Saturday, May 21, 2022

Cold Front Chilly Walk Around Sikes Lake

The cold front arrived, as predicted, last night. lowering the outer world temperature almost 40 degrees.


Strong gusts of wind came along with the cold. So, no bike ride.

Instead I drove the short distance to Sikes Lake to join the throngs enjoying the return of winter.

No flocks of geese or ducks were floating in the lake today. The flocks of geese and ducks were huddled on shore, trying to stay out of the wind.

My phone said it was 66 degrees when I was walking around Sikes Lake. The temperature taker in my vehicle said it was 61. I think my vehicle's temperature taker was closer to the reality than my phone was.

The 15 day forecast is for continued cool, Only getting back into the 90s a few days before the end of the 15 day forecast.

This bodes ill for summer.

Methinks it's gonna be a hot one, or in the famous words of Adam Levine and Maroon 5, "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherflubber"...

Friday, May 20, 2022

Playing With Busloads Of Kids At Lucy Park

It was back to Lucy Park I drove today, again, to have some shady walking time under big green trees.

Along with multiple busloads of school children.

I couldn't figure out what that group of kids, you see in the photo, were doing. It appeared to involve being in a circle holding onto a large round multi-colored fabric, and then waving the large round multi-colored fabric, up and down.

I was not able to photo document the large round multi-colored fabric when it was in up mode.

The temperature was in the low 90s whilst I was doing my walking. I thought I had been told it would be cooler today. Maybe that happens tomorrow.

If it is cooler tomorrow I won't be going to Lucy Park. I will instead be rolling my bike's wheels on the Circle Trail.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

104 Degree Shady Lucy Park Day

With the outer world being heated to over 100 again, today, it was back to the shade of Lucy Park I ventured to get me some salubrious endorphin inducing aerobic activity.

One more day of overheat is scheduled, and then a cold front blows in from the north, dropping the temperature some 30 degrees, give or take a degree or two.

Lucy Park is the only ultra-shady location I have hereabouts to go to when the sun gets into blistering mode. Lake Wichita Park, little shade. Wichita Bluff Nature Area, no shade. Sikes Lake, a little shade. 

I read this morning that the D/FW Metroplex is at a Red Level Ozone Alert, some of which is being caused by dust blowing in from Africa, Saharan Desert dust.

At my location, about 130 miles northwest of the outer edges of D/FW, there is not haze, no smog, just a clear blue sky.

Below we learn it is going to be a mighty fine upcoming weekend, with the outer world chilled cooler than I have my interior world's A/C set to...

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

42 Years Since Mount Saint Helens Blew Her Top

Saw that which you see here on Facebook, this morning, via Tacoma's Queen V.

Queen V commented "Amazing photo of a day I will certainly never forget."

The caption under the photo--- "Dramatic shot of Mount Saint Helens ash plume rising into the sky. About 540 million tons of ash came out over the hours of its eruption. Photographer unknown."

Hard to believe it was 42 years ago. The day seems so recent in my memory. The buildup to the eruption had gone on for weeks, maybe months. That part I don't remember so well. 

It was a Sunday morning, May 18, 1980. I was in a Mount Vernon bathtub, soaking my aching back, when I heard a loud concussive boom, followed by two more loud booms. It did not sound like thunder, it sounded like a bomb exploding.

I was out of the tub about 15 minutes when a neighbor waddled over to tell us to turn on our TV, that the mountain had blown.

A blurb I found via Googling to find out David Johnston's last words...

"Had David Johnston lived, he would be 55 years old now. But the young volcanologist perished along with 56 others when Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. His last words crackled excitedly over the radio to his fellow scientists as a cloud of hot steam and ash rushed toward him: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"

Only a little ash made its way as far north as the Skagit Valley, and Mount Vernon. We did get ash masks, just in case. 

Shortly before moving to Texas I drove the new Spirit Highway, to its end, at the location where David Johnston met his end. Where there is now a visitor's center with a view looking right into the crater. There are several interpretive visitor's center along the highway, leading to the final one. 

There is a move afoot to turn the Mount Saint Helens zone into a National Park. I've been to all the national parks of the western states. Mount Saint Helens is totally National Park worthy. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

HOT Walk In Lucy Park With Missing Bridge

It was back to Lucy Park I ventured, this morning, to commune with nature via doing some high speed walking.

The temperature is scheduled to get to 103 later today.

The air was chilled to the lower 90s whilst I was nature communing. But it felt way HOTTER. And humid. Blue sky is currently missing, replaced by a gray sky. Hence, I assume, the high humidity.

For a month, or two, the Circle Trail in Lucy Park has had a TRAIL CLOSED sign, which most people ignored, and walked around the sign, carefully crossing the sagging, failing bridge over a slight chasm.

Today when I got to the TRAIL CLOSED location I saw the sagging, failing bridge is no longer available for a careful crossing of the slight chasm.

I did not look over the abyss to see if the bridge had fallen to the bottom of the chasm. Either that happened, or it was removed.

Or maybe the hail storm a couple days ago knocked the bridge down.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Walk In The Lucy Park Jungle

With the outer world chilled to the low 90s, on the way to today's predicted high of 104, it was back to the backwoods zone of Lucy Park I ventured on this third Sunday of the 2022 version of May.

The hail storm two night's ago wreaked havoc on the Lucy Park foliage, knocking a lot of leaves out of the trees. 

I have yet, this year, to see a snake slithering whilst I walk the jungle of the Lucy Park undeveloped zone.

I know there are snakes in the grass.

Last year I saw the biggest snake I've seen, in Texas, slithering near the location you see in the above photo. I am fairly certain it was not a boa constrictor. But, it looked that big.

Some possible thunderstorming is predicted for later today. I do not know if this will make it not possible to see tonight's lunar eclipse. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Bike Ride To Hamilton Park Splash Pad With Cranky Sikes Lake Geese


Today has been the first day in a couple months which has not been extremely windy.

I do not like riding a bike when the wind gusts over 40 mph, which has been the case, of late.

So, on this second Saturday of the 2022 version of May, with the outer world almost in dead calm mode, I let my bike take me on a ride today.

We rolled north on the Circle Trail to Hamilton Park, where a couple kids were having fun getting wet in the splash pad, which is what you see in the photo documentation.

Tomorrow is predicted to hit a high of 102. I expect this will have a lot of kids getting wet in the Hamilton Park Splash Pad.

Last night around the time the sun was setting after doing its daily illumination duty, all hail broke loose. Frozen balls of water, golf ball size, rained down, making a lot of noise. The pummeling did not last too long. 

I do not think the Sikes Lake geese like getting pummeled by hail. They seemed cranky, yet subdued, when I rolled by them today. Most of the geese were under the shady cover of tree leaves. None were floating on the lake.

That we are hitting the 100 degree mark, well before the arrival of Summer, bodes ill for the next few months, keeping cool-wise. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Meditating Minutes On The Sikes Lake Bayou Bridge

No, that is not the Wichita River rolling through Lucy Park you see here. What you see here is the scenic bayou at the west end of Sikes Lake. We are standing midway across the bridge which crosses the bayou.

I stood at this location in meditative contemplating mode for a minute or two.

It was barely 90 degrees when I drove to Sikes Lake to do some semi-warm nature communing. Multiple others were also enjoying the pleasantly temperatured outer world.

One of the fellow nature communers was a skinny jogger, well, actually, a skinny runner. Running super fast whilst making it look effortless. I was jealous. Many decades ago I went through a jogging phase, but I have never been able to run fast for any length of time longer than a minute.

If only I could manage to lose about 50 pounds maybe I could manage to run fast. I suspect I would still be more of a plodder than a runner...

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Mini-Alligator But No Lucy Park Backwoods Snake Encounter

 It was back to Lucy Park I ventured this morning for my daily acquisition of endorphins via aerobic stimulation. 

I have avoided the Lucy Park backwoods zone of late due to recent rain making for mucky mud. That and it is in the backwoods one can find oneself having a snake encounter.

Today I figured if I stayed in the middle of the path through the woods that I would be able to see any snakes slithering out from their snakes in the grass location.

Well, I made the entire multi-mile distance without seeing anything slither. 

Other than a mini alligator, more commonly known as a lizard. Lizards do not alarm me in the way snakes do. I have had some large lizard encounters and have never felt in danger. 

I had had a reptile encounter of the turtle sort which felt dangerous. I was swimming in Lake Grapevine when suddenly a reptile head popped up in front of me. I instantly thought it to be a water moccasin, which caused me to swim to shore faster than I knew I was able to swim. From the safety of dry land I saw it was a turtle, not a snake, which was chasing me.

It is a slightly chilly day, today. Only 90 degrees, a few minutes before two in the afternoon...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Oodles Of Shady Lucy Park Rugrats

Drove to Lucy Park this morning for a little nature communing before the outer world became uncomfortably HOT.

Upon arrival at the Lucy Park log cabin parking lot I saw that multiple buses had delivered oodles of little rugrats to the park. It appeared to be some sort of shady picnic. The loud squealing chatter indicated the oodles of little rugrats were having themselves a mighty fine time.

I just realized I had no clue as to why I think rugrats means little kids. So, I Googled "Rugrats" to learn there was, or is, an American TV series called "Rugrats" in which little kids are the Rugrats.

I have long been thinking that this coming Summer I would find myself up northwest, in Washington, where I would get to have fun playing with some relative rugrats. But, I really do not think that is going to happen. 

Or it may happen. I have been known to change my mind, at times...