Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

what a walking day!

Today I road-tripped. I got up early and drove 95 minutes to Mount Vernon, Texas. This small town is in northeast Texas, which is more tree-ish than Dallas but less tree-ish than the piney woods of east Texas.

I had read a site called "Birding Mount Vernon", which alerted me to some cool places to hike. I started at the Dupree Nature Center. I walked there for an hour--the highlight birds were bluebirds and a White-Eyed Vireo. It was a pretty place to walk.

Then I headed into Mount Vernon. I bought cucumbers (2 for 25 cents--I bought 8) and squash (6 for a dollar fifty) from gardeners selling fresh produce in the small city center. I also bought "Lake Cypress Honey" (not as much a bargain at 10 dollars). The farmers' market group was very small and all very and pleasingly local. I liked that the bread baking company was already sold out but sat in anyway. Then I walked along English Drive after starting at Little Creek Park.

Then I headed back west toward home. I stopped in Coleman Park in Sulphur Springs and walked there. I liked the hip Eastern Kingbirds I saw.

I lunched at Church's Fried Chicken in Greenville. A young woman behind the counter and an elderly woman at a table talked about Texas lottery scratch-off strategy. The woman behind the counter advocated for scratching off the bonus first, as it usually signaled if the numbers were winning.

I stopped at Park Hill Prairie about an hour from home. This is one of the surviving remnants of original blackland prairie. The Dickcissel, the prairie sparrow, sang its namesake song throughout the park. I also saw a Painted Bunting, which is a thrill, though my best view of one was a female, who are green and not multi-colored.

On the way home, the thunderclouds which made the prairie so lovely turned into a half an hour of thunderstorm. The rain fell heavily. I ducked into a Half-Priced Books but it was too chilly. The outside temperature fell from hot to late-Winter-ish warm.

The situation in Dallas sounds a bit fluid, with deranged folks issuing threats to the Dallas police. This concerns me. I see Twitter has an inordinate number of people praising the shooter, or saying they don't condone what he did but then defending what he did. That sort of double-talk requires little genius to discern when communications are 140 characters. I know this is a fringe set of folks, but social media sometimes pushes these folks forward, just as it pushes forward the lobbyists for the gun industry.

I sliced some of the farmers' market squash and cucumbers finely and roasted them in the oven. I cooked up a small New York steak I was delighted to find at Kroger during the rainstorm. The squash tasted great--I wish I had cooked it 5 minutes longer on each side, to make it more like an oven-baked chip. The cucumber was a bit less good but good--it was tangy and sweet. It will be good in the chilled raw way tomorrow. The steak was very good. I broke my normal rule of using only salt and pepper to season steak. I used something called "Montreal Steak" seasoning. It worked very well on this thin steak.

The rain stopped, so I took Beatrice for a walk at 7 p.m. Most Summer evenings would be too hot for Bea.

Now the "Never-Ending Story" is on television.

My Google Fit app says I walked 14.1 miles and 30,000 plus steps today.

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