Tag Archives: serenity

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!

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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.

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.

Bob Woodruff Park, Plano – North Pavilion

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It’s a Sun-day!

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Wakey, wakey

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Behold a bunch of Bob Ross do’s.

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Plan a party.

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Enjoy the pier and now.

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Jog the 0.9-mile trail around the lake.

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Have a beautiful day!

These shots are all from the North Pavilion side of Bob Woodruff Park. Here’s a location map. As I was driving home, a gorgeous grove by the South Pavilion called to me, but my to-do list was louder. Stay tuned for a separate post with photos.

Added 27 November 2016: Bob Woodruff Park, Plano – South Pavilion

Lovely La Villita

One of my favorite places in DFW is La Villita in Irving. A lake glistens at its center, and the Trinity River flows less than a quarter mile to the east. You’ll see migratory Canada geese form giant Vs in the sky in the fall and again in the spring.

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Check out the townhouses west of the lake …

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and the houses east of it.

I lived in an apartment complex on the south side of the lake. Nature was very much a part of La Villita. Dozens of cedar waxwings chose the trees I could see from my balcony to sun themselves one spring morning. Another time, heavy rain brought an enormous number of egrets to the river nearby. I go back now and then to take in the calming effect of the lake and the Tuscan colors around it.

Then a short walk to Campion Trail to sit by the river under this grand, cooling, grounding tree (leftmost in pic below) after last month’s lunch appointment in Irving.

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Walk by La Villita’s play/picnic area to Campion Trail, which flanks the Trinity River.

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Strength, grace, infinite intelligence

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Plano

Having explored this park one evening a couple weeks ago, I went back today morning to hear the birds’ dawn chorus.

Approach from the parking lot to the lake

Approach from the parking lot to the lake

Picnic pavilion at sunrise

Picnic pavilion at sunrise

A brisk walk on the 0.88-mile paved trail around the lake takes me 15 minutes. More than 5 miles of soft trails wind through the adjacent meadows and woods.

A brisk walk on the 0.88-mile paved trail around the lake takes me 15 minutes. More than 5 miles of soft trails wind through the adjacent meadows and woods.

Walk in the woods along Old Oaks Trail, where you'll find some of the city's most mature oak trees.

Walk in the woods along Old Oaks Trail, where you’ll find some of the city’s most mature oak trees.

Majestic oak, your roots are showing, and they are beautiful. That this tall tree stays rooted sideways to the creek bank is a structural marvel.

Majestic oak, your roots are showing, and they are beautiful. That this tall tree stays rooted sideways to the creek bank is a structural marvel.

As I leave the chirp-filled woods, I see this graceful heron seek out breakfast.

As I leave the chirp-filled woods, I see this graceful heron seek out breakfast.

On the City of Plano web page for Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, you’ll find park hours, a trail map and more.

Holy Anole

Can you find the beautiful green creature, hangin’ out, holdin’ onto the branches, swaying in the gentle breeze? This sunbathing camouflage expert is a green anole (\ə-ˈnō-lē\). The second syllable doesn’t rhyme with “hole” like I thought, but with “holy,” which inspired the title for this post.

Camo in the coneflower clump

Camo in the coneflower clump

According to Wikipedia, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) was the first reptile to have its complete genome sequenced. I’d hide from all that fame too.