Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Penguins Love Penguins

Today we went to the Heard Natural Science Center, a local place for which we have a family membership, to hike in the shade on the Sycamore Trail, beneath red oak, burr oak and sycamores. We saw a lot of cardinals, flying everywhere. The Heard features a small native Texas plants garden, in which purple coneflower were in their last bloom. An older couple entering as we were leaving asked the fellow behind the counter if any "wild birds" could be seen. The counter guy pointed out a titmouse, but to no avail. Apparently, backyard birds did not suffice. I think I'd like to be a "real" birder someday, but I never want to lose my love for backyard cardinals, mockingbirds and even the ubiquitous invader, the spry house sparrow. The human capacity to make anything into an elitist social club never fails to amuse me.

We ate lunch at Fishmongers' Cafe, which grills tilapia and vegetables, serving the latter on a skewer. I am not really a mushroom kind of guy, but a mushroom on a skewer is another thing entirely.

The Angelika movie theater in Plano featured "March of the Penguins", so we headed over to the six o'clock showing. The movie covers a year in the lives of Emperor penguins. The cinematography, Morgan Freeman's narration and the script from which he narrated, and the synth-bliss soundtrack all delighted us. I thought about how, seen en masse, all the coming and going and success and life and death and dashed hopes and fulfilled expectations are part of the process. The incredible challenges faced by the penguins, hiking 70 mile hikes in Antarctic weather, and huddling in subzero temperatures to safeguard fragile eggs, had the requisite awe-inspiring effect.

We headed to a place called Noodle House for Vietnamese food. We each had spring rolls and a bowl of a chicken pho. It was all very good. Although I had been a bit tired and cranky today, a function of an off-kilter sleep schedule for which I take some responsibility (the remainder being a function of age), the movie followed by the pho lifted my spirits back up.

Everywhere we drive, crape myrtle trees show pink, purple, red or white blooms. Next Fall, we plan to replace our departed front yard trees with tree-form crape myrtles. If they grow with an Emperor penguin's determination, then we may be so fortunate as to seem them bloom next July.

Tomorrow we drive to Lantana Lodge, on Lake Ray Roberts, less than one hundred miles from us in the cross-timbers to the northwest. We'll hike, and perhaps I'll fish, and we'll dine at a great restaurant, and enjoy a quiet, quick holiday together. This lake features the zebra longwing butterfly, which should be "in season" now.
The lantana flowers in our backyard, meanwhile, are a brilliant yellow, and attract numerous tiny blue butterflies, around the clock.

Over the next few weeks, I wish to write and submit more poetry.

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