Category Archives: Nature

Peace offering

Sixteen years ago, a friend gave me a spathiphyllum plant as a thank-you. Also called peace lily, white sails or spathe flower, it is an easy-care houseplant that doesn’t need much light. It bloomed every year like clockwork. Just a couple blooms in March/April. Then for five years (2014-2018), it stopped and I missed those dazzling white spathes, symbols of spring.

This year, it bloomed again! Here are some pictures from first sighting on March 19th to today.

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March 19 – peekaboo, i see you

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March 20 – first bloom release

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March 23 – moisture pearl hangs from tip

 

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March 26 – second bloom on the way

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March 26 – bustin’ out

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March 28 – free to unfurl

 

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April 7 – peace lily pair

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April 7

 

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April 10 – second bloom

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April 14 – Tamil New Year

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April 18 – inflorescence up close

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April 27 – the white spathes turn green with time (in sunlight)

Reference:
Wikipedia: Spathiphyllum wallisii

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Equinox at my door

Today (March 20th) marks the first day of spring this year. I got to White Rock Lake 15 minutes before sunrise to listen to birds greet the day. And was I in for a treat! I took short walks along Lawther Drive, parking in the small lots around the lake.

dawn sky over White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas

Dawn sky over White Rock Lake

I saw coots and mallards and wood ducks on the water. The male wood duck sports an aerodynamic helmet. Such authority. So cute.

Dawn at Whiterock Lake Dallas

I call this the chandelier tree.

My eyes were on the waterfowl, but chirps rained on me from the trees.

A red-winged blackbird drew me into a reed patch with its trill. No pictures of the RWB,  but got a quick shot of two racing shells. Sidebar (book suggestion): The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Great read!

Racing shells on Whiterock Lake, Dallas

And then I heard honking in the sky. The unmistakable call of Canada geese! I looked up and sure enough, a pair!

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See the two specks in the clouds about a third of the way up from the bottom and more than a third of the way in from the left? Canada geese.

I was definitely hoping I’d see Canada geese, but I wasn’t expecting to see them. So this was a bonus and I was content with the glimpse and the honks. I tried again to take pictures of the red-winged blackbird, but the reeds and the bird’s motion meant a few unusable shots. So I started walking back to the car when loud honking at the water’s edge stopped me in my tracks. I looked back:

Canada geese on Whiterock Lake

Oh, hello … Canada geese. I can’t even …

I kept my distance to give them space.

Canada geese on Whiterock Lake, Dallas

Seconds later, they took to the skies.

Canada geese on Whiterock Lake, Dallas

Flap flap

Canada geese on Whiterock Lake, Dallas

In sync

Airborne!

Winter green

Live oaks don’t shed leaves in the winter.

live oaks in Tietze Park

Their chlorophyllic stance in frosty weather makes this an arc de tree-omphe. These beauties frame Tietze Park, one of Dallas’ many green spaces.

 

Office cutie

Look who traveled all the way from Glasgow, UK to Dallas, Texas, USA. Resilience Fox.

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Being used to forests, he took to the plant in my cube.

But it made him sneeze: “Atishoo! Atishoo!” So I gave him the whole box.

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He took a tissue and dabbed his little snout.

Then he finished his tour of my cube.

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Deciding he liked the monitor stand best, he made himself comfy there. That this forest dweller would want a Dell nearby didn’t surprise me. But there is another plus to the location that appealed to him — a buddy. Can you spot his buddy? Clue in the last photo. Leave your guess in a comment, dear reader.

Resilience Fox came from the caring hands and heart of The Star and Heart Studio on Etsy.

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).

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.