Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

farmersville and beyond



Saturday morning I loaded my bicycle into my Chevrolet and drove to Farmersville, Texas, about 48 minutes from our home. I stopped for a cinnamon roll on the way.

Farmersville is a town of about 3300 residents. In its day, it was an agricultural center specializing in onions. I like that it was named after farmers instead of being named after a railroad executive or the land speculator who founded the town, as is more usual in Texas.

I parked at the downtown Onion Shed park. The bicycle trail in Farmersville is the Chapparal Trail. It is supposed to run someday all the way to Paris, Texas, some fifty miles away. I planned to ride the paved portion, though, a five mile round trip. The trailhead is called the Audie Murphy trailhead, after the local product who left dire poverty in the area, became a WW II hero, and then starred in 20+ movies.

The trail was a lovely, flat trail which I enjoyed riding. I wish the paved portion had been longer.


Chapparal Trail

During my ride, I saw a bird I think (but am not sure) was an orchard oriole, as well as lots of cardinals and butterflies. A red dog from a nearby trailer barked at me when I got to
the end of the paved trail, but I could tell his heart was not into trying to bite me, and I rode on a bit on the unpaved part until he went away.

Next I went to the Minnow Bucket, my favorite Farmersville bait shop, for a carton of nightcrawlers. The fellow who owns the shop usually has a chihuahua dog assisting him with customer relations,but Saturday the dog was not to be seen. He also had a sign that he did not open until 1 p.m. on Sundays. I wondered if that would cut into his business, as I imagined Sunday morning to be a bait-demand time.

Southlake Park has a pleasant small lake with a nice fishing dock. Unfortunately, Saturday the lake was filled with water lilies and the lake was very shallow around the dock. The good part was that the lake was preternaturally transparent. I could literally watch the fish play with my fishing line. I wished I had had my underwater camera, as it would have been an ideal day to take
fish pictures.

Water lily

I caught two little sunfish of aquarium size. I read a novel I had brought with me. At one point, I fished in the open space near the small boat launch. A small snake swam out of the reeds, curious about my bobber. He looked a bit like a venomous water mocassin,but identification
is difficult because harmless water snakes intentionally mimic the headshape of water mocassins. I went to get my camera, but he was gone when I returned.

As I drove home, a sign heading towards the small town of New Hope said "Garden Tour". I figured it was a tour by a New Hope society. I turned in and followed
the signs. I found myself on the McKinnney Garden Tour. The house in New Hope had lovely grounds, with lots of shade, bee boxes, a chicken area and a shady Japanese garden. Collin County's winery, New Wales, was nearby. I do not really drink wine, but it was fun to walk the grounds.
I wonder if wine from our non-wine-region area is drinkable, but I have no report to make on that score.

My wife and I linked up for lunch at Whichwhich, a chain sandwich emporium. Then she and I decided to keep on the garden tour. We visited the remaining four homes on the tour. The first was in McKinney, not far from our home. It featured a really inventive use of dwarf Japanese cedar as an accent plant--almost treating it as a grass. It was next to a creek,giving it great riparian shade trees. The second home was 14,000 square feet on 5 acres, also in west McKinney. It had a frisbee golf course, dozens of televisions, a Bentley, a Maserati, old American cars of the 70s, a lovely pool with a tiny waterfall, and a front yard which accomodated the parking of dozens of visitors In short, the second house was one of those mythic new money homes that Texas had a somewhat deserved reputation for having. The third home was in the historic part of McKinney, a 1917 federal-style home with a lovely, somewhat formal small garden. I liked this home very much, with its ornate rugs over wooden floors. The fourth home was an 1887 Victorian owned by a couple whose artistic eye led them to create a greenhouse from glass windows and to make whimsical chandeliers, birdbaths and other pieces. As we walked to our car, we saw this Texas brown tarantula:

Texas tarantula

After our return home, I drove to Radio Shack,as the charging cord in my pandigital e-reader/tablet was no longer charging. The fellow at Radio Schack is
great. We chatted about his upstate New York relatives. We figured out that the power cord had been fried in the storm,
but he fixed me up with a new one at a reasonable price.

I picked up take and bake cheese pizza from Papa Murphy's pizza palace, upon which we dined and then enjoyed sitting on our back patio looking at our own
postage-stamp-size garden.
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