December 15, 2012
Today made up for the dreary overcast days of the prior weekend; it was sunny and warm, reaching the mid 60s. I drove an hour south to enjoy some restaurant meals in Tulsa and walk and snap photos at three of my favorite spots: Redbud Valley, Oxley Nature Center, and Woodward Park. Altogether I walked about 5 miles today, helping compensate for a lunch at El Chico and dinner at Kilkenny’s.
Redbud Valley was my first stop. I reversed my typical course, quickly hitting the Bluff Trail and glad to find sunlight striking the rocks and trees as I followed it southwest high above Bird Creek. I posed beneath one overhang and was glad to find some autumn leaves still adorning trees. I enjoyed the trail tucked under the bluff overhangs and then rounded a corner to find the forest still bedecked in orange leaves.
Sunlight and moss were draped across the rocks as I climbed to the top of the bluff and made my way to the bench at the Bird Creek overlook. I quickly crossed the woodland and prairie, returning to my car to drive a few miles west to Oxley Nature Center.
I took the Red Fox, Woodpecker, and Coal Creek Trails over to Blackbird Marsh, where I admired the cattails, which were going to seed. I viewed the shoreline of Lake Sherry and climbed for a view from the observation tower. Two ducks drew long bow wakes across the water as they swam out toward their companions. Wakes also formed overhead as jets followed their glide paths to the nearby airport.
I walked along the eastern shore of Coal Creek to where it blended with the lake, and I saw a hollow log which was about to lose its cylindrical shape. Then I backtracked to follow Coal Creek’s west bank to the Blue Heron Loop and Bird Creek. The Yellow Warbler Trail led me back to the Meadowlark Prairie and the prettiest bench in the park, having a split log for both the seat and back. I wrapped up the three mile walk at Oxley with a loop west of the parking lot.
The afternoon would soon be waning, so I headed over to Woodward Park for my final walk. I spied a guitarist seated on a bench, eyeing the Appeal to the Great Spirit. A chubby squirrel was busily preparing for winter.
I found pansies growing near the satyr and nymph. I shot a couple of close-ups of Poems and Promises. Later I laid down on a bench and watched the clouds scroll by, planes drawing contrails for the wind to play with.
I ended the day with a Chatsworth Boxty at Kilkenny’s. Winter Break begins late next week, but when and where I hike will depend on the weather.