I rose at 6 a.m., a relatively cool dawn-ish time of day. Beatrice accompanied me on a walk around nearby Glendover Pond. She found her life brightened by the large number of bunnies visible in the half-light.
I found myself intrigued when, just as we neared my home, a male northern harrier hawk flew from our little red-bloomed crape myrtle tree and landed atop our brick mailbox column. The hawk stayed perched on the mailbox for some moments, and then flew away, its light-colored rump aiding in my identification of the bird.
I then took Teddy on a walk. Ted is 16 years old, and no longer can keep up a brisk pace. Instead of walking around the pond, she walks to the little nearby playground and back. She stops to detect any intriguing scents along the way. She loved her walk, which she takes at a pace a snail would find deliberate. I admire her tenacity--she does not let her age keep her from living her life.
After the walks and after consuming some raisin bran (a strange elixir of immense power), I got on the Dallas Wind Symphony website to try to get tickets to today's 4th of July concert. Alas, the site proclaimed that only 3 tickets, all non-contiguous, remained. I went to radio station WRR 101's "things to do" website, and found that the smaller Plano Symphony Orchestra and a the Plano Men of Note chorus planned a similar event in the much more nearby city of Richardson in the lovable Eisenmann Center concert hall.
My wife and I had decided that we'd rather listen to patriotic music in air-conditioned comfort than to swelter during a fireworks show. I reserved us two tickets in the "loge", which is a fancy word for "up here, way up here". I am all for the balcony.
I wandered about a bit in my car, and then made for Erwin Park in McKinney. Erwin is a mountain bike park, but it has ample woodlands and open spaces, and welcomes hikers as well. The cyclists seemed to be wisely leaving as I arrived at 10.30 a.m. They know that pedaling in the sun has an Icarus quality about it.
I believe in walking in very hot weather, as otherwise one quarantines oneself all Summer long. I headed into the shady woods and had a great time. I saw tufted titmouse, cardinal, and a great crested flycatcher during the early part of my walk. Then I saw American crow, a cooperative sign-sitting lark sparrow, and a lovely painted bunting. This is two weeks in a row with a glorious painted bunting sighting but extremely underwhelming photos of the sighting.
I finished my trip with a long gaze at a yellow-crowned night heron, who stood by a small pool of water as I watched him and snapped lots of photos and video. What a lovely bird! None of my images are pristine, but they are all good memories. I do not see this heron often, so it was grand to have such a long time with one today.
We dined at Chic-filet, where I was pleased to find that I could have a fruit cup rather than waffle fries with my grilled chicken sandwich. We stopped by Staples office supply and by U-Haul to get boxes. The next step in our house project is to box up all our books, so that we can get our downstairs carpet replaced, probably with a wooden-like flooring.
The de-cluttering continues on apace. My music room does not look "good", exactly, but it looks so much better than the disorganized clutter with which we started the weekend. I like this de-cluttering. I hope to continue it until I am fully effective.
We went to the concert. The loge was a wonderful place to sit. The Plano symphony played lots of Sousa,
a Cole Porter, a Glenn Miller, the Star Wars theme, "The Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America". They were accompanied by a co-ed chorus during the first half. The second half was devoted in large part to the Plano Men of Note. The men's chorus was very impressive, and sang the Turtles' "So Happy Together", the folk standard "The Water is Wide", a collection of barbershop quartet songs, and various standards. I had never before been to a "Patriotic Pops" concert, but it all had a good snap,crackle and pop about it. It was a great reminder of what a powerful instrument an orchestra can be. This little suburban symphony manages to subscribe 95% for its season ticket offerings, and I can see why. The musicianship was just right for this light material, and whole affair was pulled off with aplomb, right down to retired serviceman coming out during the playing of each armed force's service song.
After the concert, we had excellent barbecue at Spring Creek Barbecue. At home I began to process my bird pictures--as ever, the best lens I have is in my mind's eye.
It was a great 4th of July, today.