Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

sparrows, comix, and my pal Beatrice

My wife left Friday to pay a weekend visit to my father's widow, who now lives in Hot Springs, a lovely little Ouachita Mountains resort town in Arkansas. I worked my usual day of interesting toil on Friday. At lunch time I walked in Murphy City Park, where I saw a lovely White-Throated Sparrow.

The White-Throated Sparrow only winters here in north Texas. In a week or two, these sparrows will all leave to head to the far northern midwest of the U.S. or, in particular the boreal forests of central and northern Canada.

I worked until 6something p.m. or so, and then headed home. I stopped at Bob Woodruff Park, where I saw Lark Sparrows in a tree.

The Lark Sparrow Summers in Texas, and in many parts of Texas is a year-round bird. But right now I see a huge upswing in the Lark Sparrow population. These are the migrating Lark Sparrows, who fly up from Mexico and then head into the prairie states of the Midwest. A few will stay here, but most will travel onward.

I stopped by a Subway sandwich shop on the way home I took Beatrice for a walk at around 8 p.m. Then I watched some television and got a good night's sleep.

This morning I got up early to do some family paperwork. I made pretty good progress. I took Beatrice for an early morning walk in Glendover Park. I was so impressed when Beatrice stood by patiently and bravely while a huge young dog with German Shepherd in the mix said "hi".

I saw eight Cedar Waxwings foraging in a tree.

Cedar waxwings are not migratory from our area in the usual north/south way. They simply go where the berries, nuts and buds can be found. This is an understandable strategy. I also saw Lark Sparrows in our little park, the second time this Spring I have seen this species. This year, though, is the first time I noticed them visiting our small park.

I continued to tidy up my business, and got some things mailed as well. I had a good talk with my sister, who is in our parents home town in Arkansas this weekend. I downloaded the comix open-source computer program. Then I went to hunt a liberally-licensed graphic novel to read. I found The Zurvan Club here, and read 1/3rd of its first issue, "A place lost in time". The art looked like stills from an animation program, which is what it turned out to be. I'd love to try to do that technique using pivot stickfigure animator and creative background art. The comic was in .pdf form, which Comix could not read, but it read great in the e-book program Calibre. So far I like the graphic novel quite well. I was intrigued that I could not find the "donate" button at the website.

I dined at the hot food section of the local Market Street grocery. I had turkey, green beans, BBQ beans, and a dinner roll. A man on Fox News jumped to a conclusion, all documented in subtitles.

In the mid-afternoon, I got out my bicycle and took a ride on the Watters Creek Trail. I rode for nearly two hours. I really love my Scattante Roma bicycle, though I only use it once a month or so. I took notes of the birds I saw. I saw my first hummingbird of the season--I marked it as Ruby-Throated, though I saw it in silhouette, which made the choice of species a bit tougher. Fortunately, in our part of Texas we only have Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and Black-chinned Hummingbird, so it's hard to go more than one species wrong.

I did see a lovely American Robin fly into a tree and strut about, foraging on the ground, in intermittent waves of activity.

Where I grew up in south Arkansas, an American Robin was a year-round bird. A few hundred kilometers south in north Texas, the American Robin is still a year-round bird a bit, but much more abundant in Winter, when northern birds fly south.

The nearly two-hour bicycle ride, though taken at a very moderate pace, proved a bit tiring. I was glad to get the exercise. I got a sandwich at Whichwhich, watched a Father Brown mystery, and listened to some music by Entertainment for the Braindead.
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