Author Archives: Gita Mani

About Gita Mani

Nature lover. Punster. Foodie.

Dove tale

A white-winged dove built a nest in my balcony. It took about two weeks for the eggs to hatch and two more for the babies to fledge.

June 28th – I stepped out for better cell reception to this!

What bird is this, I wondered …

white-winged dove on nest in Dallas, Texas

A white-winged dove! Identifying marks: bright blue ring around the eye, black streak on cheek, and white-edged wing that gives the bird its name.

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July 9th at dawn

I came home drenched from a sudden downpour to a sight that tugged at my heart.

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Mom is sopping wet and hanging on in thunderstorm gusts and heavy rain. The balcony has no awning, so there’s no protection from rain. July 12th

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All dry and fluffy the next day – July 13th

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Is that fuzzball under mom a baby bird? July 14th

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Two little heads and two little tails – July 17th

Why this bird chose a fourth-floor balcony grate to have babies beats me.

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I gratefully accept this gift …

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… of a beautiful dove and new life so close

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White-winged dove profile story 🙂

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July 19th

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So big so fast. So beautiful! July 21st

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Family portrait – July 25th

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July 26th – Last pic of the three together before the baby birds fledged

See how the story ends! Check out the full album of photos taken June 28th to July 28th.

More about this beautiful bird:
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: White-Winged Dove
Beauty of Birds: White-Winged Doves

I’ll forever love my very first bird guide, All the Birds of North America. It is awesome! There’s the Merlin Bird ID App, too.

Note: All close-ups are crops of longer shots (to give the birdies their space).

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Something to taco ’bout

When life gives you lemons, eat tacos.

But not just any tacos. Head to La Nueva Fresh & Hot on Webb Chapel Road in Dallas. While you wait for your tacos, watch the tortilla machine crank out a never-ending supply of those super-soft carriers of all manner of fillings, those foldable wonders that feed the soul.

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My tasty trio: rajas (roasted poblano peppers), frijol refrito (refried beans) and papas (potato). The one with the green chile peeking out is the rajas taco. Choose from corn or flour tortillas. I went with corn. Yummm 😀

I eyed these for next time: nopales  (cactus) and Mexican papas!

On the chalkboard you’ll find several vegetarian and vegan choices (unusual for an authentic Mexican spot) as well as meat-based ones. The other board lists a ton of meal options.

Take home tubs of fresh red or green salsa and cactus salad from the refrigerator case. And a stack of tortillas, of course.

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Just two bucks!

La Nueva Fresh & Hot has a few tables and chairs if you want to eat in. I’m not a bit surprised it has 4.5 stars on Yelp. I give it five.

So laugh off the lemons and tuck in, my friend.

 

What a punderful world

Wordplay makes life more fun. Look at the puns that showed up in different (if unlikely) places.

1. At the grocery store

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2. At a concert

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I love this one! Why’d you go to that concert? Ya know … Jazz Becuzz! 😀

I’ve been to two Jazz Becuzz concerts in the last couple months. The first featured five Dallas singers (Carolyn Lee Jones, Breggett Rideau, Jennifer Martin, Mahogany Miller and Andrea Wallace, with Larry Davis (piano), Buddy Mohmed (bass) and Jaelun Washinton (drums). What a dazzling array of singing talent and top-notch accompanists. The second featured The Brehms — delightful musicians with a great sense of humor!

So, why do you like music? Ya know … Jazz Becuzz.

3. In a cookbook

A pun in a book of vegetarian recipes? Miso happy that me can’t stop crying. By the way, Nina Olsson authors Nourish Atelier.

That’s three puns. Is there a fourth, you ask?

Well … it isn’t original, but here goes: May the 4th be with you. Happy Star Wars Day!

 

White Rock Lake, Dallas – 2

Happy Earth Day! White Rock Lake is home to flora and fauna that boost the happy.

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A pair of coots

The coot’s white bill and dark feathers and its bobbing motions make it Chaplinesque.

The Filter Building sits on the southwest bank of White Rock Lake.

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The Filter Building once housed a system to purify lake water for city consumption. In the 1950s, the city began to rely on its other lakes for water, so the Filter Building stopped serving its original function. Today you can rent it for private and corporate events.

Glad they left the name and the very cool sign untouched.

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Mauve magic of Texas mountain laurel

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Coot stalking

The white structure is a boat garage.

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The water looks fine. Let’s go.

I took these pictures one misty morning last month. Here’s a sunny day post on White Rock Lake from four years ago.

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.