Monday, February 28, 2011

Macro Monday - Purple Orchid

These lovely orchids are so spectacular in the nursery that they call out to be taken home.  The instructions are to keep them near a window but out of direct sunlight and to water by placing two ice cubes in the pot once a week.  I suppose that is to prevent over watering.  I have tried this several times and the blooms last several weeks then fade.  After that it seems to be the end.  I have never been able to keep them alive let alone to bloom again.  Maybe there is a secret that has not been revealed to me.  Any suggestions?

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Pedestrian Bridge over West 23rd Street

This pedestrian bridge crosses West 23rd Street at Eugene Field Elementary School.  It has a circular ramp at each end and is handicapped accessible.  I can swear that I have seen bridges of this identical design in other cities but cannot recall just where.  If you know of another I would like to know where it is.  In fact I think I remember seeing one in video footage from Iraq but I am probably mistaken.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Black & White Reflections - Steel Sailboat

Outdoor sculpture on overlook south of Pedestrian bridge, Tulsa Riverpark.  

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Tulsa from the West

A late afternoon view of Tulsa under a winter sky as seen from the 21st Street Bridge.  This bridge angles across the river from northeast to southwest.  On the east side it is East 21st street and on the west side it is West 23rd street.  On Sunday I will show you a really neat pedestrian bridge that crosses  West 23rd.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - New Blue Rose

The Blue Rose Cafe on Riverside at 18th Street.  Standing room only on a Saturday afternoon.

The New Blue Rose Cafe just opened in a new spot right on the Arkansas River.  Sue and I ate there with her daughter last Thursday and the food was good.  When I drove by there on Saturday afternoon it was packed, as in standing room only.  It was a beautiful day.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - House Finch

The little guy at my feeder in this picture is a House Finch.  He looks like a sparrow who has been shot on the head with red spray paint. 

With all the snow and cold weather we have been having, our bird feeders have been busy with hungry birds.  We put out mostly sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and black thistle, avoiding the millet that comprises the bulk of many cheap mixes.  We are apt to see a Goldfinch, House Finch, Towhee, Nuthatch, Titmouse, Cardinal, Blue Jay, and a variety of sparrows.  Some of our more persistent visitors are the squirrels who delight in defying our "squirrel-proof" bird feeders.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Macro Monday - Red Anthurium

Anthuriums are popular for their bright waxy blooms and shiny leaves.  They last a long time as cut flowers but exude a sap that can irritate the skin.  The bloom is actually a type of leaf that grows around the flower spike in the center.  They are so bright and shiny that they are often assumed to be artificial.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Interstate 44 over Arkansas River

Interstate 44 from beneath the West end

Interstate 44 from the southwest
A steel stringer bridge was first built over the Arkansas River at South 51st Street in 1952. At that time US 66 passed through Tulsa on 11th Street and crossed the river 4 miles north, just west of downtown.  

Interstate 44 was originally signed in 1958 as an interstate designation of the Turner Turnpike linking Oklahoma City and Tulsa and the Will Rogers Turnpike linking Tulsa and the Missouri state line southwest of Joplin, along with the US 66 bypass in Tulsa that linked that city with the two turnpikes. The old 51st street bridge was replaced by the present 4 lane bridge in 1982. 

I-44 roughly parallels old US 66 from Chicago southwest to Oklahoma City. West of Oklahoma City it angles southwest of US 66 until it terminates in Wichita Falls, Texas.  As usual an excellent history of US 66 can be found in Wikipedia.  Note that the second photo is intended to place the first in context.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Black and White Reflections - The OneOK Plaza

The OneOK Plaza, 5th Street and Boulder Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma.   This was featured once before but from a different perspective.   There is an unsubstantiated rumor that our friend Yogi! works here.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Snowscape

The New Blue Rose on Riverside Drive.  (Click to enlarge)
I took this photo of a beautiful unblemished field of snow under a deep blue sky in Wagoner County last Friday Feb 11 when we drove over to see Wren.  The low temperature the night before was -12° F (-24.4° C).   

Today Susan, her daughter Jennifer and I ate lunch at the new Blue Rose which is built  out over the Arkansas River at 18th and Riverside.  I can personally recommend the Classic One-third pound grilled Hamburger and cheese fries.  Most yummy.

It is a nice place and we sat out on the terrace in the sun where it was quite warm.  The high this afternoon was 81° F (27.2° C).  That is a difference of 93° F (51.6° C) in one week.  Oklahoma weather is never boring.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sepia Scenes - Old Lady on Brady

The  Brady Theater, 105 West Brady, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Completed in 1914, the Brady Theater was originally designed as a municipal auditorium and convention hall by the architectural firm of Rose and Peterson of Kansas City, KS. The building was known as Convention Hall for the first forty years of its life. 

When the facility officially opened, it was billed as the largest hall between Kansas City and Houston. In 1930, world-renowned architect Bruce Goff was hired as designer of a major interior remodel. He had thirty days to transform the barn-like interior into an elegant showplace.

In 1952, additions were constructed at the front and rear of the original 1914 structure. Upper and lower lobbies were added and the building was renamed Tulsa Municipal Theater.

In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architectural design at the time was referred to as Western Classic Revival.  It is locally referred to affectionately as the old lady on Brady.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Pansies in the Snow

Courage, spring is coming.  Woodward Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Arnie's Bar

Good old Arnie's Bar, a Fashionably seedy pub and a Tulsa institution.  First opened by Arnie Simmons in 1956 on 15th Street, it is now located at 2nd and Elgin, literally next door to the old Blue Dome service station and across the street from the Blue Dome Diner.  I used to go there back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when I was a grad student at TU and could get over in the evening after a class.  I didn't have the time to be a regular although I think I would have enjoyed that.  It is what is known as a shotgun bar, long and narrow with a bar along one side and tables in the back.  The idea being that if you stuck a shotgun in the front door and pulled the trigger you would probably hit every one in the place.  Arnie had a huge collection of jazz stored on 7 inch reels of recording tape.  If you asked to listen to something in particular he would growl that he didn't take requests but 15 or 20 minutes later you would hear what you asked for.  Arnie had character, and he ran a good clean bar that was a pretty laid back place except for St. Patrick's Day when all bets were off.  My drinking days are over but I understand it is still a great place for a cold beer, some decent music, and a congenial crowd.  There is an interesting history of the place you can read HERE

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Macro Monday - A Hint of Spring

Sue and I dropped by Southwood Nursery Sunday afternoon.  We are shopping for a tree to shade our back yard.  While we were there we admired the many pots of colorful flowers.  These little jonquils are a welcome splash of spring yellow.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Across the Arkansas

Interstate 44 over the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma, February 12, 2011.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wren Alston Miller - We Meet at Last

Susan and I drove over to Wagoner today to meet baby Wren at last.  She is now 10 days old and very beautiful.  Please forgive so many pictures of Wren and her grandfather, but her grandfather is somewhat smitten with her.  Wren Alston Miller - it is a lovely name.  Alston is an old family name and honors her late aunt, Catharine Alston Miller.  A Wren is a sweet little bird, and a name that is new in our family.  Something old and something new.  It was love at first sight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Up We Go

Into the wild blue yonder.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Luke and Wren Getting Acquainted

Luke is quite taken with his new daughter and appears to be giving her some fatherly advice. 

With another 6 inches of snow Tuesday night and more still falling, we are home bound.  At least we are hesitant to drive the 50 miles over to Wagoner to see baby Wren.  For now we will have to content ourselves with the photos Cara has uploaded to her Facebook page.  

 Ten year old Joshua is very pleased with his new little sister.  Cara now has 2 beautiful children.

 I love that pouty lower lip.  I can't wait to see her for myself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Preview of Coming Attractions

I am sick of snow.  The forecast is for another 4 to 10 inches by tomorrow night.  Bah! Humbug!  I would rather smell the roses.  These grow on my front porch and will bloom again before too long.

I am starting to post again to my other blog. 

Check out :

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Macro Monday - A Break From the Snow

We still have snow covered roads and a forecast of more next week.  But life goes on.  This afternoon Sue fixed some munchies and a big pot of soup for the Super Bowl.  I dug up a picture from our trip to the Chicago Arboretum this past summer.  Have a good week where ever you are.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Old 11th Street Bridge

Historic Route 66 crosses the Arkansas River on the 11th Street bridge in Tulsa Oklahoma. The 11th Street Bridge was built in 1915 - 1916 and is a good example of a multi-span concrete arch bridge with verticals.  It was altered in 1929 and has ornate guardrails that utilize Art Deco motifs, especially the Zigzag Art Deco. Its roadbed is 34 feet wide.  It was labor intensive to build,
reflecting a technology and aesthetic
approach to bridge construction no longer in use.

The current state of disrepair of the old bridge make it unsafe even for foot traffic. It has been named an historic site and plans exist to restore it and make it the centerpiece of a Route 66 Center. However because of the expense involved those plans are on 
hold for the time being.

This bridge is sandwiched in on the North by I-244, and on the South by Southwest Boulevard. It is difficult to photograph except from either end looking between the old bridge and I-244.  

There are 4 highways and a railroad trestle which funnel together to cross the river at this point.  To get my picture of the old 11th street bridge 
I snaked around to a point under I 244 and took a photo looking north west.  I was beneath 244 at about where the red X is.  You might want to click the satellite view to enlarge it.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Tulsa Blizzard of 2011 - More Snow!

Just when we thought we had seen the end of the white fluffy stuff it started up again and snowed another 3 1/2 inches.  More is forecasted over the weekend.  Sue and her daughter Jennifer braved a trip to the Walmart to see a crowd of people picking over mostly empty shelves.   The wholesalers who supply the stores with goods are not able to negotiate the icy roads either.  Oh well,  we have a good supply of dried beans and rice, we will not starve.  Beans, rice and cornbread is not a hardship.

Our birdbath looks like a giant snowcone.  I need to ask Willy to knock the snow out of it and fill it with hot water.  The birds need water as well as food.  We did get some seed in the feeders and had lots of customers.   Sue got a 25 pound sack of sunflower seeds so they will appreciate that. 

I took a quick video clip of the snow coming down in big clumps.  How is the weather where you are?  If it is sunny and warm I'm not sure I want to hear about it.  Just joking of course.

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Skywatch Friday - Deep Snow, Blue Sky

Looking out the front door the deep snow under a fine blue sky is a pretty sight.  I like snow as long as I don't have to get out in it.  It is still very cold but the sun is most welcome.  The truck parked out in the street is from two houses down.  This is a far as he could get.  He seemed to be convinced that he could get unstuck if only he spun his wheels fast enough.  Of course he just dug himself in deeper.  We are not much accustomed to driving in 14 inches of snow.

 Smokey wanted no part of it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard of 2011 - Scenes from my Front Porch

We have been struck by the worst snow storm is US history.  At least that is what the weather guy said on the TV this afternoon.  Snow and sub-freezing temperatures run across the country from far south Texas to the eastern seaboard.  Sue's daughter and her family live almost across the street so they came over to share a breakfast of french toast with us this morning and we depleted our stock of milk bread and eggs.

Enter son-in-law Jeff who came over and dug out us out.  He cleared the sidewalk and all the snow off of and around the van so Sue could get out to creep over to the neighborhood Walmart.  She went very slow and managed to get there and back.  I did not get any farther than the front porch.  Thank you very much Jeff.  You are a great son-in-law and a friend indeed.

I had hoped to be able to get down to Southcrest Hospital to see my new grand daughter but Luke told me that it was too dangerous to get out.  As a consolation he emailed another photo of Wren who is enjoying the second day of her life.  I will see her soon enough and promise more pictures.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Tulsa Blizzard 0f 2011

The Blizzard of 2011.  Our garden deck on February 1, 2011
February 1, 2011 will be remembered for the record snowfall in Tulsa as well as a wide area across Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana and across the US to the Eastern Seaboard.  We got 14 inches in the less than 24 hours, and other cities in the area got even more.   And it is very cold.  The daytime high on Tuesday was 12°F (-11°C) and the low was 1°F (-17°C).  The forecasted low for Wednesday night is for -9°F (-23°C).  

For comparison, here is our garden deck on September 7, 2010.

Add to this that the wind is blowing at about 25 mph (40km/h).  Everything in Tulsa has been canceled or postponed; schools, businesses, even the postal service.  Needless to say that Susan and I stayed home and watched the news on TV.  Poor Smokey.  When he went outside to do his business the snow was up past his belly and onto his chest.   When he came back inside he curled up on our bed and slept the better part of the day.  

In this day and age almost everybody has a cell phone which will take photographs and video clips.  The TV station ran photos and videos sent in by listeners.  People sent in pictures of lots of stuck cars and trucks.  Even police cars, firetrucks, and ambulances were getting stuck.  City ice scrapers and salt spreaders got stuck.  The tow trucks sent to pull them out of the snow got stuck themselves.  It is a real mess.  People with four wheel drive vehicles were stopping to help pull cars out of embankments.  A group of young men were seen pushing a couple of police cars back on the road.  Oklahomans are good people.  Nothing brings out the best in us like the opportunity to help someone out of a jam.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

EXTRA - EXTRA! New Grandbaby Alert!

Luke and Cara have a beautiful little girl!  Wren Alston Miller came into the world this morning at Southcrest Hospital in Tulsa.  Luke called to tell me that she is 20 1/2 inches long and weighs 8 pounds 8 ounces.  She has a full head of dark hair, she pees, poops, cries, nurses and burps - everything works.  

Cara and Wren are both fine.  Cara has a son Joshua who was born by Cesarean section 9 years ago so Wren's birth was a planned C-section.  Tulsa is in the middle of a record breaking heavy snowfall today but they stayed with Cara's mom last night so they made it to the hospital and so did the doctor.   Luke's mother Debby is an obstetrics nurse and works at Southcrest.  She and Luke attended the delivery and she said everything went very smoothly.  I had hoped to go over to see the baby today but there is too much snow to get out on the roads.  Luke sent me this camera photo in a text message.  I assure you more pictures will follow.