Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

herons and a pound

I got up while the morning was cool and took Beatrice for a walk. This walk met most of her demanding criteria for a good walk. There were rabbits to chase. There was a squirrel part-way up a tree at which to goggle. There were scents in abundance.There was pleasant weather.

I went to McDonald's for an oatmeal, as my wife slept in. Then I headed over to Russell Creek Park in Plano. I put on some headphones and began to listen to a field recording podcast about field recordings out of Northern Ireland as I walked around the pond watching birds. I saw a yellow-crowned night heron, a great blue heron, lots of barn swallows, lots of eastern kingbirds, a pied-billed grebe, lots of common grackles, some northern mockingbirds, and lots of mallard ducks.

I had an odd negative experience. As I walked around the pond, one of the fishermen
came up to me. He began to insist that I stop taking pictures of he and his son. This was a curious request, because in all my photography I avoid ever having people in my pictures. This is because I like to post pictures on the internet, and people are in the way. With limited exceptions, people who are not friends or family are mostly images for me to crop out of photos.

I explained to the earnest fisherman that I was not taking he and his son's photo, but instead a great blue heron's. I offered to show him all my photos for confirmation. This did not mollify him. Though he was a bit animated and accusatory, we were able to have a dialogue about the topic. My training as a lawyer stood me in good stead, because I could assert my position firmly yet politely, without coming across as confronational or hostile. I did point out that in a public park photographs are permissible, and also pointed out that my only interest is in birds. I did not point out that fishermen are largely in the way of this goal, as I am once in a while a fisherman myself. Finally, we parted, not having won either other over, but having avoided escalation of the conflict. It is odd, though, on a Sunday morning, to have a curious stranger hurl meritless accusations and say "how do I know you are not a perv?".

Though I sympathized with the father's desire to do what he saw as protecting his 10 or 12 year old son, the whole thing was pretty needless, and unsettling. But I survived, and will go back to that park on subsquent Sundays without worry.

At home, I showered and headed to church at Suncreek UMC. The sermon about keeping one's mind on spiritual things made me feel just a tad less high and mighty about the debate at the park. A soloist sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow".

My Weight Watchers meeting revealed I had lost a pound, a good result in a week which featured a chicken enchilada meal. After lunch at Subway, I went to walk at Bethany Lakes Park. I saw purple martins, western kingbirds and this great blue heron, which had captured a water snake:

great blue heron with water snake bethany lakes park 7 27 2014

Then I went home and did my week's laundry. I watched the Bill Murray movie "The Man Who Knew Too Little".

The linux distribution I use for my laptop, Peppermint OS, had a new release. I installed Peppermint 5, which went really smoothly. I am nearly done re-installing my favorite software. The hardest part, re-installing my favorite Windows music software using WINE, is done. I also added new wallpaper:

peppermint 5 desktop

After a dinner of turkey BBQ I am watching a re-run of "Modern Family".

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