Friday, January 18, 2013

Camping On The Tandy Hills With Giant Mushrooms

Looking West at Downtown Fort Worth
I was back on the Tandy Hills today for the first time in about 2 weeks. I can not remember when I had myself a finer time doing hill hiking than I did today.

The temperature was nearing 60. The only outer wear needed was cargo shorts and a t-shirt.

It is a clear, blue sky Friday, as you can see in the picture, looking west, towards the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth, with the phalanx of Fort Worth skyscrapers barely peaking up above a Tandy Hill.

Why do I have such a liking for run-on sentences? Writing them is like careening out of control in a car with broken brakes. Not that I have ever had that happen.

Soon after I took the picture of the stunning skyline I looked down the ridge you see in the foreground. I saw something large and out of place. As I got closer I saw more odd things. It crossed my mind that I may have stumbled upon the mysterious VW Bus of Witchey Tree Fame.

When I was about 30 feet away it became clear I was looking at a homeless person's campsite. There were clothes hanging from branches. Stuff stored in plastic bags, also hanging from branches. Piles of camping material, like blankets and a tarp, on the ground, along with an assortment of other stuff.

Gang of Four Hiking
As I stood there looking at this campsite I reached to get my camera. At that point I heard a noise, the type leaf rustling noise armadillos make. I saw a large object move behind a tree. I was spooked by the large object behind the tree, who I also think was spooked. I quickly walked away.

A very short time later I was back on the View Street Trail, heading south, when I heard voices, then saw the group of 4 guys you see in the picture.

They were coming from the direction of the campsite, but I don't think these were the campers. I think it was just a coincidence they showed up at that point in time.

Eight Mushrooms Sprouting in the Distance
Continuing on, about 15 minutes later I looked up to see what looked like 8 very big mushrooms, un-naturally sprouting out of the ground of the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

We've had some precipitation precipitating of late. Were the damp conditions of the sort that caused giant mushrooms to sprout, I walked and wondered?

As I got closer to the 8 giant mushrooms it became clear this was not natural vegetation sprouting on the Tandy Hills.

These were manmade mushrooms.

Eight sturdy benches anchored to steel posts stuck very solidly into the ground.

Is this the amphitheater where outdoor concerts are rumored to take place this summer?

Eight Rectangular Mushroom Benches
Is there any relationship between the 8 benches and the bamboo teepee a short distance to the north?

There seems to be a lot of construction going on on the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

Recently directional signposts have been installed, after which I have not gotten lost a single time.

And now the construction of 8 benches.

What's next?

In my own selfish interest, I would not mind seeing mushroom benches installed at various locations throughout the Natural Area. It'd be a good thing to be able to sit down for a spell to enjoy the scenery in a non-vertical position. I sat on one of the mushroom benches today for at least 5 minutes. It was very pleasant.

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