Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Cooling Tuesday Breeze With Flies & Snakes At Lake Wichita Dam


Today's weather forecast is once again rain and thunderstorms. The current condition, sporting a mostly clear blue sky, makes such seem a tad unlikely.

On this first Tuesday of June it was to the Lake Wichita Dam I ventured for some nature communing with no shade from trees, but with a nice cooling breeze blowing in from across the lake.

In the above photo documentation we are on the Lake Wichita Boardwalk, looking northwest across the lake, with Mount Wichita being that little pimple you see slightly rising above the horizon.

It does not look like the water level of Lake Wichita has gained any depth from the downpour two night's ago.

When I looked down on the murky lake water from the end of the Boardwalk I saw something in the water I'd never seen before in Lake Wichita.

A snake.

Was it a Water Moccasin? I don't know. I was not successful at getting a photo of the water slitherer.

I think it has been well over a year since any water has spilled over Lake Wichita dam's spillway. 

In the above view we are at the end of the boardwalk, looking at the lake side view of the dam's spillway. It has been so long since water has reached the dam's spillway that green foliage has sprouted up.

The floating fishing dock is no longer floating. It is resting on the lake bed.

When I walked out on the dock I was attacked by a nasty swarm of small flies. This was unpleasant. I hightailed it out of there, back to the top of the dam, which was fly-free...

Monday, June 5, 2023

Sikes Lake Water Falling After Last Night's Wet Thunderstorm

Yesterday I lamented that day after day after day the weather forecast's prediction of rain and thunderstorms never happens, not a drip, not a boom.

And then last night, around 3 in the morning, rain began dripping in copious amounts, so copious that the downpour created a roaring sound effect. 

About a half hour into the downpour there was a super bright white flash, and instaneous explosive, concussive boom, followed soon thereafter by another super bright white flash, and instaneous explosive concussive boom.

By dawn's early light no evidence was found that the close encounters with lightning strikes did any damage.

By dawn's early light it was quickly seen the last night's downpour had created a deep moat at my usual abode exit location. This neccessitated taking a detour to get to my vehicle do drive to Sikes Lake to walk with the geese and goslings.

As you can see via the photo documention, today water is roaring over the Sikes Lake dam's spillway.

The forecast for today's daylight hours is again for rain and thunderstorms. Once again that does not seem to be happening, what with a mostly clear blue sky.

I hear the tornado sirens going off right now. This test of the tornado warning system happens every Monday at noon.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Hot Humid First June Sunday In Lucy Park

On this balmy, hot, humid first Sunday of June it was back to Lucy Park I trekked to join the throngs of fellow sun worshippers.

Day after day after day rain and thunderstorms are in the weather forecast. But, the weather predictor's predictions have not been delivering.

The above photo documentation of the Lucy Park shade shows a clear blue sky peeking through the leaves, no rain or thunder threatening clouds.

Lucy Park has had some more musical instruments added to the line of musical instruments that showed up a year, or two, ago.

The new musical instruments make a variety of noises, including the ladybug looking musical instrument which made a percussive drum-like sound when struck...

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Talking About Monkey Girl Takes Us To Bobo, Fifi & Ivan The Gorilla

A couple days ago one of my old, longtime friends, and I, were talking about something and the subject of her cute daughter came up. The cute daughter was nicknamed Monkey Girl due to more than one person remarking that "she's as cute as a monkey".

Well, that aforementioned old, longtime friend sometimes took umbrage to her daughter being known as Monkey Girl.

The latest iteration of umbrage somehow morphed into the subject of Bobo the Gorilla.

Bobo was the most famous Washingtonian for many years. And Seattle's top tourist attraction til other attractions came along. I remember the highlight of a visit to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo was seeing Bobo, and later, after Bobo got married, his wife, Fifi.

Bobo first came to fame in the early 1950s, he was adopted as an infant by a family in Anacortes. Anacortes is a town in Skagit County, on Fidalgo Island. Eventually Bobo grew too big to be living in a house.

So, Woodland Park Zoo became Bobo's new home. His adopted humans visited Bobo frequently, and he was always real happy to see them.

You can read a comprehensive Bobo the Gorilla article in Wikipedia.

Bobo and Fifi were not Washington's only famous gorillas. Ivan the Gorilla was both famous and eventually infamous.

Ivan the Gorilla lived in a small enclosure inside Tacoma's B & I Circus store. Ivan eventually became a cause celebre. Wikipedia also has a comprehensive article about Ivan the Gorilla.

Bobo died before Woodland Park Zoo was rebuilt, with a new natural large gorilla habitat. Bobo and Fifi never successfully mated. I do not know if Fifi remarried after Bobo died.


Friday, June 2, 2023

Nature Communing In Lucy Park With Giant Orange Wildflowers

Already we are at day two of June. With Summer arriving in 20 days. On this balmy warm humid Friday it was back to Lucy Park I ventured to commune with nature in a natural sauna bath.

I do not know what those orange wildflowers you see above are known as. They look sort of like oranges.

I could not park at my regular Lucy Park parking spot today, due to it being full of all sorts of vehicles, including a fire truck.

The above view is south of that aforementioned full parking lot. That is the Lucy Park log cabin you see on the right. The log cabin was open today, with a lot of youngsters inside.

And more youngsters outside checking out a collection of booths which were imparting information of various sorts. This is some sort of city run day camp for kids.

Today it was only in the mid 70s, with a nice breeze blowing. And it still seemed HOT. I do not think I am ready for what is coming, day after day after day over 100 degrees....

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Deception Pass Ship Sailing Not Something Seen In Texas

No. That which you see here is not an artist's rendering of what it might one day look like seeing a ship sail under one of Fort Worth's pitiful little bridges which took seven years to build, and which are now waiting for a cement lined ditch to deliver Trinity River water under them.

What you are looking at here is what is known as the Deception Pass bridge, which would make that Deception Pass that the ship is sailing on.

The Deception Pass bridge was built in less than one year, almost a century ago, during the Great Depression.

Built over actual water. Deep fast moving water.

My abode in Mount Vernon in Washington was a short distance from Deception Pass. There is nothing remotely like Deception Pass a short distance from my current Texas abode...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Hot Humid Lucy Park Last Day Of May

No, that is not the Lucy Park backwoods jungle zone you see here. The Lucy Park backwoods jungle zone is about a 1/4 mile further north, which is the direction we are looking at in the photo documentation.

Due to this last day of May being HOT and HUMID, I did not want to go into the Lucy Park backwoods jungle, even if it is shadier, and thus cooler, than the non-jungle areas of Lucy Park, because HOT and HUMID gets the cold-blooded critters active.

As in snakes.

The biggest snake I have seen, since I have been in Texas, I saw in the Lucy Park backwoods jungle zone. I have no idea what type snake this was. It was long, and thick, like a boa constrictor.

I know boa constrictors are not native to Texas.

By the time I got my camera turned on that giant snake had slithered out of sight. I then quickly skedaddled in the opposite direction, getting out of the jungle as quickly as possible.

I don't think I have seen a snake since that below deep freeze a couple winters ago. Maybe the slithering monsters did not survive that deep freeze...

Monday, May 29, 2023

Seattle Waterfront Vision Nears Completion With No End In Sight For Fort Worth River Vision

I saw that which you see here this Memorial Day Monday morning, via a Seattle Times Can a new bike path on Seattle’s waterfront work for cyclists and cruise ships? article.

Seeing this brought to mind the fact that I've not heard anything of late about that Fort Worth embarrassment known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. Or simply, as The Boondoggle.

The only thing I recollect hearing about The Boondoggle, after the completion of those three pitiful little bridges built over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, is that Fort Worth finally finagled some funding, via the Biden Infrastructure bill, to help pay for the cement lined ditch that would divert Trinity River water under those three pitiful bridges.

Fort Worth's infamous Boondoggle began boondoggling near the start of the current century. I forget what year it was that construction began on those three pitiful bridges. I do remember it took an astonishing seven years to build those bridges.

Over dry land.

Meanwhile, up in the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, about the same time Fort Worth had a TNT exploding ceremony to mark the start of the building of those pitiful bridges, Seattle began a massive project to rebuild the Seattle Waterfront.

This Seattle project was not given a pretentious name, like Seattle Waterfront Vision. 

The first part of that project was boring a tunnel under downtown Seattle. When that was completed the Alaskan Way Viaduct was removed, with its traffic now going through the new tunnel.

With the viaduct removed the rebuild of the waterfront could begin. Now nearing completion.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth. Crickets.

How can two American cities be so different? Such began baffling me soon after the move to Texas.

One thing I know for certain is that if Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision is ever something one can see, one will never see HUGE cruise ships docking on the little lake that is part of the vision...

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Memorial Day Weekend At Lake Wichita Veterans Memorial Plaza With Space Force

Years in the making, the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project's Veterans Memorial Plaza was scheduled to be complete by the 2023 Memorial Day Weekend. There is still some finishing work to be done, but the Veterans Memorial Plaza is now open, with the construction fence removed.

The Memorial was seeing a lot of visitors this final Sunday of May. The statue you see above is a memorial to those who served during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War statue part of the Memorial Plaza has been in place for a couple years.

A World War II statue has been added, saluting toward the Vietnam War soldiers.

An homage to Gold Star Families and Relatives.

The backside of the homage to Gold Star Families. Homeland, Family, Patriot. Sacrifice.

Surrounding the homage to Gold Star Families were plaques representing each branch of the armed service. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and one that sort of surprised me.

I had not heard mention made of the Space Force for quite some time. I thought it'd gone the way of much of the Trump nonsense. But, apparently Space Force is still in force.

One would think that the outhouse that had been at the Memorial Plaza location during its construction would have been removed by the opening of the Memorial Plaza.

Instead, the outhouse is laying on its side. The victim of vandals, or, more likely, a strong wind gust.

The parking lot and road to the parking lot remains a rutted, potholed obstacle course. Some time back it was announced that the parking lot and road to the parking lot were to be re-built. One would have thought that that might have taken place by the time the Veterans Memorial Plaza was completed.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Cloudy Lucy Park Jungle Walk With Mini-Alligators

Since I needed to be in downtown Wichita Falls this morning, and was in the neighborhood, it was to Lucy Park I eventually arrived for some cloudy nature communing.

Day after day after day the weather prediction has been predicting thunderstorms and rain. But, hardly any drips have dropped. And I have only heard a couple thunder booms in the past many days.

As you can see via the look at the Lucy Park suspension bridge across the roaring waters of the Wichita River, the foliage of Lucy Park is getting increasingly jungle-like.

Another Lucy Park jungle view.

Today I had a lizard walk with me for about 100 feet. Cute little lizard which looked like a midget alligator.

The little lizard was way too furtive to allow for taking a photo of it.

I have yet to see a snake this year. I hope that trend continues...