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...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

United Supermarkets Grand Opening Before Sikes Lake Nature Communing

The photo I took of the entry to United Supermarkets does not give any indication as to how packed the store was with shoppers on the store's grand opening day. The store has a huge parking lot, with most parking spaces occupied.

I will go back later today and do some buying. I saw there is a do it yourself grind peanut butter option. 

This new store is a short distance from my abode. Much closer than Walmart. I could easily walk to this store if I wanted to.

After checking out the new United Supermarkets it was the short distance to Sikes Lake I drove. 

The Sikes Lake Green Lagoon, at the west end of the lake, was looking serene and peaceful today.

No wind rippling the surface.

With no wind chill happening, the temperature, nearing 80, felt HOT.

The bloom of wildflowers you see here is at the north end of the lake.

That structure you see above the wildflowers is known as Priddy Pavilion.

Soon once a week a music event will be taking place at Priddy Pavilion. I do not remember if this happens on Thursday or Saturday. The music events draw a big crowd.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Discovering Neglected Wichita County Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery

This morning I drove north of Wichita Falls, halfway to Oklahoma, to visit a graveyard known as Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery.

A few days ago I was told that this cemetery had become a shameful neglected place in dire need of some care. And that a step towards that end will be happening this coming Saturday.

What I saw today looked like it would take more than one day to fix this mess. 

This cemetery is in Wichita County. I was told that it is the responsibility of the county to attend to the upkeep of the county's cemeteries. I have no way of knowing if that is true.

A forlorn, muddy road, one of several, in the cemetery. I was told there have been incidents of vehicles getting stuck in the mud on these roads.

Headstones, like that above, are expensive. I would think it would aggravate someone to see their loved ones final resting place in such shabby condition.

Headstones sticking up through the grass and weeds. You can see them into the distance.

Here we see Jesus rising above the grass and weeds.

Here we see an angel praying above the grass and weeds.

Another expensive looking headstone, surrounded by that aforementioned grass and weeds.

Clearly this cemetery gets visitors, as evidenced by the multiple instances of flowers.

There are many American flags rising above the grass and weeds of headstones of veterans. The one closest marked the grave of a World War II army soldier.

I thought when one buys a gravesite plot part of what you are paying for is upkeep of the gravesite.

Seems like someone, somewhere, somehow should be held responsible for the current condition of this cemetery...

Monday, May 22, 2023

Sikes Lake Trail Goose Blockade

The Sikes Lake geese were in trail blocking mode on this next to last Monday of May.

One must tread carefully in getting past the goose blockade, lest one gets goosed.

Clouds are still blocking the sun. The cold front which arrived a couple days ago has not yet been replaced by a warm front from the south.

Which is why it was an almost chilly 72 degrees whilst in the outer world this morning.

Rain and thunderstorms are on the weather menu all week long...

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday Karen-Free At Chilly Cloudy Lucy Park

It was back to Lucy Park I drove on this morning on this third Sunday of May, to do some nature communing, with zero sun, in the Lucy Park backwoods jungle zone.

What you are looking at above is the remains of the Lucy Park Pagoda. Inside the remains, looking up at the gray sky. 

Someone has pitched a tent near the remains of the Pagoda. No one appeared to be in the tent.

I don't think campsites are one of the amenities offered in Lucy Park.

Deeper in the jungle I saw a young guy with a big backpack. He may have been the tent dweller. The guy with the backpack was off the trail, heading to the edge of the Wichita River.

What you see above I did not see in Lucy Park.

I Googled for a Karen image, and this was the best one I found.

I have decided to take a social media break due to being tired of Facebook Karens, primarily one I call Delores Dakota.

Delores is a humorless troll, adept at misunderstanding what she reads, and then deciding to do some scolding. Delores Dakota was the worst of the Facebook Karens, so I blocked her. 

Rather than block all the lesser Karens I decided just to take a break from Facebook for awhile. This should be peaceful...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Perfectly Chilly Sikes Lake Walk With The Gosling Lawn Mowers

Yesterday, the day known as Friday, it was back to Lucy Park's backwoods jungle I ventured to for some salubrious nature communing via high speed walking whilst being on high alert for slithering snakes in the grass.

Today, the day known as Saturday, the third such day in May, it was back to nearby Sikes Lake I ventured for some high speed walking with no worry about snakes in the grass, just goslings in the grass being not too worrisome.

The above photo is looking east from the west end of Sikes Lake, at one of the two bridges which cross the lake.

Yesterday's predicted severe thunderstorms did not happen. Not even on drop of rain, let alone any loud booming. Today has had a cold front blow in, lowering the temperature to 75 at the time I was lake walking. 

Back when I lived in Washington, 75 degrees seemed hot, almost too hot. Now I am so acclimated to heat that 75 degrees feels chilly. A pleasant type of chilly.

75 degrees is cooler than what I have my A/C set to.

Sikes Lake's biggest gosling flock was pretty much at the same location I saw them at two days ago.

You can see what a good job the geese do at keeping the lawn clipped short... 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Thunderstorms Are On The Weather Menu Along With Collapsing Sikes Lake Dam-Lake Structure

More storming is on the weather menu for this third Friday of May. Currently the outer world is not looking too stormy.

Meanwhile an interesting development at Sikes Lake.

For reasons not known by me there is a dam type structure across the north end of Sikes Lake. The dam which actually makes the lake is at another location. 

A year or two ago I read that Midwestern State University was wanting to get rid of this dam-like structure, but the estimated cost to do so was too high.

And now, it seems Mother Nature is doing the demolition job for free.

A long section of the dam-like structure has collapsed, revealing that the dam-like structure is dirt, covered with concrete slabs. This makes it look like it would not be all that difficult, or expensive, to remove this dam-like structure.

It will be interesting to see what happens next, if anything...

Thursday, May 18, 2023

CBS Sunday Morning With Nephew Jason Takes Us To The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival & Roozengaarde

Incoming email from FNJ (Favorite Nephew Jason) with a link to a CBS Sunday Morning look at Skagit Valley Tulips in Bloom.

Click the link to watch the video for a look at my old home zone when the Skagit Valley is in ultra colorful mode.

What you see above and below are a couple screenshots from the video.

The above photo is at the Roozengaarde location.

In the video you get to see what a HUGE operation Roozengaarde is, along with seeing the complex automated way tulips are processed for shipping.

The Skagit Valley Jones Family Compound is close to Roozengaarde. 

When I lived in West Mount Vernon the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival time of the year, lasting a month, was a bit of a nuisance, traffic-wise.

Much has been improved over the years by spacing out various attractions, like adding Tulip Town, turning some roads into one-way only. Helicopters monitoring traffic flow. Busses bussing Tulip Tourists to the Tulip Zone.

And directing tourists heading north or south on Interstate 5 to use any of the Skagit Valley's exits from I-5, then follow the directional signs to the Tulips. Prior to pointing out the multiple exits, most incoming Tulip Tourists would exit the freeway into downtown Mount Vernon. This created massive traffic jams.

I think the last time I was at Roozengaarde was with my mom and dad. They talked me into going to an Easter morning sunrise service at Roozengaarde.

The last time I was in the Skagit Valley during the Tulip blooming time of the year was in April of 2006, when I was in Washington to attend nephew Jason's wedding to his first wife. I do not recollect seeing any tulips at that point in time..

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Clear Blue Sikes Lake Sky With Gosling Flocks

No thunder or rain on the weather menu for this third Wednesday of May, for the first time in several days. 

A clear blue sky with the air heated into the mid 70s. Perfect conditions for a walk with the Sikes Lake goslings.

And now the time has arrived for lunch...

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Getting Away From Doris Doolittle At Lucy Park With Wildflowers

 After too much verbal abuse from Doris Doolittle, this third Tuesday morning of May, I was in the mood for some peaceful nature communing.

And so I drove to Lucy Park for some fast walking in the Lucy Park backwoods jungle, under a cloudy sky and a temperature in the pleasant 70s, with a slight wind blowing a slightly chilly breeze.

In other words, perfect conditions for a mind clearing walk, erasing Doris Doolittle's verbal abuse from memory.

As you can see via the above photo documentation, April showers have brought more May wildflowers.

I do not know what the yellow flowers with orange centers are called, but they sort of look like daisies.

Possible rain and thunder is on the weather menu today, again, and, again, so far today, nothing...

Monday, May 15, 2023

Monday Morning Sikes Lake Reptile & Gosling Encounters

On this third Monday of May it was back to Sikes Lake I ventured this morning for salubrious nature communing.

We have had four days in a row with the weather prediction predicting thunderstorms and rain, including today. But each day ends up being mostly dry and free of loud booms.

The baby geese, also known as goslings, population seems to be of record breaking size this year. I suppose it may be a post COVID baby boom.

I had a reptile encounter of the non-snake sort today.

A turtle was lounging among the pink evening primroses. Why do I find turtles to be cute, whilst I find snakes to be anything but cute?

Years ago I was swimming in Lake Grapevine, in the DFW zone, when a reptilian head suddenly popped up in front of me. I thought water moccasin and did not know I was able to swim as fast as I swam to get out of the water.

The reptilian head had followed me to shore, which is when I realized it was a turtle that was chasing me, not a snake.

This incident became the last time I have been in a Texas lake...

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Surprising 10 Best States In The United States

I seem to be being amused day after day by MSN (Microsoft News) articles which purport to rank this that or the other thing. 

Today's is The 10 Best States in the U.S. According to Americans

The explanatory text at the entry to the photo gallery of the 10 Best States...

The United States is vast and diverse, with each state offering unique qualities and attractions. Some states are known for their natural beauty, while others boast bustling cities and a thriving economy. However, which state is truly the best? On an online platform, many travelers and locals shared their views. Let’s see what’s their best...

Well, I do agree with #8 on the list...

The explanatory text...

US News and World Report consider Washington as the finest state to call home, and a passionate explorer firmly believes it. They deeply appreciate the state’s progressive politics and diverse populace, making it stand out from the rest. Moreover, they attribute the state’s awe-inspiring natural beauty, flourishing tech industry, and abundance of outdoor pursuits as factors that make it an exceptional state to live in.

The full list of 10 Supposed Best States in the U.S....

North Dakota
New Hampshire

North Dakota? I have never been to North Dakota, but I have been to that state's sister, South Dakota. South Dakota has the Black Hills, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, and more.

It makes sense to me to have California and Hawaii on this list, along with Washington. But how is North Dakota one of the 10 Best, instead of states like Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and, even, New Mexico. 

I was born in Oregon. Oregon is like Washington with the progressive politics. And scenery, such as the Oregon coast, Crater Lake National Park, Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Portland, and more.

I like New Mexico. I have had some of my most mighty fine times in New Mexico.

Utah is just about my favorite of the states I have visited. The five national parks, Lake Powell, Salt Lake, and more.

Colorado has a boom town called Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Pike's Peak, Royal Gorge, Vale, Aspen, and more.

Arizona has such diverse scenery, from cactus covered deserts to the Grand Canyon.

Wyoming is where you find Yellowstone National Park and Devil's Tower among many other scenic wonders.

And, what about Alaska, another state I have been to. And Montana.

Not that I have anything against North Dakota, but methinks having that state on this list of the 10 Best sort of invalidates the legitimacy of the list. 

The list would have been even more goofy if Texas was counted in the Top 10...

Friday, May 12, 2023

Why Is Dallas A City People Refuse To Visit Again?

This morning, via MSN (Microsoft News) I scrolled through an article titled Avoid These 10 Cities People Refuse to Visit Again.

One of the ten cities people refuse to visit again surprised me.

Dallas, Texas

The ten cities listed...

Cairo, Egypt
Marrakesh, Morocco
Miami, Florida
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Dallas, Texas
Hollywood, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
San Francisco, California
New Orleans, Louisiana

Well, Dallas is in some good company of other cities people refuse to visit again. 

The explanatory blurb about Dallas...

Texans say that megachurches, strip malls, subdivisions, and little else populate Dallas. Another person claims the city combines every bad part of Texas and markets it as a city. 

Well. I have visited Dallas multiple times and have never had it cross my mind that I never wanted to visit again. I've always enjoyed visiting Dallas. Fair Park, Deep Ellum, Dealey PlazaFarmers Market, White Rock Lake, and more, like Pioneer Plaza.

I've been to some of the other cities on this list of cities people refuse to visit again. Hollywood, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

I've been to all three multiple times, so I am not one of those visitors who refuse to visit again.

Well, I really don't think I'd bother visiting Hollywood again. There is not a lot to see in Hollywood. Grauman's Chinese Theater, or whatever it is currently called, and the Walk of Fame. That's about all I remember about Hollywood.

Las Vegas wears me out after about four days, but, I always seem to return. 

San Francisco is a fun town. Just riding the cable cars makes the town special. And San Francisco's Chinatown is the best Chinatown I have seen. Plus the famous iconic bridges, the waterfront, and more. I don't get why anyone would say they refuse to visit San Francisco again.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Most Terrifying Attractions In Washington & Texas

I saw that which you see here in Microsoft Edge gallery titled The Most Terrifying Attraction In Every State

Deception Pass is the most terrifying attraction in my old home state of Washington? Well, it is a bit scary, depending on how you cross the bridge. Years ago it was a common thing for daredevil types to climb out on the arch that supports the bridge. Eventually barriers were installed to put a stop to that. Walking across the bridge on its narrow sidewalk can be bit terrifying as cars and big trucks whiz by.

The description of this terrifying Washington attraction which accompanied the photo...

This sky-high bridge, dating back to 1935, has its home in Washington's most visited state park. It arches 180 feet (55m) above the waters of both Deception Pass and Canoe Pass strait, and is made even more unnerving when fog curls around its expanse. There are two options for taking it all in: gazing up at the bridge from a boat, or taking to its (very narrow) pedestrian pathway to look down at the rushing waters below.

So, what was the most terrifying attraction in the state in which I currently reside?

Texas: Flags Over Texas Observation Deck, Tower of the Americas, San Antonio

One of the tallest observation towers in America, this 750-foot (229m) viewing platform can be found in the Tower of the Americas building, alongside its bar, restaurant and 4D ride. A glass-fronted elevator allows visitors to take in vistas of downtown before they even reach the top. In the viewing area, historical displays help make sense of the pocket-sized buildings below.

I have seen the Tower of the Americas, but I have never been in it or on it. It does not look too terrifying..

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lucy Park Backwoods Jungle With No Snakes


It was back to the Lucy Park backwoods jungle I ventured this humid second Wednesday of May.

The temperature was sufficiently HOT and the grass sufficiently tall that I had to be vigilant today whilst fast walking the backwoods jungle, lest there be any slithering snakes in the grass.

I saw nothing slithering, but way too many flying insects of various varieties. But, unlike yesterday, no mosquito successfully attacked me, drawing blood.

Thunderstorming is on the weather menu for later today. Of late about half the time thunder is predicted I end up hearing nary a boom. Or see a lightning strike...

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Hot Lake Wichita Park Walk With Mosquitoes

On this second Tuesday of May the outer world at my location is super humid. And hot. Real HOT.

Feeling the need for heat, and hoping for a cooling breeze, I drove to Lake Wichita Park for a walk around the only mountain for miles and miles in any direction.

I read this morning that the recent rains have risen the local lake levels. Such was noted upon arrival at the Lake Wichita Park parking lot. The tide was not out nearly as far as the last visit, a couple weeks ago.

Work continues on the expansion of the Lake Wichita Veterans Memorial, due to be finished by Memorial Day, which is the 29th of the current month.

Several guys were busy working on the memorial, seemingly impervious to the blazing sun.

I walked around the mountain and then headed north to a line of trees which are on both sides of a creek ditch.

I was on high alert when in this shaded wooded zone, on the lookout for slithering reptiles. I saw none, but did manage to get a whopper of a mosquito bite. 

A trail meanders through this wooded zone, with a couple little bridge crossings, such as what you see above. Eventually I came to a disc golf launch pad and realized this trail had been built for the disc golf course.

Seems like it would be just a tad too challenging to be throwing a disc in a wooded zone, hoping to hit a target.

I do not see many disc golfers at the Lake Wichita Park disc golf course, unlike I see at Lucy Park, where one always sees a lot of disc golfers.

More storming is on the weather menu during the course of this week. I hope that comes with cooler temperatures and a drop in humidity...

Monday, May 8, 2023

Lucy Park Survived Last Night's Windstorm With Little Damage

It was to Lucy Park I ventured this second Monday of May, to do some high-speed salubrious nature walking in the jungle terrain.

Which would make that the Lucy Park suspension bridge you see above, currently cloaked in lush greenery.

Last night's windstorm was one of the strongest I have ever experienced. The way the trees were whipping about it looked like a hurricane.

By morning I expected to see a lot of wind damage to the trees. But, turned out to be way fewer fallen limbs than would seem to be the expected result of such a strong blow.

Driving to Lucy Park I did come upon a couple crews cleaning up fallen foliage.

Last night's windstorm had little, if any, precipitation, despite the prediction that rain would fall. And I saw no lightning striking and heard no thunder booming.

More storms are on the weather menu for the coming days. But, currently a clear blue cloud-less sky has returned. Along with warm air and extreme humidity...

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sunday Sikes Lake Goose Walking With Goslings

As the sun was doing its setting duty last night lightning began flashing, non-stop, for about an hour. Prior to the lightning flashing huge globs of water plopped to the ground with a thud. The globs must have been big balls of hail prior to melting soon before hitting the ground.

I recollect no strong wind blowing last night, but by morning's light a lot of wind damage appeared. Tree limbs, pieces of roofing, and some litter.

So, with the sky still cloudy on this first Sunday of the 2023 version of May it was to Sikes Lake I ventured to do some goose walking around the lake.

Above you see some of the geese, posing with pink evening primroses. Behind the geese that is the bridge across the creek which enters Sikes Lake at the west end of the lake.

Soon after crossing the aforementioned bridge I came up the small goose family you see here. Mom and dad and seven goslings.

About 100 feet further I came upon a much large flock of goslings. I could not get them all in the photo, along with the multiple full size geese being gosling-sitters.

A severe thunderstorm is on the weather menu for later today...