Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

The Purple Balloon



Last night we watched the film "Muscle Shoals" on Independent Lens. I knew a little of that story, but I was surprised at how much I did not know. In fact, I knew "the Muscle Shoals Sound" better than I knew the history.

This morning I took Beatrice for a walk. She enjoyed that very much. At 11 a.m. I took her to her vet, because she was scratching her right ear. When we first got there, the tech named Heather waited on us. She is an attractive blonde woman whose body ink is
like a graphic novel, ending on her arm as if the tattoos were well-tailored forearm sleeves. She greeted Beatrice by name, and remarked that I had brought her in rather than my wife. She had me weigh young Bea on the stand-up scale (23.2 pounds) and set me up for tech Tracey to help. Tracey, another kind soul, came in and swabbed Bea's ears. Then Dr. Davis came in, let me know that Beatrice had a somewhat infected right ear, prescribed medicine and cleanser, and sent us on our way.

I stopped for lunch at Dragon Deli, where the nice woman behind the counter remembered that I always order chicken with broccoli with white sauce. The meal was very good.

Then I drove to the Brockdale Trailhead of Trinity Trail. My plan was to walk the 14.5 kilometer round trip from the Brockdale Trailhead to the Collin Trailhead and back.
I had a light backpick with water in a jug, my camera and my binoculars. When I first arrived at the trailhead, there were lots of horses there. They had all just finished their ride, though, except for one group of riders that rode by me as I began my walk.
I had the trail to myself the rest of the day.

Today the trail featured lots of wildflowers--wild verbena, evening primrose, lots of different species of daisies, and various yellow flowers I cannot identify. They were not the thick carpet of flowers of the Texas Hill Country, but they were a colorful array in any event. Butterflies flew about--clouded sulphurs, buckeyes, and monarchs.

monarch butterfly 4 26 2014

buckeye 4 26 2014

At one point I heard a telltale snuffling in a little wooded area. I knew instantly what I was hearing. I pulled back a green thorny plant, and, sure enough,there were not one but six young armadillos foraging. I did not get a good picture, but this will have to do.

armadillo along trinity trail 4 14 2014

Armadillos do not see well, so they were fairly oblivious to my presence. I did not want to get too close, though, as I was concerned the other young armadillos might be nearby and I did not want to startle them.

I heard lots of birds giving voice--northern cardinals with their fluid song, blue-gray gnatcatcher with their hissing call, and red-bellied woodpeckers with their aggravated tones. I saw a fair number of local birds as the day passed, from turkey vultures and scissortail flycatchers overhead to cardinals and a blue jay flitting among the trees to a lovely bluebird as I was coming off the trail. I saw lots of cedar waxwings.

cedar waxwing, april 26, 2014 trinity trail,

Trinity Trail is a very Texas trail. It's not heavily wooded though there are some wooded sections. It is very flat and straight and it parallels a lake.

trinity trail april 26, 2014

But the thing I will remember is the purple balloon. I looked up in a tree and saw a purple balloon.

Balloon in the tree along Trinity Trail 4 26 2014

I went up to the bare tree and got a better look. The balloon had a printed note attached.

Balloon in the branch, Trinity Trail, 4 26 2014

It was about 12 feet high,well beyond my 6' 1" plus arms' length reach. I got a stick, which let me touch the printed placard. But I could not get it down.

I could,though, take pictures of it with my zoom lens. So I did.

note in the tree about the balloon

luke's balloon

I walked on, and got to Collin Park. I read the lettering on the cards from the placards. It turned out that a local elementary school had released the balloons as a 25th anniversary event to see how far they would travel. This one traveled about 16 km.

I completed the walk, which took me a total of 4 hours and 20 minutes to walk a bit over 14.5 kilometers. Not a fast pace, but fine.

I went home and got a shower. My wife and I ate sandwiches at Subway. Then we went to see the nature documentary "Bears", which we really liked. I like to see Disney once again hit its light G rated nature documentary stride.

Now we are listening to Bing Crosby and enjoying our late evening. I wrote a note to
the principal of the local elementary school,telling her about the balloon and providing images and a circle on a map.

Today was a good day. I will sleep deeply tonight.
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