Category Archives: Serenity

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.