off at college I revisited the small Oklahoma ghost town of Cogar. It’s claim to fame is that a scene from the 1988 Movie Rainman was filmed here at a local gas station. The film stars Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. I can’t believe that it has been 33 years!!

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The gas station is still standing, kind of, and it looks like a brand new sign is up. Cogar has become somewhat of a mecca for bloggers, instagrammers, and camera bugs. Abandoned stuff is big these days.

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I posted about it last January. Nothing much has changed.

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Logan is out of college now so I may never visit this place again.

In other news this week, Heather had a birthday, so the three of us celebrated with a hike among the venomous snakes of Turkey Mountain. We didn’t see any. I always get the feeling though they could see us.

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And closing with a drone shot up over my back yard.

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

Entertaining One’s Ownself

My wife and I went to Tulsa’s swanky Utica Square shopping center the other day. She really likes the Athleta store there. As an exercise instructor she lives in workout gear and Athleta’s stuff is great. So while she was shopping for her Christmas gifts from me to her I took my phone out and did some exploring.

I found this cool clock. Who uses a clock to tell time any more? We all have phones and stare at them all day long.

Found this sculpture of a little girl reading. I love to see young people reading. I volunteer with Reading Partners and tutor a girl in reading for an hour a week. She’s really a hard worker and stays engaged the whole hour. Unlike some of my generation, I see lots of hope in the future generations. If you are interested check the link see if they have a program in your area.

Right across the street from Utica Square is the Temple Israel Synagogue. I have long loved their bas relief of the Ten Commandments. I shot the photo from the shopping center’s parking garage to get a little elevation.

I also love their 3D Menorah. For the longest time I thought it was just a cool modern sculpture. Well duh, it’s a Menorah I found out on their web site.

Also across the street from the center is this cool office building. I love it’s design including the arches on the ground floor and all the balconies. It looks like it belongs on a coast somewhere.

Found this dolled up wooden sculpture next to a day spa.

So that’s it for the shopping center. You get the picture. I went drone flying earlier.

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So here’s a sunset from 40 meters over my back yard. Somebody in one of my drone groups on facebook said that they were tired of sunset photos. Suck it up buddy, here’s another one is my response.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday – come join in!!