I drove over to downtown Garland, Dallas' quarter-million-population eastern suburb, where I have my law office. Today I volunteered to help with a clean-up operation as part of a city-wide volunteer day called Garland Gives. One of my law partners invited me along, as he is part of a thing called Leadership Garland, which helps train community leaders.
I arrived at 8:30, with limb-cutters,a shovel and a little garden fork in hand. Soon I began my assigned task--removal of four bushes from the front of the Good Samaritan food bank. The food bank is in a residential-type small house in downtown. The bushes for removal were roughly' waist high and a bit thick. They were unruly but not truly ugly, so I felt badly about pulling them up. But I know the area can look better.
I was able to cut down the bushes in about an hour, and four or us worked on getting the trunks and at least some of the roots pulled up. This required lots of teamwork with shovels, a small gardening fork, and brute strength. One young woman in the leadership program who worked at a car dealership impressed me with her uncanny ability to place her cowboy boot onto a shovel to drive it home with immense force. If she ever becomes the subject of a comic book, her superpower will be shovel leverage. Another young man had Samson's strength for shrub removal. I also assisted in weeding another garden plot, watering some beans in containers and raking dirt for a new grass planting
At 11:30, they fed me a outdoor-grilled hamburger for lunch. It tasted great. I got a tour of the food pantry. I liked their operation. I enjoyed doing the yard work. I am good at this sort of thing--did a lot of it when I was a student.
After my volunteer gig, I drove to Bob Woodruff Park. I walked in the southern section, which is this huge field with Burr Oak trees providing intermittent shade and Rowlett Creek running beside it. A few guys had a drone obstacle course set up in the middle. I worried that this would be a hassle. But I found I could walk in good shape without any impediment for me or for them as to the small section they co-opted for their whirring drones.
I walked for a bit over an hour. I saw three species I had not seen this year:
Great Crested Flycatcher
I got good pictures of the flycatchers.
The Cliff Swallow was under the bridge under which the pedestrian trail runs. He flew out to make sure I knew I need not linger near the mud nests. I moved out of his friendly but not-so-friendly way.
I drove home. I threw Beatrice's stuffed Red Lobster. Then I rode my bicycle on the Watters Branch Trail. I rode really slowly, and looked at birds. My fit app says I averaged less than 4 miles an hour--a bit more than a brisk walk. I saw 15 species or so, but could not identify with certainty the warbler who was the unexpected sighting.
This evening we had dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. I had grilled chicken breasts, grilled shrimp, sourdough bread and broccoli crowns.
We exchanged anniversary cards. We decided where to go on vacation. We had a great time.
My wife fell asleep watching a move on television. But she might wake up for "Ashes to Ashes".
Lately I think of self-publishing and shared words.
(cross-posted to DW because life is silly)