Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I rode home, grinding uphill along 56th Street with a slight crosswind. One side of the road is an open pasture, and at first, I though there were leaves blowing across the road. In fact, it was butterflies - hundreds of them - in a variety of colors. (I don't know beans about butterfly species.) One decided to fly directly in front of my handlebar, about two feet ahead, and it swerved left and right as the wind caught its wings. The butterfly and I rode in formation for about a hundred yards.

Oh, and the airspeed of an unladen butterfly of unknown species is approximately 11 mph.


The butterfly event got me thinking about another fall day when I was privileged to observe migrating hawks. The kids were little then, and I'd taken them to the local playground. They did all the running around. I sat on a park bench and noticed some specks floating around above me. At first, I thought they were some sort of insect, but a closer look revealed them to be hawks at very high altitude - high enough, in fact, to be on the same level as jets approaching Tulsa International. I usually carried binoculars, and I'd remembered to put them in my pocket that day. I watched as they drifted east toward a thermal, and then spiraled upward. When the thermal topped out, they continued on toward the east.

I've never seen that many hawks in one day. Even with the binoculars, they were too high to identify. But the kids and I got a kick out of watching them.

Tulsa World

The local newspaper has decided to put much of its content behind a firewall - again. Another paper that does this is the New York Times. It's certainly true that the Tulsa World shares many of the same attributes as the Times. They're both printed on paper. They're both delivered by trucks. They have well-defined political viewpoints expressed on the editorial pages, though to be perfectly honest, those viewpoints are almost diametrically opposed. When the Times put their columnists behind a firewall, I was mildly annoyed. But the Tulsa World's attempt to force readers to pay to read their columnists is completely absurd.

Roadside signs

It's political season once again. Signs are sprouting like mushrooms along our roads, and just like mushrooms; they need the same kind of growth media.

It's illegal to place campaign signs, for-sale signs, yard sale signs and the like in the public right-of-way. Owasso PD went on a tear one summer, ripping out all the yard sale signs almost as soon as they went up. Oddly enough, they ignored all the realtor's signs. Most people have the good sense to remove their yard sale signs promptly, thought that's not always true.

Still, I've been tempted to run over some of them when I'm on the bike, especially the ones that tout spamming as a second income. Motorists already think that cyclists are crazy. This would only give them more ammunition.


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