Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

The Man from Saskatchewan

I wondered, as I lay in bed, what I should do today. I had no desire to shop. I thought about driving to a state park, or to the city parks and trails in the small town of Farmersville. I thought about birding for sparrows in Limestone Quarry Park in Frisco. But when I thought of riding my bicycle on the Watters Branch Trail, a warm feeling washed over me. So my morning plan was made.

I hit the Watters Branch Trail at around 9:20 a.m. The first bit of bicycling felt a bit chilly, even though I was in layers of clothing. But as the morning wore on, warm weather arrived.

I bicycled some six miles. My pace was, as usual, quite slow. I had my camera in my backpack and my binoculars around my neck. I moved at a slow pedal, averaging only a bit more than three miles an hour. As I saw or heard birds, I stopped to watch them. When circumstances permitted, I took photographs.

A nice older man walking with walking poles stopped and spoke with me. He explained that he was visiting from Saskatchewan. He told me that he was down visiting his son for ten days. I asked him about the weather when he left. He said it was negative 24 Celsius. As we had that discussion, the Texas temperature in which we stood was about positive 18 degrees Celsius. He told me that in some past years, the temperature was nearly as warm in Saskatchewan in November. This year, he explained, the weather stayed warn "through harvest" and then turned cold. He asked me if I logged the birds I saw. When I said "yes", he asked me how many I had logged this year. I told him that in the county I was up to 108 species. He told me of a park with 120 species.  Our local area has about 250 species sighted a year--more than 120, but far fewer than the Rio Grande Valley.  He told me that he had seen a lot of birds disturbed in the woods, so he suspected a Merlin (a falcon-family raptor) was nearby. I told him that while we got Merlins in the Winter for a few months, a likely candidate for the bird consternation was the Cooper's Hawk. I bid him a good trip, and he planted his walking poles and headed off.

I've always wanted to visit Saskatoon. I like prairie places.

I discovered that a new bridge led to a new path that made a formerly dead-end part of the trail loop into the trail. I liked the added length this gave to the trail.

When it was time to cross from one trail to another via a bridge,  I found myself behind a woman with two retrievers. She had them sit politely, gentlefolk that they were, while walkers came in the other direction. I walked my bicycle around them on the other side of the bridge, and thanked her when she made sure they did not stray into the way.

After my ride, I went to lunch and enjoyed it. One man was doing the job of about three at the Kentucky Fried Chicken where I got my grilled chicken box.  I told him he was doing a good job at it.  I accidentally got in a lane packed with shoppers headed to the Allen Outlet Mall.  I was so pleased when I sorted out a way to enter a nearby parking lot and exit on a completely different road.

I watched the sports team from my alma mater lose a close game. But the better part of the late afternoon was giving Beatrice a walk in the now-warm-weather. She loved her walk. Instead of walking around the park pond, she preferred to explore the spaces near the elementary school.

We ate smoked turkey my wife ordered from the cafe Elke's, along with fixings. It all tasted good.

cereal and skim milk
grilled chicken leg and thigh, green beans, part of a biscuit
smoked turkey, squash casserole, salad, dressing, sweet potato











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