Bethany Lakes Park – Allen, Texas

This Allen gem has four lakes, each with its own personality.

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Mostly mallards

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Reflecting pool

A walking trail surrounds this lake.
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This stopped me in my tracks:

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Anhingas and gulls

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Unparalleled parking

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About to nail the landing

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Soli-tree

These pics are from last weekend when temps rose to 60+ Fahrenheit. Not the norm for winter, but this is Texas where temps drop 20 degrees in as many minutes when cold fronts hit.

Look at the pics in these Yelp reviews of this very park. Spring! Canada geese. Picnics. Possibilities.

Here’s the City of Allen listing for Bethany Lakes Park.

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Dayspring Nature Preserve – Allen, Texas

When it’s brrrry cold outside, there’s always photos from the month of May.

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Nature preserve beats traffic jam

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Indian paintbrushes (ratibida columnifera) surround firewheel (gaillardia pulchella)

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Sheer re-leaf

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‘Round the bend for mind to mend

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Path-o-logically peaceful

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Air filter

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Decked out in emerald

Here’s the City of Allen listing for Dayspring Nature Preserve.

Nothing to sneeze at

This post falls in the category of “details that make a difference.”

Look at this picture. What do you see?

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A box of white facial tissue?

Look again. This brand tells you when the box is nearly empty.

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See the pale blue tissue under the white one?

First of 10 blue tissues before the box is empty. A cue to stock up.

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Hint, tint!

Subtle, right? Here are the images, side by side.

This kind of care in product design makes for a superior UX. Small details that surprise and delight or make life a little bit easier, sweeter, smoother.

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas

This tranquil gem sits at the heart of downtown Dallas. Traffic whizzes about and under it and high-rise buildings stand like sentinels around it. The park is a Buddha ‘midst the buzz. Its well-kept spaces include a botanical garden, a children’s park, and a dog park.

20171028_133412.jpgTuck into a falafel sandwich or just-baked pizza from the nearby food trucks.

20171028_133123.jpgAmble through the botanical garden, home to native plants, including this monarch magnet, the lantana.

Here are some monarch shots from a sunny October day.

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Monarchs migrate through North Texas twice a year. Once in the fall en route to Mexico, route reversed in the spring. Pollinator-friendly plants in the park’s Monarch Wrangler section give these beautiful butterflies a place to rest and refuel.

20171030_170045.jpgBottom of sign: This site demonstrates beneficial conservation management practices for the monarch butterfly and other pollinator species producing tangible values for natural resources and our Texan way of life.

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Flanking a botanical garden walkway are pink muhly on the left and mealy blue sage and lantana on the right, all drought-resistant Texas natives.

Apart from food trucks for noshing and green spaces for chilling, KWP has outdoor ping pong tables and a reading room. Weekend yoga, capoeira, tai chi and meditation classes make it a community wellness hub. The park even has a performance pavilion for music concerts.

Plan a visit to Klyde Warren Park.

Tote’s awesome

If you’re mentally removing apostrophe from headline, don’t. My lunch tote, a fabulous blend of form and function, really is awesome.

Igloo tote exterior

Polka dots add a playful pop to a color that goes with everything. Shoulder straps leave hands free.  A wide base means the tote won’t topple. And its compact exterior belies a seriously roomy interior.

Igloo tote capacity

This capacious carrier comfortably holds lunchbox, fruit, water bottle, train read, and light cardigan. All that and a bag of chips (not pictured).

Ethio-paean

The friendly folks at the family-owned Merkato Grocery and Cafe, an Ethiopian spot in Murphy, Texas, seem keenly aware of the adage that you eat with your eyes first.  Proof: their Vegetarian Sampler!

20170715_192154Three kinds of lentil dishes, collard greens, beets, a potato/carrot stew, green beans, and cabbage sit atop a fluffy injera, a pancake made from fermented teff batter. And the basket holds even more injera, all rolled up and ready to eat.

The injera’s soft, porous texture makes it perfect for scooping up the various heaps of serious yum. Plus, its similarity to the Indian dosa puts it in the category of comfort food for me.