Sunday, October 2, 2022

First October Sunday Walk Around Sikes Lake With Geese Floating

On this first Sunday of the 2022 version of October, it was to Sikes Lake I ventured today, to join the throngs walking the trail around the lake, enjoying the relatively chilly 75 degrees, with little wind blowing.

That convoy of geese you see navigating the lake, in the middle of the picture, must not have received, yet, the memo telling them it is the time of year where they need to be flying south for the winter.

It has been several weeks, again, with zero rain. Sikes Lake, and other area lakes are beginning to shrivel again.

I almost do not remember what a cloud looks like...

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Chilly Lucy Park With Wildflowers

On this first day of the 2022 version of October, it was back to Lucy Park I ventured, to commune with nature via walking fast in air chilled to 72 degrees.

Today I came upon the patch of color you see above. I am fairly certain these are not wildflowers.

Due to the perfect blue sky weather there were hordes of disc golfers golfing in Lucy Park today. Usually when there are hordes of golfers I find myself dodging a disc or two. But, not today.

As soon as I exited my vehicle today a little boy ran out of the Lucy Park log cabin and began chattering at me, trying to show me something. I acted like I knew what he was showing me and that seemed to please the little fellow, who kept on chattering, following me on the other side of the wrought iron fence with surrounds the log cabin. Where were the parental units who should have been keeping an eye on the kid, I wondered?

A half hour later when I returned to my vehicle I saw the same scenario play out with the little boy and another stranger walking by, with the kid following the stranger, along the fence. 

So, that has been my exciting first day of the new month. And now it is time for taco salad...

Friday, September 30, 2022

Shadow Of Wichita Bluffs One-Armed Thin Man With Wild Horses

It was back to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area on this last day of the 2022 version of September, with the Shadow of the Thin Man chilled by a temperature in the 70-degree zone, with a strong wind blowing. 

Today was the busiest I have seen the west Wichita Bluff Nature Area parking lot. A lot of people were enjoying the break from the HEAT.

As for the wild horses.

No, those are not wild horses frolicking on the Wichita Bluffs. This herd of wild horses is frolicking somewhere between Sun Lake/Chander and Maricopa.

My Arizona sister sent this picture to my phone yesterday. She had previously told me the wild horse herd has grown way bigger than the couple times I saw the wild horses on our drive to the Penny McDonalds in Maricopa.

Thinking about the Penny McDonalds in Maricopa had me realizing it has been over three years since I have been to Arizona. The last time was in July of 2019. In the two years prior to that last trip to Arizona I had driven there twice and flown there five or six times. 

A lot has happened in the past three years. COVID comes to mind. And other things...

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Back To Lucy Park With A Big Tree & No Jungle Grass

It was back to Lucy Park I ventured on this final Thursday of the 2022 version of September. The temperature was barely into the 80s, with a strong wind gusting. Making for an extremely pleasant communing with nature.

I do not know why I never noticed the big tree you see above, before. It is a HUGE gnarly thing with whacky looking limbs looking menacing.

This tree is located near where I park. I think I am usually fiddling with my music device when I walk by it, which may be why I never noticed it before.

Continuing on past the big tree I was soon in the Lucy Park backwoods jungle where I immediately thought something seemed off. Dense boy that I be, it took me a minute to figure out what was wrong.

Since I last walked the path through the Lucy Park jungle, the tall grass, taller than me, has disappeared. Mowed down and removed. I suspect there was some worry that, with the grass turning brown, it could easily turn into a big wildfire.

With the tall grass gone the jungle look is also gone. Also gone was any worry that I might come upon a large slithering reptile.

As you can see, once again, the sky at my location on the planet is void of any clouds. Clear blue no matter what direction you look..

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Another Day Another Wichita Bluff Nature Area Hike

With the outer world temperature in the relatively chilly low 80s, and with a strong wind chilling, it was back to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area I ventured today for some high-speed communing with nature.

In the above photo documentation, we are on the Circle Trail, at the highest area of the Wichita Bluffs, looking northeast at the picnic pavilion which sits at the Wichita Bluffs summit, with a commanding view of the vast miles upon miles of nothingness, all the way to the horizon.

The trail through the Wichita Bluff Nature Area has multiple side trails, with each having at least one rocking bench. In the instance you see above you can rock on that bench whilst looking north towards Oklahoma.

As you can see, it is another cloud-free day happening at this location on the planet. A little of what is saturating Florida right now would be welcome here, and other drought-stricken areas of America...

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Relatively Chilly Walk Around Sikes Lake With A Blue Heron

With the temperature in the relatively chilly 80-degree zone it was to Sikes Lake I ventured today for a high-speed commune with nature.

As you can see, we are free of clouds currently, so there is no sun blockage coming from the sky. The only sun blockage at Sikes Lake is via the few bushes and trees.

And the gazebos. There are four or five gazebos one can sit under to escape the glare of the sun. 

Crossing the bridge at the west end of Sikes Lake, I saw a big blue heron in the Green Bayou of Sikes Lake.

Well, I think this is a blue heron. What I know for sure is the bird is blue.

The natural cooling is being a real good thing. Last night the temperature got down into the 50s. Still felt no need to pull a blanket over me.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Cool Monday With Complex Wichita Bluff Nature Area Hoodoo Cairn

Yesterday, the day known as Sunday, I drove to Lake Wichita Park to do some high speed walking.

Upon arrival, in the shadow of Mount Wichita, I was surprised at how much the lake has shrunk, exposing a wide beach.

When I started seeing photo worthy scenes I reached into my pocket to pull out my phone. And it was not there. I forgot the phone at home. So, no photos.

But, today, the day after Sunday, known as Monday, I did remember my phone when I drove to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to do some high speed hilly hiking.

And so, with that phone in hand, I was able to photo document the Hoodoo Cairn you see above. This may be the most complex feat of Hoodoo engineering I have come across in all the years I have been photo documenting Hoodoos.

Make note of the balance beam in the middle, teetering above a flat rock base. And above that two small rocks acting as bracing.

In all my years of seeing these type constructions I have never seen one in the process of being constructed.

The outer world temperature got down to 58 last night. It was 80 and windy by the time I got to the bluffs at around 45 minutes before noon.

The air-conditioner has not cycled on yet today. This is the first time in a long time that that has happened.

A harbinger of cooler days to come.

It is going to be so nice to be back in long pants again...

Saturday, September 24, 2022

In Wichita Falls Fall Is Like Summer But With Pumpkins

Saw that which you see here, last night, on Facebook, and thought it to be amusing, because it is so true.

From the City of Wichita Falls, Texas Government...

It's Fall y'all! You know what that means?

Nothing. Zero. Zip. Because it's still 97 degrees outside today. It's like Summer, but with pumpkins...

Friday, September 23, 2022

Jason & Spencer Jack Take Us On Whidbey Island Tour

Incoming email from my Favorite Nephew Jason, last night, photo documenting a day trip Spencer Jack took his dad on, exploring Whidbey Island.

First the email, then the other instances of photo documentation in addition to the one above...

FUD --

Thought you'd enjoy these PNW photos from the last full day of Summer.

Spencer and I drove me the entire length of Whidbey Island starting at the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry until we reached the tropical-like sandy beaches of Mutiny Bay.  I hadn't known of Mutiny Bay until unfortunate events of late, in which a float plane apparently nose-dived into Puget Sound presumably killing all 10 on board.   Looked for plane parts, but only found seashells and lots of driftwood.  Weather was in the upper 70s, so wading in the water felt refreshing.

Stopped by the Lagoon Point community--a first for me.  Spencer and I considered buying a summer beach home in this small community--similar in size to Birch Bay, but later after finding out that a tiny cabin waterfront lot sells for over a million dollars, we have since decided to save our money for other adventures.  Like getting gas for our truck.  Gas here is currently still $4.50.

We moved north to the Coupeville ferry dock.  On public boat launch dock, we met a couple locals, who appeared to be enjoying too much of our local legal weed.  After helping them secure their boat to the dock, they invited Spencer, who can easily pass for 21, and myself to the local bar for happy hour. 

We kindly declined and moved uphill to the newly refurbished Fort Casey.  Many of the closed off areas are back open, clean, and well-lit with historical placards and directional signs.   The last time I explored many of these parts was with a favorite Uncle as a kid in the 1980s or early 1990s before much of these areas we closed off.    I wish I would have taken pictures of the reopened bunkers, but I didn't think to do such.   I will be sure to put this on my 'to-do' list for you.

Hope all is well in TX and I hope someday soon you can return to the PNW and explore one of the longest islands in the United States.

I am guessing the above is the ferry about to dock at Clinton, on Whidbey Island.

Above that looks to be Spencer Jack on, maybe, what Jason describes as the tropical-like beaches of Mutiny Bay.

 And FNJ on that same beach, I think. 

Above I am fairly certain that is Spencer Jack, at Fort Casey, on an overlook looking over the upper part of Puget Sound.

Fort Casey is the remains of an actual fort, built during the era of the Spanish-American War. It is a large complex of bunkers, tunnels, big guns, catwalks, observation towers and more. More than once I took Jason and his little brother out to Fort Casey to have fun getting scared in the dark tunnels.

If I remember correctly, and sometimes I do, the last time I was at Fort Casey was with Jason's little brother, my Favorite Nephew Joey, currently the proud papa of Hank Frank.

Joey and I took our bikes on the ferry to Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula, wheeled around town, barely made the last ferry back to Whidbey.

The ferry back was a rough rock and rolling float due to a strong tide. It was well past dark when we got back to my vehicle. The ranger had put a note on my windshield saying he suspected we were returning from the ferry, past the time the gates to the park were locked. Instructed us to the ranger station from whence the ranger nicely opened the gate for us.

Gas in Washington is more than a dollar more than when I last filled my tank in Texas

Seeing these photos sure does make me a bit homesick. You really appreciate a scenic wonderland when you have not seen on in way too long....

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Autumnal Equinox Cool Lucy Park Walk

This morning I was in need of books to read, so it was to downtown Wichita Falls I ventured, to that socialist enterprise known as a public library.

Since I was in the neighborhood, and with the temperature being in the relatively cool 80s, after the library, it was to Lucy Park I drove, for a fast walk with Mother Nature.

As you can see, there is not a cloud in the sky, and not just in that little slice of sky you see in the photo documentation. No clouds to be seen, no matter which direction you looked.

I erroneously thought Fall began yesterday on the 21st. But, today, September 22, is the day of the Autumnal Equinox.

All those green leaves you see in the photo documentation should soon be turning into more appropriate Autumn colors, and then disappearing totally, rendering Lucy Park a shade-free zone til the Vernal Equinox, also known as Spring.

I hope we make it through to Spring without Winter delivering a slippery cold white mess, of the disturbing sort we endured the past two Winters...