Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

this is what it sounds like when doves fly

We've reached that point in early Winter in which a temperature of 50 degrees seems quite warm. I therefore followed my sandwich at Firehouse Subs with a trip to Plano's Oak Point Nature Preserve.

When I arrived, a woman on a bicycle came to me to ask how to ride to nearby Bob Woodruff Park. She had come north to Oak Point without quite meaning to do so. I was pleased that I was able to tell her which sidewalk to ride upon (shades of "follow the yellow brick road). She was no more than fifteen minutes from her goal.
I even could look at the trail map and assure her that her ride would consume a total of 6.7 miles since she had begun earlier that morning. Every nature excursion requires a bit of anecdotal statistic.

We faced snow and rain recently. I noted that nonetheless the Rowlett Creek nature trail lacked significant mud. This meant I could walk in woodlands rather than merely on sidewalks. I wondered if I would see as many birds in the woodlands, as many local species are easier to see in the transition from woods to fields. Soon, though, I saw a red-bellied woodpecker. That bird, like most I see, proved very vocal. They hammer away at trees to let the passersby know of their proprietary claim. To ensure they receive their due, they tend also to make a series of noises whose exuberance belies any notion of mere crankiness.

I also saw that little greenish-yellow tiny bird I saw at Oak Point once before. Its wing bar looks goldfinch-like, but its yellow looks less brilliant. I hope to go on a bird walk with someone knowledgeable this Winter to learn this bird's identification. I saw a very lovely (if a bit weather-beaten) eastern meadowlark. I also saw a sprightly downy woodpecker, as well as an even more sprightly chickadee.

Almost at its end, the Rowlett Creek Trail became muddy, so that I switched to a trail with the mellifluously Texan name Bobcat Run. There I surprised a number of mourning doves, who looked lovely in bare small trees.
I also saw some lovely male cardinals, of whom all my photographs turned out blurry. When I reached the clearing, near the amphitheater, a blue jay. I thought of how blue jays show such vivid color, which goes unappreciated because they are commonly seen. A trio of brown-headed cowbirds hopped about on a nearby grassy space.

I saw a downy woodpecker on a pecan tree, trying to shell a pecan. It let me get pretty close, but finally it flew away, with a vocal flourish, when I came too close.

I drove along, listening to music by Steeleye Span, Bob Wills, Magna Carta and the Amazing Blondel. My wife and I went to a Nordstrom's, where I got two dress shirts. Then we ate at the Down Under Pub, where we each had food prepared in a healthy fashion. I watched my alma mater win a close football game on television, lifting from me my customary annual bowl game burden of heartbreak. We took the ornaments off the Christmas tree. I loaded books up to take to Good Will.

Rowlett Creek
squirrel on Rowlett Creek Trail
dove in the woods
woodpecker at oak point preserve
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