Tag Archives: Tulsa

No Northern Lights for Me!!

Our family flat out missed the northern lights extravaganza last week. We tried but there was too much light here. I had lots of photos from our backyard to the northern sky but none of them showed anything. Oh well, I think there was just too much ambient light to show anything.

I launched my drone and I got some late sunset photos. The drone’s controller was squawking at me the whole time about not enough light, blah, blah, blah. I thought we were masters of our technology but it seems to have a mind of its own sometimes. So the above is the sky to our west.

And this is to the northwest. Waayyy too much light.

We have had lots of weather here. Here is a storm cloud to the east from our gym parking lot. Generally we don’t have to worry about the storm when it is to the east but we do worry about the people who are in its path.

After we went home I launched the drone. It was kind of windy and the drone controller was telling me to get it back because the wind is about to carry it off. That has only happened to me once and I had to do the mission abort thing. It worked it brought the drone back home back against a strong wind. It is almost panic inducing. Anyway, turns out that the storm under the clouds was just rain, no rotation, no damage. Which is good.

So I was hoping for some northern light photos. I saw lots on social media and I feel kind of left out. Some wags who also didn’t have any luck posted their plain pics with some colors obviously added. I thought that was funny the first couple hundred times I saw it.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Tired on the Trails – Work Day on Turkey Mountain

Last Saturday a good sized group got together early on Turkey Mountain here in Tusla for a work day. On the agenda was lots of lopping of trees and shrubs along the trail and for the hale and hearty guys and gals some heavy duty dirt work. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and the RiverParks Authority were over the project.

(Note: TUWC photo from their facebook site.)

Me and two others grabbed loppers and headed out to our designated trails. It was hard work especially as the day warmed up and humidity rose.

We ended up lopping on over three miles of trail. Everybody else was tired and satisfied with the work they had done. It was a good day on the mountain.

Linking with My Corner of the World

Aerial Shadows of Tulsa

A drone shot at about 50 meters over the back yard showing the shadows from the fence and trees and on the west side of roofs. The orange square is my takeoff and landing pad. So I am somewhere on the patio next to the landing pad.

View looking west where from the same spot. Maybe 10 meters lower. Showing my neighbors shadows from their trees and fence lines.

And from another day a droneselfie of the drone pilot sporting his brand new Dallas Cowboys hat.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

My Corner – Photowalking Lafortune Park

The other day I was feeling a little owly at the end of the day so I grabbed a camera and headed to Tulsa’s Lafortune Park to walk around it. They have a nice walking track of about three miles which is just right. It winds around a library, a high school, gardens, two golf courses, baseball fields, ponds, and several playgrounds. It’s a popular spot for walking or running in Tulsa and there is always something to see.

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The high school has this geodesic dome. I don’t know what they use it for but it is a cool sight.

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They also have this sailboat parked next to their band trailer. The boat never moves. I don’t know what the story is.

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I captured this golfer out playing a few holes. Back in the day I used to pack up my clubs and go play some. Lots of fun but it takes too much time for me. I already have too many hobbies. Plus I never was any good. I love watching the game on television.

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I ran into this trio of friends. They asked if I would take their photo so I did and sent it to them. They said they were going to get enlarged copies for their rooms. It was one of those nice interactions on the trail.

And the back side of a public library. I love the big glass windows and swooping roofline.

So I would have to say that I had a good walk. I captured more images of animals and I’ll be sharing those on Saturday’s Critters later.

My Corner of the World.

Saturday’s Critters – Pelicans and More on the Arkansas River

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I went on a bike ride along Tulsa’s RiverParks trails the other day. I took my SuperZoom camera with me hoping that I would see something. It turns out that American White Pelicans were on the river that day. This is a group I spotted near where I started at 71st street. They were on a sandbar near the other side of the river.

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Here is a closeup of them. I find them kind of comical on land. They are very graceful in the water and flying.

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And here is five miles north at the newly reconstructed Zink Lake Dam. They were paddling around fishing.

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Another closeup.

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And maybe 50 yards downstream of the dam this group of pelicans and great blue herons were trying their luck in the shallows.

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The pelicans and herons seemed to tolerate each other’s presence pretty well.

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In the calm waters up stream of the dam a flotilla of geese were cruising.

I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out.

Suburban Backyard Critters

The wind blows here in Oklahoma and with a motion sensitive trailcam I can get hundreds of photos of nothing really fast if I point it to a hanging bird feeder or trees. Wind the wind blows I point it at our bird bath or a stationary feeder.

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We get a lot of robins showing up for a drink.

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And doves

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At the stationary feeder we offer whole peanuts and sunflowers seeds. Those are popular with squirrels, grackles,

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and blue jays.

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Not in our backyard but from the Tulsa Botanic Garden a monochromatic lego lion!!

I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters

Skywatch Friday – The Other Side of Geocaching

I love geocaching. If you don’t know what that is, it’s an online game that you play in the physical world. People hide containers (geocaches) out in the world and then input the gps coordinates online (at geoaching.com) and then others go and look for them and record their success or failure online at the same web site. Most people use an app on their smart phone to play these days. (A better explanation is by geocaching.com at this link.) Over the years I have found almost 2200 caches and hidden about 30 or so. Only three are still active.

Loading the caches

There are ethics to geocaching that you take care of the caches you hide. If they go missing or get damaged or something changes in any way then the expectation is that the owner of the cache needs to replace or repair, or disable it so other people don’t waste their time looking for it. I had two caches that had gone missing so I set about replacing them. The caches are in remote areas and I like to make them easy to find. Also, the expectation is on longer caches is that there be trade items. Mainly they are there for people who bring their kids with them. The idea is that you can take a toy or item from a cache if you have something equal or better to trade.

The first cache I replaced is in a patch of urban woods at the junction of three freeways in Tulsa. It is in a floodplain and hardly anybody would just go there for recreation. So you can get close on a bike trail.

And then you have to duck under one of the freeways and head to the woods.

I put it several feet above the ground. The area floods a lot so there is no use hiding it on the ground plus I like to people to find my caches so I made it kind of obvious.

So I took a different route back to my car. That was interesting. It wasn’t the terrain I though it was going to be. I went close to several homeless encampments and the back property of several businesses and it wasn’t much fun in terms of a hike but it was interesting. The thing is I hate going out and back on the same route. I like loops so I made a loop.

The prettiest part of the hike!

The next cache was on Turkey Mountain. I use the Turkey Mountain parking lots it is 2.5 miles to the cache site. I was in a hurry so I parked at the YMCA adjoining the Turkey Mountain. I’m a member so I just checked in at the office and used the Y’s trails, which interconnect with Turkey Mountain’s trails and saved my a lot of time.

I love trail bridges!!

Here is a view of the Y from across their lake (on Turkey Mountain, ponds are called lakes for some reason. Probably because they named a hill, Turkey Mountain.)

And here is the sign, 2.5 miles to the other parking lot. So I got kind of an express pass.

So is the general location of the cache site. This is the Rock City area of Turkey Mountain. I hid the cache a lot better than I did the other one because there all sorts of bikers and hikers on trails on both sides of the cache. Years ago I hid the cache in amongst those rocks. Bad idea. Nobody could find it and nobody wanted to because they were afraid of snakes. I am afraid of snakes too!! Plus when I did look for it I never could find it. So I would hide another one. That is great except somebody say, “Hey I found two caches close together. Which one is the right one?” That’s embarrassing. So I started hiding it close to the same location but not in the rocks.

This cache is a lot more fun and interesting place to go hiking than the other place.

So I got them both replaced the same day. Lot of fun!! And you can tell that on this second hike, I made a double loop out of it.

I am linking this post with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World. Go check both links out.

Skywatch Friday – First Flowers of Spring

I headed up to Tulsa’s Wooward Park to see if the Daffodils were blooming.

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And oh, man!! They sure were blooming. The blooms were fresh and people hadn’t picked them, yet.

They were beautiful. There were a couple of young women sitting in amongst them (they were carefully making sure they were not trampling photos) and taking selfies. Usually I take photos of all people doing selfies but I left them alone to enjoy the flowers. They were probably taking photos of me and posting about the creepy old guy lurking about.

They also had lots of hyacinths.

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And tulips

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They had forsythia shrubs blooming

And rebuds. I’ve always loved that stone staircase.

The big trees don’t have their leaves yet.

And they still have remnants of trees knocked down on during our Father’s Day Windstorm in 2023.

So yep, Spring is Springing in Woodward Park!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

2024 Snake Run at Tulsa’s Lubell Park

I don’t run at all any longer and I enter very few races. Time was I ran two or three times a week and ran at least a race a month or even more in the Spring and Fall. Age and injuries are to blame. I’m injury free now and intend to stay that way but I am still pretty active I walk about 400 to 500 miles a year and bicycle about twice that, plus I have been doing yoga for several years now twice a week and about the same on weight training. I’ll say that yoga has been a lifesaver. I am getting my flexibility back slowly over the years and wish that I had started earlier. Oh well, I’m doing it now.

I have barely started the post and I’m way off point. I participated in the Tulsa Snake Run last Sunday. It is a trail race and it has a unique feature. Everybody “runs” the same time (three hours, or six hours, take your pick). The person who ran the longest wins!! You run in a loop. This year’s event was a two mile loop at Lubell Park. So you just run round and round until your time is up. Only full loops count. No partial credit.

I ran this race for years when I was still running and it was at Turkey Mountain. When I didn’t race I helped man the Aid Tent. Trail Races are special. Everybody is very chill.

The elite trail runners are amazing. They run very fast over all kinds of terrain, boulders, mud, up the sides of mountains. Doesn’t matter, they are blazingly fast. Me, I picked my way through the technical terrain and just trotted on the flat dirt spots. I think I have come in dead last in more than one such race. Doesn’t bother me.

So Sunday morning was cold and I had been staying up very late at the Tulsa Irish Festival listening to kick ass Irish bands from Scotland, France, and Kansas and drinking Irish beer. I kept it all under control alcohol wise but got to bed way too late. Plus Sunday was spring forward day for daylight savings time. I went to bed Saturday night (really Sunday morning) thinking if I make the race, great. If I don’t, too bad.

The race started at 9 am and I woke up at 8:15 am. So I got up, got dressed, and headed out to Lubell Park and got there at 8:45. Plenty of time to check in and get ready.

My plan was to do two loops and then quit. Not quite of the spirit of things but realistic. At the start of the race it was cold so I didn’t take any pics cuz I had my gloves on and I had not woke up yet. I was running walking in a totally non-caffeinated state. That was a major oversight on my part. It took me about 40 minutes to do the first loop and by then I had woke up and it was a lot warmer so I put the gloves away and got the phone out and took a few photos.

Alan Running Snake Run

Here is a photo of me taking by somebody associated with the run. I look kind of like an ugly sasquatch who hasn’t had his coffee yet. So anyway the rest of the race was great. Beautiful day, great course, nice professionally designed and built sustainable trail. It was a joy. I thought maybe I could do one more two more loop but I had obligations and my legs were sore so I called it quits after two loops and four miles.

The aid station was great. Trail runs have more than just water and gatorade, they have snacks cuz the distance runners need carbos and salt. You will see lots of pickles and pickle juice at aid station along with cookies and such. They were going to cook food later on for the people who, unlike me, finished the race. And there might of been some adult malted beverages available as well.

Here were the awards. Custom made snake awards. And I have to give a plug to the organizers of the Race, Runners World Tulsa. Tulsa has a great running community and many outfits capable of putting on a fun, safe, competent race. Runners World put on the race. They put on lots of races and they do it competently and without a lot of drama. Something comes up, they handle it and move on. Very nice people as well. The courses are well marked, the aid stations fully stocked, the timing people get it right. Plus they are a great running store.

Another unique thing about the race is that they don’t have race tee shirts. I have lots and lots of race tee shirts but Sunday I got my first pair of race socks. I think they are ultra cool. And just so you know I did not finish my customary dead last in the race. I was pretty close to last but not quite.

So I had a wonderful experience! And just so you know, I paid my own fees on this race. They only thing I got extra was a couple of high fives!

I am linking with My Corner of the World.

Skywatch Friday – Snow Moon and More

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The latest full moon, yep, I amped it up too much so it is a little grainy. My bad. I like it though.

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I never get tired of Tulsa’s downtown skyline, as humble as it is.

I never get tired of seeing the flag wave in a stiff breeze. I think everybody should be proud of their country. Since I started tracking it, people from 152 countries have visited my humble blog. I wish them all well.

A local Pony League baseball field. Baseball is right around the corner!!

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.