Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

taychas in January

Saturday morning my wife got up early and hit the road. She caught a flight to Kansas City to attend a memorial for her aunt, who passed away some weeks ago. I had a work meeting Saturday that required me to stay in town. I was a bit disappointed in that, because I wanted to attend the memorial. I consoled myself with oatmeal for breakfast.

I drove over to Limestone Quarry Park in Frisco, a few miles from our home. I went for a walk for 90 minutes there. This park abuts the Taychas Trail. Like so many "trails" here, this is a sidewalk path that follows beside the path of a creek. It has nice trees on one side, and alternations of trees and open field on the other side. Though it is in a suburban neighborhood and the trailhead I took starts at a school, it never feels crowded or artificial.

I was wrapped up pretty warmly, as we are in that phase of Winters when most days start at or near freezing,and then warm up to either pleasant or pleasant-if-it-were-not-so-windy.

When I first arrived, I saw three American Pipit. For some reason, this is my "Winter spot" for this species. Here's a list of all I saw:

Canada Goose 60 (overhead in a low, cool "V" formation)
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 4
Carolina Chickadee 2
Eastern Bluebird 1
Northern Mockingbird 4
European Starling 7
American Pipit 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Chipping Sparrow 3
Dark-eyed Junco 9
Northern Cardinal 3
House Finch 4
American Goldfinch 3

Here's a picture of a Chipping Sparrow:

I ate lunch at Taco Casa, where I had three soft beef tacos. Then I walked in Breckinridge Park, where I saw the following birds:

Canada Goose 5
Gadwall 4
American Wigeon 1
Mallard 40
Northern Shoveler 2
Lesser Scaup 4
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Egret 2
American Coot 3
Killdeer 3
Ring-billed Gull 12
White-winged Dove 6
American Crow 1
American Robin 2
European Starling 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Northern Cardinal 1
Great-tailed Grackle 1
House Sparrow 5

I came home and took young Beatrice for a walk in our local Glendover Park. Here is a Yellow-Rumped Warbler we saw:

My year-to-date bird count for Collin County is up to 54 species for Collin County.

I left at 2:35 p.m. for my 3:30 meeting. I was involved in the meeting until 7:15 p.m. The meeting went very well. Then I headed home. On my way home, I picked up a Subway black forest ham sandwich on wheat and bbq baked chips.

I watched an excellent episode of the television show "Ashes to Ashes". I read more of Roy Bayfield's excellent book, "Desire Paths". I got a good night's sleep.

I got up Sunday morning and had Kix cereal and skim milk. I walked on Plano's Chisholm Trail near Christie Elementary off Rainier. Then I went to Weight Watchers, where I was up .2 pounds-basically break even.

I walked in Shawnee Park in Plano. My camera ran of charge just as I took pictures of a cooperative Yellow-Rumped Warbler. I drove home, put the battery in the AC charger, and set it up to charge. Then I went to church at Suncreek United Methodist Church. It is closer to my house than the church to which we belong, and I go there because (a) I like it and (b) when I am running behind, I can more easily reach it.

This has been a weekend in which the Trump administration mishandled a new executive order on immigration. Rather than doing something I dislike but which was permissible, the new executive order appeared to me hasty and to fail to pass constitutional muster. A couple of federal courts preliminarily agreed,though the main part of that litigation will unfold in the coming months. I joined the chorus of persons on the social media service Twitter raising a hue and virtual cry about the measure.

In this atmosphere, I was struck by the words of the Harry Emerson Fosdick hymn
"God of Grace and Glory": "Save us from weak resignation, To the evils we deplore.".

After church, I went to Dickey's Barbecue Pit for chicken, green beans, bbq sauce and 1/4 of a yeast roll. Then I headed home. I took Beatrice for a walk. The weather had gone from cold to pleasant. She loved the walk. When I tried to encourage her to move to one side of the sidewalk to let a woman walking in the other direction get by, Beatrice stood stock-still. I moved instead to make way.
The nice walking woman told me "She's not going to hurry for anybody", and I agreed, admitting that "she doesn't have to".

I needed a haircut for some upcoming business matters. So I headed to the Classic Cuts on Spring Creek in Plano for a cut. When I got there, a father and three of his boys were ahead of me in line. The boys, ranging from ages 3 to 11 or so,were all charming fellows, each getting a trim. The place was under new management. I was sad to hear the woman who used to do my hair had had a recent stroke. Her replacement did a good job on my hair.

I took a walk in small Green Park near my home. I liked the Cedar Waxwings, House Finches and Yellow-Rumped Warblers I saw in this small park. My wife arrived home from her trip, with a wonderful digital slide show of pictures from her aunt's life. She was a young adult in the 60s and 70s who fashionable dressed. There were lots of colorful and fascinating outfits. She lost her second husband and became an excellent realtor of high-end houses. We will miss her verve and style.

Now I am home resting, winding down.

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