Tulsa Trails in Late Autumn

December 15, 2012

Redbud Valley (click image for slideshow)

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.

End of Autumn Leaves

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.

Woodward Park

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 PromisesLater 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.

Click here for a slideshow from this day hike

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife, Wendy, and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
This entry was posted in day hike, photos, travel, video. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tulsa Trails in Late Autumn

  1. dunkbot says:

    Redbud Valley is pretty special. In and about the cliff faces, delicate brake ferns grow. I’ve seen them elsewhere (Rte.11 north of Tulsa in the “twisties”) but they aren’t common. I remember also finding some lithic debitage (“flakes”) on the cattle paths above the rock shelter back in the ’70s but a trip in the ’00s yielded no evidence. (I think somebody collected the most visible pieces. I may have reported this site then but I don’t remember.) Cheers!

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