I rose early today and headed to Kroger's. I bought four boxes of Post Raisin Bran, whose box advised that it had some form of benefit over its competitor, Kellogg's Raisin Bran. After consuming this one bowl of bran at home, did some historical research on a third cousin, B.B. Lewis. I found an article at a Czech website about how Captain Lewis was shot down over the Czech Republic, and taken prisoner by the Germans. A monument now stands in a small town in the Czech Republic which commemorates the event. 9 of the 10 crew survived and were captured. I e-mailed the results to my father, who noted by reply how interesting it was that I found this on Memorial Day.
I hopped in my car around 8:10 a.m. to go for a nature walk. I was getting well started up Highway 75, conducting an internal debate over my intended destination. My choices were Hagerman National Wildlife Reserve, Sister Grove Trail, and Bonham State Park. As I passed Towne Lake in nearby McKinney, however, I suddenly had the inner feeling that I should go instead to this park. Though I am skeptical of such intuitive feelings, I heeded this one. I turned in and parked in the parking lot off Wilson Creek Parkway.
As I parked my car, I saw a tufted titmouse land on the ground. I felt this was a kind of confirmation of the wisdom of my decision. I walked to the Wilson Creek Nature Trail. Along the way, I saw a downy woodpecker in a tree, several mallards, and a number of evening primrose and Texas dandelion wildflowers. The trailhead had a big new sign saying "WATCH FOR SNAKES". I was raised in the wetland regions of south Arkansas--"Watch for Snakes" is as close as I come to an 11th Commandment.
The walk was very relaxing--the weather was in the 70s, with cloud cover, and I saw egrets hunting, songbirds flittering, and other birds bird-living. I took pictures and videos with my cameras of the various things I saw.
At 10 a.m. I drove back home. I then took Beatrice for a neighborhood walk in Glendover Park. Once more, my hope to see wild birds was rewarded. Lots of swallows flew low and quickly, like little jet planes, capturing bugs. One western kingbird stood calmly on a fence. Later, a western kingbird hovered about four feet in the air just a few feet from where Bea and I stood. That kingbird was hovering, hunting insects. He got into a mild territorial squabble with a scissortail flycatcher, but the aggression on both sides was a bit half-hearted. I saw two killdeers walking a field in formation, as if they were making their insect hunt methodical. There were now two sets of baby ducklings in the pond, an older set and a newer set. Beatrice loved her walk.
I came back home and edited my photos and videos into an 85 second video, which I posted on flickr. I've discovered a fondness for flickr's "slice of life" 90 second limit on videos. My wife and I went to Market Street, one of those upscale supermarkets, for lunch. I had baked chicken, asparagus, and baked potatoes arrayed in shades ranging from gold to purple.
I feel asleep in the mid-afternoon, thus failing to test drive new cars as I intended to do. I did use my new leads to fill in more gaps about B.B. Lewis, figuring out his bomber squadron, and learning more details about the Valentine's Day 1945 mission on which he was shot down.
I never had any desire to join the military, yet these old family tales of military service intrigue me. B.B. Lewis survived the war, only to be felled a few years later by polio. My father has a photograph of him just prior to the war, showing my father, then 6 or 7, how to shoot a bow and arrow. I did know B.B. Lewis' brother Jimmie, a mailman who shot photographs for a hobby, who later was a dialysis patient who died in the aftermath of the hurricane in New Orleans.
I edited a couple of photos of my wife's late friend Rhonda. I downloaded the Android video game "blasted thieves", which uses my song "Caper". I wrote to the game designer to say "cool!" but also to ask him to add a credit for my song to his site. I hope he has an "Angry Birds' type success--it would be fun if "Caper" became known in a minor kind of "legend of zelda" way. Previously, French artist Florence Artur used it as the soundtrack to fascinating abstract on-line drawing videos. I like when songs "travel" to different uses.
I am tired on the verge of a tiring week. But reading of bombing missions and prisoner of war stories makes me appreciate how little challenge I face in my life.