Today I went to the Trinity Trail(pictured, sans buckeye), which is the lakeside horse and hiker trail through scraggle woods by Lake Lavon, about twenty minutes drive from our home. I walked a bit over an hour, on trails in which Spring greens and Winter browns were admixed liberally. I had in one hand my Mohrson French well-used bought-on-ebay-for-seven-dollars binoculars (which I decline to call my "Cheap Freedom Binoculars") and in the other hand, a cheap throwaway camera. I like to watch for butterflies the most on hikes like this, and I saw cabbages, sulphurs and lots of little species whose names escape my memory, but I did not see any of the giant swallowtails that are the Summer highlight of this trail. I did see the first scissortail flycatcher bird of the season, which made me very happy. I also saw yellow meadow-flowers, a giant crow atop a tree, and numerous hovering dragonflies. The grasshoppers are colored brown now, like the dead weeds, but their great-great-great-great grandchildren will be pea green like the Spring weeds in just a few weeks.
The weather was simply wonderful, and horse riders passed me a number of times, including one horse galloping so quickly I decided he must have been late for a very important date. I stopped by Hastings Books, which is one of many businesses here going out of business, but I miscalculated the percentage discounts and found myself in shock when what I thought would be 30 dollars turned into 60. I had planned to ebay the chess books portion of the purchase off, though, so maybe the pain will not be that bad.
I was not tired of walking, so I stopped by the Heard Natural Science Center, which has properly wooded trails. The white pear trees have given way here to reds and pinks--the wild plum, the redbud, and incredibly beautiful Mexican buckeye trees. I tried to use my binoculars as a telephoto lens for my cheap throwaway camera, but here necessity was merely the mother of tunnel images. Still, I saw many butterflies, including a gargantuan monarch and a number of hackberries, some brightly colored cardinals, and one swiftly hopping adult bunny rabbit. I saw lots of Spring flowers, but there will be more soon. Weekend after next is the Native Plant Sale, and I hope my wife and I can snare a lacy oak tree or something similarly cool. I also hope we can get things for our front little garden patch as workable as what I bought last year. The sages and other herbs I got then still thrive today, which is a big advantage of planting native plants.
I like the colors of those Mexican buckeyes:
On my way home, I noticed that Allen has a store called "Texas Game Company", which has rental rooms for 3 hours for 5 dollars. This may be the answer to my prayers, as to a place to hold blitz chess tournaments. I am getting very energized by this chess club idea, even though I must admit that founding social groups is far from my forte. I must meet the owner another time, who apparently is a chess player.
I bought 300 feet of kite string for 75 cents at the game store, so I am tempted to put that one dollar "ninja boy" delta wing kite I got at the dollar store firmly in mid-air. This was a good day, and the evening is still ahead.