As I went to sleep last night, I thought the question of the bird walk would be solved by events--in particular, whether I woke in time to get there by 7:30 a.m.
The portents looked good at 5 a.m., when Beatrice and I awoke. I had my morning organic frosted flakes with skim milk. Beatrice got her usual assortment of super-small milkbones placed strategically on my knee. I read another passage in the book "Desire Paths".
But at 6 a.m., my alarm sounded on the little digital clock next to my side of our bed. I went to turn it off to avoid waking up my wife. Suddenly, the idea of a bit more rest seemed really appealing. I fell asleep until 8:30 a.m. Thus endeth the notion of the Audubon Society bird walk.
I got ready to face the day. I decided to walk on the Watters Creek Trail. But Beatrice came up to me and said that I should take her for a walk instead. My original plan was to go to Watters Creek Trail in the morning--when more wildlife can be seen--and to walk Beatrice in the afternoon.
But Beatrice is a persuasive Puggle. She told me, in terms unmistakeable if not verbal, that this very morning, the inescapable now, was the one and only proper time to go for her walk.
So we did.
In the 11 years since we picked Beatrice at the McKinney SPCA, she has loved to walk. In her earliest days with us, she would tire easily. I knew she needed some medical help. The vet diagnosed hypo-thryroidism, which was as medicable for her as for my late mother. Since she went on the right medicine, Beatrice was tireless as a top.
She is still tireless as a top, but the top spins more steadily and less swiftly now. Our walk in Glendover Park traces the same route as it always has. But the trip around little Glenover Pond now takes Beatrice 40 minutes instead of 30. Even when she runs, it's a like a walk for a human. Once when she ran, a human had to run to keep up with her.
Beatrice loved her walk, as ever. She met her friend Diva and Diva's kind owners.
I was a bit embarrassed for Bea when she by-passed Diva and went straight to the owners to be petted. She usually gets the protocol down a bit better than that.
She felt no bashfulness, as well she should not.
After our walk, I set out by myself to walk on the Watters Creek Trail. I had a very good walk. Here's a list of what I saw:
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 1
Carolina Chickadee 3
Carolina Wren 1
American Robin 3
Northern Mockingbird 4
European Starling 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Chipping Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 3
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Brown-headed Cowbird 55
House Finch 2
House Sparrow 3
Here's a picture of the Carolina Wren:
I saw lots of other things I liked on the sidewalk trail along Watters Creek. I saw a Redbud Tree in bloom before I even got to the creek. I saw a Labrador Retriever and his owner walking on the trail. The owner told me that the retriever insisted it was time for a swim [presumably in the creek]. I saw a father jogging with two kids in a two-kid perambulator. I saw a little boy on a tiny bicycle who was so polite that he quietly stopped his little bike so that he could ensure that I would not be interrupted as I stood, off the path, taking multiple wren photos. I waved him on--a bird, after all, is a bird--and whispered "Thank you".
I had a curious experience as the walk began on the trail itself. A woman walked by coming the other way on the path. She had on one of those hands-free cell phone apparatus that was popular in the early days of wide-spread cell-phone use. This was the type with the earphones and microphone on a single around-the-neck device. This fell out of vogue some years ago, when folks gradually came to realize that it was a bit odd to have strangers having cell phone conversions out loud as if they were real-life conversations.
This woman had not gotten the memo. So my trail walk began with being by-passed by a woman who said "You know I love a good fight! Who did she think she was talking to! I said, you're the jailbird, and....". Families are families all the world over, particularly with hands-free microphones.
The day turned out to be warm and lovely--almost like a May day. It was the kind of day that annually makes me say "this is why we live in north Texas".
After I returned home, after about 2 hours, I watched a bit of a baking contest on TV among 11 year olds. They made waffle cakes and pancake cakes. Then my wife and I headed to Elke's for dinner. Elke's is the kind of sandwich place one would invent for the movie if it did not already exist. I had a tiny cup of ham and lentil bean soup and a turkey sandwich on panini bread along with a fruit cup. It was great.
In the late afternoon, I went over to little Green Park and walked some more. I took lots of pictures of three Yellow-Rumped Warblers. Here's one:
I stopped by the Kroger supermarket for bananas, Powerade Zero and a new brand of cereal--cinnamon flavored, but only lightly. I also got some instant oatmeal.
For dinner, my wife and I drove to Holy Frijoles, where we both had the same thing--two chicken enchiladas verde with a salad in place of the rice and beans.
Our meal was great.
Now I am watching the wonderful movie "Kubo and the Two Strings". My wife fell asleep before it was very far along. We will watch "Saturday Night Live" later, and call it a very good day.