Monday, November 22, 2004

Turkey Mountain Swamp

It was a misty day around the Arkansas River today - my favorite environment for walking across the pedestrian bridge at 31st Street in Tulsa. The best view in Tulsa is looking north from the balcony in the middle of this old railroad bridge. Looking north over the wide Arkansas one sees downtown Tulsa's skyscrapers peeking up above the cottonwood trees that line the river. The entire image is reflected in the tranquil waters just above the spillway here. When the trees turn colors at this time of year is the best time to enjoy this view.

On the other side of the bridge - looking south, one can watch seagulls, pelicans and cranes standing on rocks or hovering over the spillway in search of fish. It's a glorious sight on any day but when the water is running high and a mist softens the edges - even the electric plant on the river bank can't ruin the mood. Looking south past the I-44 bridge one can see the bulk of Turkey Mountain looming over the Arkansas near 71st Street.

Near Turkey Mountain is a shale formation that bears untold numbers of carbonized plant fossils squeezed between the layers of these 300+ million year old Pennsylvanian Era rocks. In these shales are the mineralized remains of giant ferns and tree-sized rushes that once flourished where Tulsa is now. As I watch the birds catching fish in the foreground my eyes occasionally drift up and off into the distance to Turkey Mountain and thoughts of the tropical swamp that bubbled here all those millions of years ago.

The sight helps put talk of petty politics, football games, and injustice in some sort of perspective.

No comments: