Saturday, June 30, 2012

Majestic Couple

Majestic Couple
This pair of Red Shouldered Hawks live in our neighborhood.  In fact, the nest is less one hundred yards from the house.  The nest is very difficult to see and virtually impossible to photograph.  However, there is a dead tree, not far away, that they seem to like early in the morning.  Usually between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m., I can find them in this tree.  I have to use a 500mm lens just to get this type of photo, and it's been cropped.  I am nearly a half block away and they are nearly 75 feet in the air.  One of these mornings, I'm going to get up very early and try to set up my gear closer to the site and be in place when they arrive.  They are usually gone by 7:15 a.m. and typically don't return until the next morning.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Marketing 101

This advertising gimmick has been popular in our area for a couple of years now.  Local companies hire someone to dress  up in a silly costume and attempt to distract traffic.  Some carry signs to advertise which business is actually paying for this live action billboard.  Seriously, does anyone believe that this actually drives multitudes of new customers into a gold and coin shop?  Does this minimum wage live billboard truly improve the bottom line of the local business.  My guess

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday Thoughts and More

I have departed from my usual Skywatch Friday post this week.  I know that will cost me a number of visitors, but I just felt it was necessary to post something different.

Since I am now semi-retired, Thursday and Friday are now free for me to pursue things that interest me, like fishing and photography.  Most Thursday mornings will find me on one of several lakes in the area attempting to catch bream or bass.  On one of those small, private lakes I came upon this scene.  It is an abandoned dock.  There is still a house at the top of the hill, and I am sure it is occupied, but the dock seems to have been forgotten.  The owners may have grown too old to use it, and there is no family around to bring it back to life.  One can only imagine the joy that this structure once witnessed.

While the scene is very pastoral and peaceful, one cannot help but feel a little saddened by the fact that this place no longer enhances the lives of the owners.  There is a rod holder on one of the posts that indicates fishing took place here.  The lamps and benches tell of evenings spent on the dock in conversations with friends and family.  This was once a very happy place.  Now it is just weathering the storms of life and waiting for that day when it will be no more.
We Christians are often like this dock.  There are times our lives when our relationship with Christ is alive and filled with hope, joy, and great expectations.  We read His word, worship in His church, and spend time in prayer, seeking to obey His will for our lives.  Somewhere along the journey, we begin to neglect the relationship.  Each day, it gets a little easier to not read our Bible, fail to pray, or attend worship services with other believers.  Sooner our later our Christian life begins to look a lot like this dock.  I think I've got some repairs to make, what about you?  I think I'll start by asking for forgiveness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

This vase was sitting in the back corner of an antique store in Jenks, Oklahoma last Wednesday.  We were in Tulsa for a dance competition in which the middle grand daughter was a participant.  The competition was at the Tulsa Convention Center.  We had a few hours to kill so we drove out to Jenks and spent some time looking through the stores on Main Street.  This Ruby was nestled a corner, sitting on a small dresser.  I think it is probably from the late 20's to mid 30's.  There is a distinct art-deco look to it.  At any rate, all I could think of, when I spied it, was Ruby Tuesday.  Keep your camera handy.  You never know when you might want to use it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Master of His Domain

Master of His Domain

I finally got an opportunity to get a snapshot of one of the red shouldered hawks that calls our neighborhood home.  They have had a nest, about 75 yards from the house, for nearly three years.  It is difficult to get to and almost impossible to photograph.  Ocassionally, one will perch in the top of a dead tree, about the same distance from our abode.  This is about as close as I can get without actually setting up in advance and waiting for him/her to come to the branch.  I love these creatures.  I truly find them fascinating.  Now, If I can just get him/her to perch on a branch with an unobstructed view, I'll be very happy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Skywatch Friday Thoughts and More


One of my favorite things about the downtown Tulsa area are the churches.  I believe that virtually every major denomination is represented.  There is the Iconic modern Gothic of Boston Ave Methodist. All of the firsts are there, First Presbyterian, First Baptist, etc.  The Lutherans, Episcopal, and even Christ Scientists have venues in the downtown area.  One of these days I need to spend time and capture the images of all of these marvelous structures.  I forgot to capture the signage of this church, but I believe it is the First Presbyterian.  If so, it is where our Vespers service was held as a part of my high school graduation.
I love the spires of the churches downtown.  They truly recall a different time.  These places of worship have always said something about man's relationship to God and the importance that we put on our faith, and in our Creator.  The decorative spires that rise into a crystal clear evening sky seem to point to the source of our faith.  The building seems to become a safe haven for our expression of that faith.  The formality of these structures instills a sense of awe and reverence within us.  Some would find that to be old fashioned, in appropriate, and out of touch with today.  Personally, I think we could probably use a little formality and reverence in our lives.  Just to realize how much God loves us should bring us to our knees in awe and reverence, but too many of us take our God for granted.  That's unfortunate.
Remember one thing, Jesus is a friend of sinners.  Without Him, we are nothing and would be destined to an eternity lost, in that place that the bible calls hell.  With Him in our heart, we will experience the eternal joy in a place that Jesus has prepared for us.  Like the thief on the cross, on the day of our departure from this earth, we will join Him in paradise.  Have a blessed week-end.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Got Milk

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

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This one-room school is located in Ada, Oklahoma.  It is probably very similar to one that my Dad attended about twenty miles away in Madill, Oklahoma.  My great-aunt received her first teaching certificate in 1903 in Oakman, Oklahoma, less than 10 miles from this building.  She was teaching in Oklahoma Territory four years prior to statehood.  I cannot imagine the courage that it took for a single girl, seventeen years old, to leave her family in Kentucky, travel to Indian Territory and begin a teaching career.  You have to admire that kind of person.  She lived her adult life in Oakman, died in 1978 and is burried in Ada, Oklahoma.  She was an incredible woman.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Skywatch Friday Thoughs and More

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It's been several weeks since I posted a Skywatch Friday and I have missed posting as well as visiting other sites.  This certainly isn't my best Skywatch capture, but it's not really the primary reason for this post.  The Oklahoma Aquarium is the true motivation behind this edition of Skywatch Friday.  A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were in Tulsa and decided to go to the Aquarium.  There is quite a bit to see inside.

There are the not so uncommon Striped Bass that can be found in many fresh water lakes and are a great game fish, if you really like a fight and the opportunity to catch a 20-40 pound fish.

There are a lot of salt water species.  They are far and away the most colorful and unusual fish.  These guys are almost mirror like and wafer thin.  When they swim directly toward you, you almost can't see them.

We found Nemo!

This fellow and several of his friends were part of a petting exhibit.  Yep, you can Pet-a-ray!

We found Nemo again!

Some of these creatures are breathtaking.  I could watch them for hours and still not see everything that makes each of them unique.

I don't know what any of these creatures are called, but they are all beautiful.

There are animals that look like plants.  I think these Anomeneas were among my favorites.

As I wandered through these exhibits and stood in awe of the variety of creatures and the beauty that swam before me, I thought, "How can anyone look at all of this and say, It just happened, or "It all evolved"?  To deny that there is a Creator and that there is a divine plan in place that governs all of this seem to me to be unthinkable.  Each of these remarkable creatures has a purpose, and it is not to eventually morph into something else.  I am not a scholar, and I am not given to argue politics, philosophy, science, or religion, but I have a very difficult time believing that anything other than God Almighty is responsible for this marvelous world in which we live.  It is for this reason that, "I Stand Amazed In The Presence."  Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Fat Cat

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

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On a recent trip to Tulsa we visited the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, America.  There are a lot of great exhibits and beautiful creatures to view at this attraction.  This Anemone is just one example of the incredible creatures that inhabit the sea.  I'll share more photos of our visit in another post.

Farmer's Market

Saturday morning I got up early and headed into town for the local Farmer's Market.  There are Farmer's Markets in three or four of the surrounding communities.  You have to get there early to get the best choice of fruits and vegetables.

All of the vegetables are locally grown and some of them are organically grown as well. 

The market in Bentonville is set up on the square each Saturday morning.  Since most vendors are set up by 8:30, I am assuming that they have gotten up very early in order to make the drive into town, set up their tent, arrange their products and get their vehicles out of the way.

 The vegetable vendors are the most numerous and the most popular occupants at the market each week.  There is also one vendor that sells fresh flowers.  He seems to do a very good business each week.

Unique crafts are also available.  These handmade and decorated birdhouses were interesting.  I don't know that I would ever buy one, and I'm sure that they typically are in-home decoration, rather than functional living accommodations for our feathered friends.

These two visitors are the newest addition to the square.  There are several sets of them and a few of the smaller ones are randomly placed on the roof of several buildings around the square.  I'm not sure of their purpose, but they do make a colorful addition to the scene.  
On this visit, I purchased tomatoes for hamburgers and the traditional BLT sandwich.  There is nothing like a freshly harvested, home grown tomato to complete a perfect sandwich.  I'm ready for some okra now.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Go West!

The next time you're in Tulsa and have a desire for some contemporary Cowboy cuisine, I suggest that you Go West.  Recently, my wife and I were in Tulsa and decided we wanted to try something different.  I had read a review of this restaurant on the Tulsa Food Blog that was very complimentary, so I made the reservations and off we went.  There is a reason for the name of this place other than the western inspired menu.  It is so far west in Tulsa that it is nearly in Sapulpa. Go West is an upscale restaurant and saloon serving steaks, pork chops, bison and other selections inspired by southwest flavors. Click on the link to explore further, including their menu.  They have separate lunch and dinner selections.  Go West is a little on the pricy side, but not outrageous.  It is busy but relatively quiet place to enjoy a good dinner with someone special.
I failed to take any photos of the food, we were too busy enjoying the offerings.  I can highly recommend the Cowboy Pork Chop and the Beef Tenderloin.  I did see a 16 oz. Go West Cowboy Burger on the menu but I knew I would never finish it and since each of us wanted to try something different, sharing this entree was not on the agenda.  One last tip, save room for dessert.  They offer a Chocolate Pecan Pie that will buckle your knees.  I could have ordered three slices for dinner and a fourth for dessert!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Let There Be Light