Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mrs Hummingbird Returns

 The female hummingbird visits often, feeding at both the sugar water feeder and from the flowers.  She clearly favors the Lanata. The male with his bright red throat is quicker to flit in and out, not staying in one place long enough for me to draw a bead on him.  I will get him soon, i only have to be patient.

The female is rather fearless.  Saturday I cleaned and filled the sugar water feeder then sat in a chair no more than 6 feet away, not expecting that the hummingbird would visit until I caught my breath and went back inside.  Then hello, who is this?  The little lady swooped in on the Lantana and flitted from one flower to another before she appeared to notice me.  She rose up a foot or so and faced me squarely and hung there for 5 seconds ( a long time for a hummingbird)  then moved to the right then to the left to check me out from several angles.  This went on maybe 20 seconds total then she whirled around and quickly checked the feeder again before swooping up into the maple tree towards the fence and disappeared in a flash.  She did not seem at all frightened of me, but was curious to see what I was made of before going about her business.

I have read that the female will eat as much as she is able to bulk up before assuming the task of motherhood.  Then she will stay on her eggs until they hatch and stay close until they fledge.   I think she is    getting ready to set eggs.  But maybe she has just raised a nest full and is catching up on her groceries.  They are really fun to watch.  That is the nice thing about being old and gimpy, I have plenty of time to sit and watch. 

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Skipper and Yellow Lantana

I don't know if there is a difference in the flavor of red or yellow lantana but the little skippers enjoy them both.

more Macro Monday

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Bridge to Japanese Temple

While visiting our son Paul in Japan in 2003 we stopped at a beautiful temple.  This elegant footbridge led us to the temple entrance.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chainsaw Carving - The Gourmet Chef

Located in front of the Williams-Sonoma shop in Utica is another chainsaw carving by Tulsa artist Clayton Cox.  Here is a carving of a gourmet chef, lobster on one hand and bottle of wine in the other.  The little chicken who appears so lovingly at his feet is perhaps pleased to see that it is lobster that will be on the menu. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Lone Cypress at Pebble Beach

The iconic Lone Cypress on the 17 mile drive at Pebble Beach, California.  I took this in 2003 when Sue and I were visiting Paul and Beth in Monterrey.  It is estimated to be 250 years old and is arguably the most photographed tree in the world.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Challenge: Friends - Smokey and Tootsie

Tootsie was a nervous little Rat Terrier who was with me about 10 years ago.  She was perpetually cold natured and was always looking for something warm to snuggle up to.  When Smokey the unflappable Pit Bull Terrier came to live here he was the answer to her prayers.When he laid down on a cushion she was right beside him or better yet partly on top of him.   If he laid down on a cooler tile floor her favorite resting spot was perched with her hind feet on top of him and her front feet on the floor. 

Smokey was remarkably tolerant of his little friend.   I say they were friends.  If he had objected to her sitting on him he could have objected.  As it turned out she was his little buddy and he was fine with her using him for a cushion.  He was very patient with her but when he needed to get up he just stood up she rolled off.  Now Tootsie has gone to dog heaven and Smokey is an only dog.  I think he likes it that way.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Ruby Throated Hummingbird

 So where is the ruby red throat?  It's only on the male, the female has a white throat.  With many birds the male has the fancy plumage.  He is around.  I will get him another time.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Skipper on a Red Lantana

Lantana is a bright light that shines out in the flower garden.  It stands up to heat if given sufficient water and is host to Humming Birds and an assortment of Insects; butterflies, bees, wasps, and assorted little critters that feed on its sweet nectar.  This visitor is a healthy looking little Skipper although please forgive me that I cannot tell exactly which one.  There are many varieties that flit from flower to flower.

more Macro Monday

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lantana and Purselane - Hot Weather Survivors

It has been such a hot summer that I planted flowers in pots placed on the deck rather than in the ground.   That way it is easier to keep them watered.  Red and yellow Lantana and Purslane are hardy summer flowers.   

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) is a meme for photos that have not been tweaked or altered in any way. In other words, straight out of the camera.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chainsaw Carving of a Victorian Lady

A lovely Victorian Lady stands in front of the Bed, Bath, and Beyond store in Tulsa's Utica Square.  She is carved out of a solid piece of wood, more specifically the trunk of a deceased Elm tree.  Tulsa, like many cities has big old Elm trees that have succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease.  Fortunately for us we have a resident artist who makes good use of the trunks of these and other trees by sculpting them into elegant carvings  using a chain saw as a carving tool.  They are all over Tulsa and the surrounding area in front of businesses and in the gardens of private homes.

Clayton Coss has created over 2,000 chainsaw sculptures since he began in 1985.  They are so interesting that I have decided to make Saturday Chainsaw Carving day for my blog.  It is certain that I will not run out of sculptures to feature as he continues to create them.  Several years ago I featured a particularly beautiful American Eagle he created for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop.  You can see it HERE.  He has  a web site with a few other photos.  You can see it HERE,  or visit me on Saturdays to see some of my favorites.

More Weekend Reflections

Friday, August 19, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Bird on a Wire

Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free.
              Leonard Cohen

More SkyWatch Friday

Today's post is dedicated to fellow blogger Klaus Peter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Challenge: Empty - Route 66 Motel in Tucumcari

In October 2009 Sue and I (and Smokey the wonder dog) drove from Tulsa to Santa Fe by retracing the original route 66.  Much of the Mother Road had adapted to the migration of people from Oklahoma and surrounding drought stricken area  as they passed through the towns and cities on their way to California where they hoped to find work sufficient to feed their hungry familys, 

As they passed through the many towns on their way west they were sure to need 3 things:  A place to eat, access to auto repair facilities, and some place to sleep for the night.  At every town and village the local population was primed and ready to go.  The streets were lined if not with gold, then with plenty of garages, restaurants, and motels.  The competition was fierce to cash in on the primary industry, travelers.  There was only one way to get to the promised land and that was right down Main Street. 

Then President Eisenhower signed legislation to establish the interstate highway system.  The existing routes strung together the local roads that connected one town to the next and were seldom laid out in a distance saving straight line. The new highway system was concerned with routing traffic around all the little towns that slowed them down.  The result was a highway system that quickly moved traffic across the states, bypassing the towns that had counted on travelers to stay, and eat, and shop, and stay the night.  The result was a disaster to the local economies.

The town of Tucumcari New Mexico fit the bill in distance and accommodations to be the stop of choice for many travelers.   But in the 1950s the travelers were too few to fill the many restaurants and motels and one by one they began to close.  When we passed through Tucumcari in October 2009 there were still a few motels open for business but most were closed with sheets of plywood covering broken windows.  The signs permanently read Vacancy as grass grows tall in the seams in sidewalks and parking lots.  With few exceptions most of the town looks empty.  Population numbers were not easy to find but it appears that the population declined about 17% from 2000 to 2010.

But a hardy few stay on to see that their home town does not become a ghost town.  Since 1992 the town has hosted an annual Air Show and in other ways tries to generate activity to keep Tucumcari in the public eye.  It still bills itself as "The Gateway to the West"


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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Doors - Front Doors to Jazz Depot

Returning to my practice of featuring interesting entry ways, we admired the double front doors to the Jazz depot.  As they open into a large open space which houses the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, lets look at them from the inside looking out.
There is handicapped parking along the curb in front, and a large parking garage just across the street.  We got there early and found a nice spot right out in front.  The gentleman standing to the right of the doors had it open for us before we got there and greeted us warmly.  We bought a pair of discounted senior tickets for just $10 apiece.  There are advantages to being over 65.

We were lured by the smell of fresh popped popcorn and picked up a bag and a pair of soft drinks.  There was a wine bar for those who were so inclined.  We had time to look around at the exhibits before the music began at 5:00 PM.  It is a nice place, admission and refreshments are reasonable, the people are helpful and very pleasant, and the music was first rate.  What's not to like?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Have a Seat

Leather furniture at Jazz Depot, Tulsa, OK

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Jazz Pianos at the Jazz Depot

The Tulsa railroad depot was built in 1931 by the Public Works Administration  and was considered "the single best PWA symbol of hope for economic recovery during the bleak days of the depression. The Depot was the first central station in the city of Tulsa, and it unified the small Frisco, Katy, and Santa Fe depots. Upon its completion, a crowd of over 60,000 people came to see the opening ceremonies, which included speeches, singing, dancing, and Indian stomp dancing. The event was even broadcast on radio. A new locomotive was unveiled, and the locomotive said to have brought the first passenger train into the city (Frisco's "Old 94") was showcased. The depot opened "Tulsa's important front door." At its peak, the depot served 36 trains a day

It is now the home of the Tulsa Symphony and the venue for a weekly Sunday night jazz performance. It is known as The Tulsa Jazz Depot. We attend as often as we can. Sunday evening it featured performances by four jazz pianists.

The organizer and first soloist was Scott                 Next was Amy Cottingham

The third artist was Jeff Newsome.                        Last but not least was Adam Ledbetter.

Jeff introduced a surprise guest he introduced as his girlfriend but I didn't catch her name.  She was quite good. Scott played a duet with Adam after his set, and did the same with Amy after her set.  The quality of the music was excellent.

The interior of the depot houses a collection of photographs, awards, and various memorabilia associated with the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. This is a great place to visit and there is a performance almost every Sunday evening at 5:00, and other events are scheduled during the week.  For more information visit their web site at http://www.okjazz.org/

Since I was sitting near the back of the hall and got my "close-ups" by virtue of a 20X lens it seemed fitting to consider these macros of a sort.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

more Macro Monday

Sunday, August 14, 2011

SOOC - Behold the Rain Frog

At last the rains have come.  The thunder was accompanied by rain for a change and our world has turned a bit greener.  Outside the temperature is a respectable 90 degrees and for the first time in weeks I did not have to water my parched flowers.  Thank you Lord.

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) is a meme for photos that have not been tweaked or altered in any way. In other words, straight out of the camera.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Tulsa garden Center Fountain

Fountain in the sunken garden at the Victorian Conservatory on the grounds of the Tulsa Garden Center.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Let it Rain, Let it rain!

Thunderheads form over the Three Forks area.  After so much drought we are finally getting some rain and lower temperatures.  Let it rain, let it rain!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sepia Scenes - Three Forks at Muskogee

Just south of the little community of Okay, Oklahoma is this sign documenting the Three Forks area between Okay and Muskogee.  The site itself is located about 3/4 mile south and east of this point.  It can be accessed by a dirt road to a space of land that is privately owned and farmed.  This is where the Arkansas, Verdigris, and Neosho rivers meet (3 forks) and become the Arkansas river which flows from here across the state of Arkansas into the mighty Mississippi river, then south to the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans, and from there into the waters of the world.  The sign tells the story. 

In case a map might be helpful, here is a topo from Google Earth.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Help Yourself to a Bicycle

Would you like to ride on Rivertrail but don't have a bicycle?  No problem, just help yourself.  There is no charge to borrow one,  just swipe a credit card and the rack will release one for you.  The catch is that if it is not returned in 24 hours you get charged $100.  Not a bad deal if you want to pay $100 for a pink sidewalk bike, although I'm not sure you would get to keep it.  It just keeps people honest.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Pontiac Solstice

The Pontiac Solstice is a 2 seat sports car sold in model years 2006 to 2009.  It sold 61,000 units but was discontinued when GM shut down Pontiac in 2009.  It looks very nice in "arrest me red".

See more Ruby Tuesdays

Monday, August 8, 2011

Macro Monday - Red Lantana

Despite all my grumbling about the heat this summer my Lantana has been blooming non-stop.   Give Lantana a little drink of water every day and it never quits.  I have pots of red and yellow Lantana all around my deck. 

See more Macro Monday

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Black & White SOOC - Grant & Grandpa Bill

Our daughter-in-law Beth is visiting with her daughter Autumn 6 and son Grant 2 1/2.  It has really been too hot to send them out to play so we try to find amusements for them indoors.  I have a small cross tattooed on my shoulder so of course Grant wanted one.   I obliged him with the help of a marking pencil, then he wanted Spiderman.  That went fairly well then he requested Iron Man.  I had to look him up with Google, and with Grant's help found just what he wanted.  Of course as soon as Autumn saw his tattoos she had to have some.  She needed a princess, a heart, and a unicorn.  We did this for some time and they were pleased with the results. Yes, it all came out in the wash.

More Straight Out Of the Camera
More Weekend Black and White

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Lily Pond

I decided that 113° F was too hot to get out today so here is a nice cool lily pond to contemplate.  Think cool thoughts.

More Weekend Reflections

Friday, August 5, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Blessed with Blue Skies

Blue skies are fine but we would rather have some rain.  Our high today was 103°F, down from yesterday's 113°.  You might think that when the temperature exceeds 100 there is not much difference in the way it feels.  I believe that 113 is the hottest day that I have had the privilege of experiencing first hand and it definitely felt hotter than 103.  Those of you in cooler climes who are struggling with temperatures greater than 90° should just suck it up and count your blessings.  And to those who live in desert regions where the temperatures routinely exceed 120°F, you guys are tough.

 More SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday Challenge: Garden

The Victorian Conservatory in the Tulsa Garden Center.  (We were forecast to have a high today of 114 but it only reached 113.)

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - You Said 114° F ??

It is just too hot in Tulsa to think about a photo shoot.  So here is a photo from a cruise to Alaska 5 summers ago.  Dip a wash cloth in ice water, place it on the back of your neck, look at the picture and breath deeply. Ahhhhh.

The truth is that it's just too darn hot!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - It is RED HOT in Tulsa!

I thought you might like to see the Tulsa forecast for the week from my iPhone. This kind of heat is paralyzing. People stay inside where it is air conditioned as much as possible. The temperature inside a car that has been locked up in the sun will be 135 degrees or more.  The steering wheel will be too hot to touch until the AC brings the temperature down.  I am writing this at 4:30 Monday afternoon and outside it is 108F.

 It is  HOT  in Tulsa! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Celebrating With the Birthday Girls.

Our daughter-in-law Beth is visiting with children Autumn and Grant.  Autumn and Beth both have birthdays in August so we celebrated with an ice cream cake.  Autumn is 6 and Beth is 29 and holding.  Grant will be  3 in October.