Monday, March 23, 2009

Tulsa Treasure

Our Spring Break was different this year... the last few years we have been out of town at a basketball tournament, so it almost seemed strange to be at home with nothing to do. But do you know what I liked about it?

We were at home with nothing to do.

So, truth be told, we actually did nothing much... lots of days at home with friends or just hanging out with family.

The one outing we went on is what I am highlighting in today's blog post: Redbud Valley.
Redbud Valley is a nature preserve that lots of Tulsans don't seem to know about. It is near Catoosa, and is a place that I first explored when I was a little girl. If you like a good nature hike, Redbud Valley is absolutely beautiful and a fun walk. The Main Trail is about a mile long and isn't for sissies. It's steep, rocky and what Luke called "a great place for boys." There are other forks to go on, such as the Woodland Trail and the Prarie Trail, and my kids can't wait to get back out there and walk on the rough and challenging Bluff Trail.

It's hard to describe the beauty of the place, the habitats you see on your hike differ so much... so here is an explanation from the website:

The habitat here was created where Bird Creek and its tributaries cut through a thick limestone layer. This has formed valleys edged with tall limestone cliffs. The limestone, in turn, has been dissolved by water to create several small caves and springs. Where the tall cliffs face north, they shade the area from sun and keep it cool and moist. This special combination allows plants like ferns, Columbine and Dutchman's Breeches to grow, and shelters native Oklahoma Sugar Maples. Many of the plants in this habitat are more common in the Ozark Mountains to the east. On top of the limestone, however, the soil is thin and dries quickly, allowing plants like yucca and two species of cactus to flourish. There are also many plants here common on the prairies to the west. One tree of interest found here is the Smoke Tree, Cotinus obovatus. The combination of the dry and moist habitats, existing side by side, gives Redbud Valley its special character. The weather was absolutely perfect the day we (Me, my kids, a friend, and Gran Carolyn- Tom's mom) visited... clear, fresh and comfortable, like a gift from heaven. The terrain wasn't too muddy and there weren't that many bugs around yet. The only regret we had was that the Redbuds didn't seem to be blooming yet.... here at my house, they are in full bloom, but things were still pretty drab in the valley. Below is a peek of the purple blooms to come... and click here to see a previous trip to Redbud when the trees had leaves and the browns were green.

Or better yet, go for a visit yourself! You will discover quite a treasure!

(Check hours of operation and directions on the website)

11 Wonderful Responses:

Kathleen said...

What a beautiful place! And what a blessing to have a relaxing spring break; looks like you had a marvelous outing!

Melinda said...

How gorgeous! We might just have to take a trip to Tulsa soon to visit that. I LOVE being outdoors!!

Glad you had a relaxing Spring Break.

Lazy Mom Amanda said...

I have never heard about this. Maybe I will have to do it this summer when I am a tourist!!! Looks like fun!

Michelle said...

How beautiful. I have never been there but I am thinking we need to go check it out.
Great shots! Glad you all have a great spring break.

Dawn said...

Fun!! I've heard of it but never been there!

Maybe if I can get mom to watch Camryn then we can go. Courtney would love it.

I'm glad you had an enjoyable spring break.

Shannon said...

I miss Tulsa in the Spring- the redbuds, the azaleas and the fact that it arrived much sooner than it does here in Iowa. Looks like a grand adventure!

Valerie said...

Awesome -- I would have never known about this if I hadn't read it here. And we are always looking for fun little places to visit that are off the beaten path, no pun intended...;)

Chel said...

We lived in Tulsa for 4 years and never visited there!! East Texas had beautiful red buds all over this weekend and the Dogwood trees were in full bloom all over.
Tulsa is very unique to have trees and plants growing naturally that you would not expect. ---one reason why allergies are so much harder to deal with there.

Kim said...

My parents would take us out there every spring! It's a nice drive and getting out hiking around is an adventure close to home. How wonderful it was to see the area being taken care of.

Roxanne Kristina said...

Just got caught up with your blog. Remembered we are still not FB friends. Will you try me?


Roxanne Kristina said...

I mean: