Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

April prairie

I headed out at 7 a.m. to drive the hour into the country to the Park Hill Prairie. I took only a cane pole, as I wanted to leave behind even the modest technical demands of my rod and reel,
and feel every tremor of a potential fish on the end of the line.
I stopped in Princeton, a small town on Highway 380, to pick up worms, hooks, a hipper bobber than the one in my tackle box, and a bit of beef jerky [note:when I finally capitulate to a more moral vegetarian lifestyle, will need to lobby for tofu jerky or cherry jerky...whatever happened to that farmer in Michigan who was trying to market cherry sausage?]. When I got to the Prairie,
a HUGE white heron was hanging out by one of the two ponds.
He flew to the bank between the two ponds, and stood looking about, regal, a while, he flew away altogether, loping slowly, feet dangling down.

I rigged out my rigout and began to fish. Within moments, fish were biting. I soon caught, and released, seven sleek orange-breasted sunfish
and a small but not tiny bass. It's so much easier to catch fish on a cane pole, because the sensation of the strike is so immediate.

After an hour, I had caught enough fish, so
I began to hike the prairie trails. Flowers are popping up all over--little yellows and blues and purples. Other flowers are not quite in bloom, but hover, waiting. The temperature was
in the high 60s, and will head to 80 today.
It's amazing that just a month ago I was housebound due to sleet. Still, the trail was a bit damp, and I passed dozens of crawdad (crayfish) mounds. A congregation of birdwatchers, the only other park occupants,
gathered a fair distance off as if in worship around a tree. I tended to use my cheap French ebay binoculars for butterfly watching more than birdwatching. My saints are not confined to the avian, but also include the floral and the
insect kingdom.

On the drive down the gravel road from the park to the "farm to market" road, I passed a field of kid goats, grazing beside an emu. Emus are not among our north Texas native birds, but they, like llamas, have a sort of vogue in the countryside now. It's a bit curious to me, but between me and you, what's an emu or two?

On FM 36, a stand of Indian paintbrush flowers was in bloom--quite early, it seemed to me, but I was delighted to see them. Men were wading in the nearby Lake Lavon as I drove by, also fishing.

Last night was another night of scissortail flycatchers....I think of them as quite unique,
but they are Oklahoma's state bird and hence must be somewhat ubiquitous. Similarly, the eccentric odd zebra longwings I loved near Biscayne national park (and our local Lake Ray Roberts) are
the state butterfly of Florida. I am constantly learning arcane knowledge which I treasure as
being a mystic secret, and then read about in
World Book Encyclopedia. OTOH, World Book was the key to my childhood's alchemy, so it all circles round nicely.

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