Autumn At The Reunion Tower In Dallas, Texas
Since Kevin parked on Goat Island, we walked from the Canadian Falls over to Luna Island. And from there we hiked the trail along Hell’s Half Acre, crossing the Goat Island pedestrian bridge to get to Prospect Point/Observation Point. Kevin, Sara, and I spent a little while there before we walked back to the parking lot on Goat Island. We had lunch in Wheatfield before we got ready for the wedding and the reception.
… to be continued …
In September 2013, Sara and I took a little trip to Isle Du Bois State Park at Lake Ray Roberts, which is just north of Lake Lewisville in North Texas. Sara and I watched the fisherman on the boats and the maintenance crew at the beach. Since it usually is still very warm in early September, we also observed some wildflowers and wildlife in the State Park. There were all kinds of bees, butterflies, lizards, and a roadrunner. It was Sara’s first roadrunner; she had seen in the wild. By noon, we left the park. It got too warm to stay any longer.
Nine years ago, Sara and I visited the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve for the first time. It is only seven miles away from our house. But I had no idea it existed until I looked at a park map on Google one morning. Katelynn was in school. And Sara was bored because she had no one to play with in the house. So, I decided I would take her for a hike in the park. The weather was nice and not too warm. It was perfect to see what the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has to offer. On the way, I said to Sara: “Maybe we will see some wildlife in the park.” When we arrived at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, we saw a lot of hikers, sprinters and runners. I told Sara to stay with me on the right side of the trail, for people who work out can pass us on the left. She did very well. We walked into the forested area. And Sara noticed a couple of squirrels chasing each other. One had a couple of pecans in its mouth. And the other squirrel wanted the first one to share at least one of the pecans. Sara and I made it all the way to the Observation Tower, where we had a nice view over a big portion of the park. After a little rest, we hiked back to the parking lot. Sara was counting the bridges, we crossed along the way. She said: “There were three bridges in total. And the squirrels were funny.” I’m glad she got entertained on this little trip to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. 😉
The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden has August Dollar Days during the whole month of August. Back in 2013, we had a day that was not too hot. And I decided to take Katelynn and Sara to the Arboretum. It was a fun day. We have seen so many different flowers, water features, butterflies, dragonflies, and little mammals. Since I have so many flower photos, I have to break the visit down into several blogs. These are images from the All-America Selections Trial Garden.
… to be continued …
Kevin and I planned a trip to Walt Disney World for Spring 2011. While we were traveling from Texas, the girl’s aunt, uncle, and cousins came from North Carolina to join us. Getting from Texas to Florida was quite an adventure. Two hours into the drive, Sara didn’t feel well and barfed all over her cute dress and new car seat. Once, she had it out of her system and we cleaned everything up as good as we could (the car seat smelled like barf on the whole round trip), we made it into Louisiana, where we spent the night.
The next morning, Sara looked much better. After a light breakfast, we moved on. In Louisiana, we’ve looked at swamps, crossed the Horace Wilkinson Bridge in Baton Rouge, and drove on Interstate 12 to avoid New Orleans on the way to Florida. In Mobile, Alabama it was busy due to people trying to get to the Cruise ship at the Mobile River. Therefore, it took us a while to get through the George Wallace Tunnel, which is located under the river. Once we got off the tunnel, we had a good view of the USS Alabama, which is now a retired battleship and U.S. National Historic Landmark and is located in the waters of Mobile Bay next to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, south of Interstate 10.
Pensacola, Florida is the home of the Navy Blue Angels. We’ve stopped in a rest area nearby to stretch out for a little bit. Katelynn ran up and down the hill to get the energy flowing before we ended up in Ocala for the night. The following morning, we met up with family to drive the rest of the stretch to Buena Vista.
… to be continued …
So many memories come back when I look at these photos. When Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I lived in Texas, we loved walking on the town’s local trails. One of them was by Lewisville Lake, hence the name “The Colony Shoreline Trail”. The beginning of August has usually the hottest days of Summer. So, it was not uncommon that we walked when it was still 100℉+ in the evenings. We were used to it. And we saw people joking and biking along the trail. Sunscreen, bug spray, and water are the secrets to keeping going outdoors.
In this drought weather, a lot of plants strive in Texas. Firewheel, Ground Cherries, Horsenettle, Love-in-a-puff, Partridge Peas, Ragweed, Snow-on-the-prairie, Sunflowers, and many other plants love this hot weather, while others survive better in May and June. They will be wilted by the time July and August come around. That’s why we could enjoy wildflowers in Texas about ten out of twelve months of the year.
Several years back I told Kevin I would go to The Colony Shoreline Trail to look for some deer. Someone tipped me off about a certain area, where I would find some deer activity at sundown. On that night in mid-July, I wanted to see for myself and capture some photos. On the way out, I said: “Honey, I will hunt for deer tonight!” Kevin laughed: “Yeah, shooting with your camera?” “Yep, exactly”, I replied.
At the trail, I looked for some evidence. It didn’t take long until I found deer tracks. I hid behind a bush several feet away from the deer tracks and waited … and waited … and waited. The sun was setting, and I didn’t want to give it too much longer. It felt a little bit spooky, being out there by myself. All of a sudden, I heard something and saw a bush moving across from the creek. I tried to stay as calm as I could to keep my breath low. And then there she was: a doe was standing right in the open. Of course, the wind was blowing in her direction. It was too easy to spot me. Mrs. Doe looked at me for a little while, long enough that I could capture a few photos. And then she jumped back behind the secure bushes. That was it. But I’ve got what I wanted that night. Another night I found out why she was so hesitant. She had two fawns with her.
Arriving back at home, Kevin was resting on the couch. “Honey, I shot a deer tonight.” He looked surprised at me: “You’ve got that deer?” “Yep, I did get it,” I answered proudly. “Wow! First night out and caught it, huh?!” he said. I sat down on the couch and looked at the pictures with him.
World Snake Day aims to increase awareness regarding the over 3,500 snake species that exist across the world. Not all of them are as scary or venomous as we believe them to be. The fascinating reptiles are often not given the recognition they deserve just because of the bad reputation they have earned over the years. The day aims to change the negative perception surrounding snakes and promote the love for all living beings — even the ones we fear.
We are all set and ready to celebrate the world of imagination and madness on Alice in Wonderland Day on July 4. The amazing fictional world, created by Lewis Carroll in 1865, is the telling of a young girl who faces worldly obstacles at a tender age. More than a century later, the book continues to enjoy popularity amongst the masses not only for its original story and characters but also because of the subsequent movies that have been made of it. People also enjoy other adaptations like theater performances as well as the numerous types of Alice in Wonderland merchandise available today. Apart from all the superb details related to the story, did you know that the titular character is based on a real-life person?
In 2011, Sara was old enough for taking her to her first Independence Day parade. It was very warm the whole weekend. But we were prepared. Plenty of water, sunscreen and sitting in the shade helped tremendously. Katelynn and Sara both enjoyed the parade’s colors and candy. There were parrots, pirates, landmarks, Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, the Fire Department & Police Department, and so many flags. It was a wonderful event to see people from the community celebrating 4th of July.
A couple of weeks ago, I went with our local photography group to shoot long exposure photos at the High Five Interchange in Dallas (Interstate 635/US Highway 75). Opening the shutter for almost half-minute, it will leave a nice car light trail. Using the higher Aperture (ƒ-setting), the street light will show a starburst. And putting the ISO low, won’t over-expose the photo with too much light.
This is something I learned at a carnival over two years ago. I’d always shoot photos in “automatic”. But one night, at the American Heroes Festival in The Colony, a fellow photographer from the group showed me, how to shoot my photos in “manual” with the right Shutter Speed/Aperture/ISO. What an amazing discovery it was for me. From that night forward, I never captured my photos in “automatic”. I always shoot in “manual”. And I love it!
Here are some of the images, I’ve captured at the High Five Interchange in Dallas, Texas on February 7, while having fun photographing with the group further south of the Interchange.
World Bee Day is celebrated on May 20 each year. The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem. Every year on this day, the global public will focus on the importance of preserving honey bees and all other pollinators. People will be reminded of the significance of bees in providing for the needs of humanity.
That night was the qualification race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the following day. Chase Elliott, 18, won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Exactly one year ago was a bittersweet day. We finalized everything by signing the Texas house over to the new owner. It was our home for nearly 16 years. And we’ve raised our girls in this place. The Colony is a great community to raise children. It has great schools with an awesome ISD (Independent School District). The shops are close to home. But our street is still quiet. We will miss our good old home and community. At the same time, we are very grateful for still having a job during this pandemic. Even when it brings us to a completely different area in this country.
Before we signed the papers for purchasing the home in Watertown, we got a chance to look at the house inside. I saw it only in photos and on a live camera, when Kevin and the Real Estate Agent walked through the place. Finally, I’ve got a visible dimension of the house and the property. We saw what needs to be changed and how we have to approach it. In the afternoon, we signed the papers at the title company in Oakville, which is still a part of Watertown.
National Penguin Day began in 1972 when Gerry Wallace wrote the event on his wife’s (Aleta’s) calendar in Alamogordo, California. They later brought the celebration to the Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest, California where the Penguin Patrol made the news. April 25th is also the date that the Adelie penguins begin their migration northward toward Antartica. There are 18 species of penguins, and all their natural habitats are in the Southern hemisphere.
The girls are on Spring Break for Easter and the following week. Katelynn planned a trip to Texas for quite a while. She will spend a week with her boyfriend in Dallas. I wish I could go too. But this is her trip. She planned and paid for it. She will enjoy a week away from her parents and her little sister as well. 😄
Meanwhile, Kevin, Sara and I planned some small trips to Rhode Island and New York City as well. The weather is supposed to be okay. A little bit of rain in the forecast won’t keep us away from doing any sightseeing. We will dress accordingly. Sara wants to see the smallest state of the USA. So, we will make a trip to Newport, Rhode Island. And if we are not too tired, we might make a stop in Mystic, Connecticut on our way back home. For Newport we picked several points of interest. We might not even do half of it. But there is a plan to tackle some of them. 😉
A variety of animals have been domesticated and raised on farms for food. They provide eggs, milk, cheese, meat, wool, leather, and other products. Most farmers raise their livestock responsibly. Providing a quality environment for them to grow benefits the animal and the farmer, too. Farmers invest in their livestock from the time they’re born, providing nutritious food, and ensuring robust and healthy development. They also provide ideal conditions for their breed. Farmers are continually educating themselves about the livestock they raise so they can provide them with the best care possible.