Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Spear Points at Wolaroc

Part of the artifacts on display In Wolaroc Museum just west of Bartlesville are these arrow and spear points found locally.  They reveal a remarkable level of skill and no doubt were a very effective weapon in the hands of a young Indian hunter.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Macro Monday - The Creche is Out

This is not a macro but is a closeup of the little creche we bought years ago.  It is only about 10 inches tall but has a lot of detail and is one of our favorite things.  Now that Thanksgiving is past we are beginning to look forward to Christmas.  Today was the first Sunday in Advent and the first candle was lit in the advent wreath.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

SOOC Sunday - Crocus Rose

 Crocus Rose is a repeat flowering, shrub rose with deep green leaves and slightly arching stems. It has robust, free flowering, full blooms of soft-apricot flowers produced in large clusters in summer. It has an old rose fragrance.  Tulsa has had a few light frosts but not a hard freeze.  Heavy rain and strong winds have blown most of the leaves from, our trees but  many of the roses are still blooming in the Municipal Rose Garden  We have had a very mild Autumn and it is almost December.  We are about 2 weeks behind our usual weather.  We had a very nice Thanksgiving day with lots of family around a table full of turkey with the traditional goodies.  The left overs are the best part.  We hope your holiday was happy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Camera Critters - The Post Turkey Nap

Smokey gets to clean off the dinner plates before they go in the dish washer.  No bones but lots of leftover potatoes, stuffing, and turkey scraps.   I was on the sofa in the same position.  We were truly thankful after a great Thanksgiving dinner.  Thank you Sue.

The Union Tour - Elton John and Leon Russell

Their new joint album, "The Union"

Senior rockers Elton John and Leon Russell performed together Friday night, October 22, 2010 at the BOK Center.  They jointly released a new album, "The Union" on October 19, 2010 which contains songs they wrote together  along with lyricist Bernie Taupin.   Sue and I attended and were blown away.  Elton John is a very big name in popular music and the crowd loved him.  But Leon Russell is Tulsa’s own and the ovation he received when he walked off stage was long and deafening.  The tickets were pricey but they definitely gave us our money’s worth.  I purchased the CD several weeks ago when it first came out.  I suspected that the security people would not let me bring my big Canon SX20 into the center but had my new Iphone 4G in my pocket and got a few useable snaps

Tulsa's BOK Center

The concert started promptly at 8:00 PM with a solo set by Elton John, Then he introduced Leon Russell who did a solo set of his music.  Elton John came back onstage and the two of them did a set together, essentially all the tracks from their recent duo album “The Union”.  Following this Elton came back on and did a very long set of his music.  The total performance went three and one half hours but seemed much shorter.  Elton John is a tireless performer and looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself, feeding off the enormous energy of the crowd.  While John and Russell each could catch a breath while the other performed, the large stage band performed non-stop as there was no real intermission.

British Rocker Elton John

In Elton John’s four-decade career he has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most successful artists in music history.  Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947  in Pinner, Middlesex, England, he learned to play the piano when he was very young.  In 1962 at the age of 15 he became a weekend pianist at a nearby pub.  In 1964, Dwight and his friends formed a band called Bluesology.  By the mid-1960s, they were backing touring American soul and R&B musicians.  In 1966, the band became musician Long John Baldry's supporting band.  Soon Dwight was going by the name "Elton John", in homage to Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.  In 1967, Elton teamed up with Bernie Taupin to write lyrics for Elton’s tunes and what would become the first Elton John/Bernie Taupin song, "Scarecrow", was recorded.

Tulsa's Own, Leon Russell

Leon Russell is a native Oklahoma Musician. He was born April 2, 1942 in Lawton, Oklahoma, grew up in Tulsa and went to Will Rogers High School.  At the early age of 14, Leon was already playing Tulsa nightclubs. His first band "The Starlighters" which included J.J. Cale, Chuck Blackwell and Johnny Williams were instrumental in creating the style of music known as the Tulsa Sound.  Leon worked extensively as a session musician and has played with numerous artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton,  B. B. King, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra just to name a few.  In 1970 he was the supporting band for Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour.    During the summer of 1971, Russell was asked by George Harrison to participate in the Concert For Bangladesh, organized by Harrison and Ravi Shankar, at which Russell performed a medley of his songs.  Also during 1971 Russell  released two studio albums by his own name that year (Leon Russell And The Shelter People and Asylum Choir II with Marc Benno). Further, Russell helped Freddie King to revive his career by collaborating with him on three of his albums for Shelter during the early 1970s.  Leon has spent a good part of his career supporting other more well known musicians.

Elton and Leon together

Elton John and Leon Russell's paths seemed fated to cross: Both grew up at the piano, learning to play as little boys. Both played piano in bars while in their teens, and both started their careers as piano players for hire. But, according to John, there's one important difference.  "He is a better piano player than I am," John says. "As far as gospel and stuff like that, that's why I wanted to make this album. He is my idol."  The Union is a collaboration Elton John thought up to pay tribute to Russell, an artist he'd feared might be forgotten.  There was a time when Leon Russell was a sensation. Russell wrote songs recorded by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Rita Coolidge and Sonic Youth, to name a few. As a session player, he was much in demand.  Elton John and Leon Russell's history stretches back four decades, to the night they first met at a legendary club in West Hollywood: the Troubadour. That's where John gave his first-ever concert in the U.S. For an upstart 23-year-old with a soulful voice and piano skills, those performances were like being shot out of a cannon.  John says  "The second night I was confident, because the first night was out of my way, and then halfway through 'Burn Down the Mission,' I'm playing the piano solo, and I glanced right and I see Leon, with the silver hair and the Ray-Ban glasses. I temporarily froze, I kind of semi-panicked because this was the man I really idolized.  Soon after that night, John went on the road as the opening act for Russell, but their careers took them on different paths. They wouldn't meet again until John hatched the idea of a collaboration.

John says singing with Russell now is different from when they sang together years ago. "We're older and wiser," John says. "If we're not wiser now, we damn well should be; both of us are in the last third of our lives. How many times do you get the chance to make a record with your idol? And someone who is your peer?  That's all I can say. It's just one of the greatest things that's ever happened to me personally, and definitely musically."

It's a gift that both artists seem to cherish. Russell wrote and sang the last song on the album, "The Hands of Angels," and dedicated it to Elton John.  "I wanted to give him something, for doing this for me," Russell says. "I've thought this was a pretty magnificent gift he was giving me. What do you give to a guy who's got six fully staffed houses and 10 of everything else in the world?  I thought I could give him a song. And he liked it. I was very thankful for that."

(And now I am finally able to post about this fine concert Sue and I attended over a month ago.  Since then I have had internet problems, a crashed computer and some family excitement that have seriously damaged my long string of consecutive posts.  But it has ended well with a lovely new computer and a pair of external hard drives that should keep me on an even keel for a long time.  I hope you have had a happy Thanksgiving and I wish you all the best for the holiday season.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Brother Alan

My friend Alan is an Episcopal Deacon and was the guest preacher at church this morning to talk about the Kairos Prison Ministry.   Alan is the closest thing to a brother that I will ever have.  

I met Alan in 1993 right after my first marriage came apart. That was a rough time for me and Alan was more than just a friend, he helped me get back on my feet and get my head on straight.  A few years later he got into Kairos and talked me into being part of a team.  Since then we have spent a lot of time in prison together.  

Alan asked me to be the godfather to his youngest son Brian.  I met and married Susan and he was my Best Man.  He studied to become a Deacon and I was part of his ordination.  Really good friends are hard to come by, friends like Alan are priceless.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Moon Rise

Here is a belated Skywatch post.  I regret that computer problems have played havoc with my daily posting routine.  I am in the midst of an upgrade and will resume as soon as I get straightened out.  See you soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Old Red Cedar

This fine old cedar tree stands on the south side of the Tulsa Rose Garden.  We are in between Autumn and Winter.  The trees are in color and some have grown bare, although the roses are still blooming.  But not for long.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Autumn Maples

Excuse me for bragging but the two little maple trees in my front yard are as pretty as any in town. I got Southwood Nursery to plant these about 10 years ago and they are really putting on a show. I love the way they start showing color at the edges first and then spread to the whole tree.  The different shades of color from green to brilliant red-orange all on the same tree make them extra nice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

SOOC Sunday - Double Delight Rose

The blooms are creamy white at first, with just a red tinge on the outer petals, but as they mature so do the extent of the red coloring, especially in hot climates.  This rose is a hybrid tea and very fragrant.  Photographs were taken in the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden.

SOOC is an acronym for Straight Out Of the Camera with no tweaking or retouching.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Rainy Night

After a long dry spell we have enjoyed a slow soaking rain for the past 24 hours.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday - San Diego Sunset

Sue and I flew out to San Diego for a long weekend some time ago and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Heart of Tulsa

Looking north on Boston to the Williams Tower.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hardy Chrysanthemums

My own front door with a flower bed full of hardy yellow chrysanthemums.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Tunnel of Trees

I love old streets where the trees on each side arch over to make a leafy tunnel.  I drove over to an old part of Tulsa around 14th and Carson just south of down town.  These are nice old 2 story houses with big front porches and garages behind the house at the end of a single driveway,  The trees were planted when the houses were built and that was probably in the 1910's so the big trees are 100 years old. I took this shot last Saturday, November 6.  Trees were just beginning to turn to fall colors and there were brilliant patches of color with large areas still green.  On Saturday night the temperature dropped to freezing or a degree or so below.  It didn't bother my roses or chrysanthemums,  but turned the zinnias, cannas, and potted portulacas black and withered.  I didn't have time to get the camera out Sunday or Monday but will tomorrow and expect to see much more color in the trees.  Stay tuned.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Macro Monday - Silver Earrings

Susan's nice silver earrings.  I like the detail in them.  This is the first real macro shot I have posted.  It turned out pretty well even though the only illumination was from a bed side lamp.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SOOC - Crystalline Hybrid Tea Rose

This is a classic pure white hybrid tea rose, handsome in the garden with exhibition quality blooms.  It has a light fragrance.  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Turtle in the Sun

Painted Turtle, Slider, Cooter?  They look pretty much the same, the main difference being the size.  If there is an expert in the house please name these fellows.

More Weekend Reflections

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Walking the River Trail

The old trees along the Arkansas River make patterns of dark and light.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Tulsa Boy Scouts

Entrance to the Headquarters of the Indian Nations Council, Boy Scouts of America, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Autumn Red

It has been down in the 40*F range at night which is enough to trigger some of the trees to show their autumn colors.  But since we have not yet had a frost the roses and many other flowering plants are still blooming.  It is a colorful time of year in Tulsa.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Macro Monday - Tiger Swallowtail on Zinnias

Zinnias are under appreciated nowadays.  They are colorful, tolerate heat and hot sun, and attract butterflies. What's not to like?