Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hiking at Cooper Lake State Park

Our shadowsAn early-morning storm moved through looking to cancel our hiking trip to Cooper Lake State Park, but the rain stopped, the sun came out, and my daughter and I donned our hiking shoes and headed outside.

Of course the nature trail was muddy, and in some places covered with standing water, but it was passable -- and a little bit of water never hurt anyone.

The park is pretty easy to find.

As long as you can find Sulphur Springs and go north from there -- assuming that you know which way's north -- you can't miss it.

Well, I'm sure you COULD miss it, but there are some signs, and as long as you can read, you'll be fine.

Cooper Lake State Park is divided by the lake. There's the South Sulphur Unit and the Doctors Creek Unit. Since the nature trail is at the Doctors Creek Unit, we went there. (I have no idea who The Doctor is, but that's a different story.)

Price to get into the park was $5 per person, but since I recently purchased a Texas Parks & Wildlife yearly pass, we got in free.

The trail is pretty flat and easy to follow, but the BEST part was running into wildlife!

First, we ran into some spider webs. Beckster wanted to know why someone couldn't come out first thing in the morning and dust for those, and since I didn't have an answer, she picked up a stick and did the job herself.

Next, we saw a bunny rabbit scoot off into the woods.

I actually just saw its tail, but it was enough to convince me that, yes, it was indeed a bunny rabbit.

And what was chasing that poor little bunny?

The Coyote

How cool is THAT?

OK, maybe not so cool for the bunny, but WE were amazed.

And then it got even better. 

Who, are you? Who, who, who who?

That owl was HUGE.

Well, it might not LOOK huge in this photo, but that's because I don't have the best lens for the job. Maybe if my wife sees how far away that owl looks, and how close it COULD look if I had the right lens, maybe she'll agree that a better lens would be MUCH better than a couple of months worth of groceries, or several house payments.

Surely she can see the logic in it.

Anyways, Beck and I had a wonderful morning at the park, and so could you -- if you'd just...


Cooper Lake State Park

Friday, March 29, 2013

Everything is better outside

To sit inside on such a beautiful day would be shameful.

A waste.

In fact, everything is so much better outside that there is really no reason to stay inside.

At all.

Okay, maybe to take a shower, or to do laundry, or maybe to vacuum the floor.

But since I never vacuum...

My Backyard

 Today was an absolutely bee-autiful day to be outside.

I should do this more often.

And so should you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Red Lantern

Twenty-two miles is not a long distance to travel
when you're heading to the mall 
with friends 
on a Friday night.

Twenty-two miles is nothing at Christmastime 
when presents, turkey and homemade eggnog 
are waiting at grandma's, 
who lives way out in the country 
by herself on a farm.

Twenty-two miles is a hop and a skip 
when you're driving to the next town, 
a bigger town than yours, 
to watch the midnight showing of a new film in 3D, 
the one you've been waiting six months to see.

Twenty-two miles rushes by in a blink 
when you're picking up your girlfriend 
who you've not seen in a month;
she's arriving at the airport, 
international terminal, 
Gate 7, 
at noon.

But 22 miles lasts forever 
when a headwind is howling off the Bering Sea, 
and your dogs 
are pulling, pulling, pulling 
you and your sled
along a stark coastline, 
moving ever closer toward a village you can't even see, 
and you're the last one,
the Red Lantern, 
inching along 
on the final leg 
of a thousand-mile trail 
that's been your home for 
13 days, 
22 hours,
36 minutes 
and 8 seconds, 
and all you care about 
is hearing the siren, 
passing safely through No Man's Land,
hugging the arch, 
feeding your dogs, 
and drinking that hot coffee 
your mind has been smelling for at least two days now.

And sleep.

Warm, luxurious sleep.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Trees and the Bees

Instead of taking a coffee break at work, I took a photo break and found an early Spring.

  The Trees and the Bees

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sick bikes are so needy

Just got my motorcycle back from the shop.

Nothing really wrong with it, just a cranky chain and bald tires.

Had to go without it for a few days, which is frustrating, because I had to rely on family and friends to get me to work and home.

I guess I could have called in sick --

"Hey, boss lady? I won't be coming in for the rest of the week. My motorcycle is a bit under the weather."

-- but I doubt that would have gone over very well.

But, I got my bike back, the chain is cranking like it should, and my tires are back to round.

It's almost like having a new bike.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Just Love a Parade

Cloud Parade

There were ducks, three elephants,
and a marching band playing Sousa,
followed by dancing girls in white dresses
and cowboys on tall horses.
The mayor floated by
wearing his top hat and spats,
the Grand Marshal of it all,
and looking quite dapper, if I do say so.
And then 30 motorcyclists
dressed in leather and dark glasses,
revved silent engines at the crowd
and gave candy to the children.
I'm pretty sure I saw Snoopy
flying loops on his doghouse,
but it might have been my imagination
or just wishful thinking, I'm not sure.
And from out of the sky blue
three puffy clowns entertained us,
doing cartwheels and pratfalls
and other silly things like that.
I saw lions, and alligators
and goats pulling chariots
for happy people lined on Main Street
who came to watch and be amazed.
The parade came and went
like cotton candy in my mouth,
but I stayed to the very end,
and saw more than I ever dreamed possible.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A bad day fishing... NOT the same as a bad day trying to take a photograph of a longhorn, expecially when you take the wrong road and don't realize it for 20 minutes because every backroad country oiltop looks exactly like every OTHER backroad country oiltop, and by the time you realize you're 30 miles away from where you ought to be, you're in the middle of nowhere and you need to pee like a dog, but you don't -- because you know just when you start to relieve yourself, some state trooper will drive by and ask what you're up to, so you tell him you're trying to find a herd of longhorns you saw last week, but didn't stop to take a photograph because you thought you'd come back in a week or two, but now you've lost your way -- so you turn your car around, head back to where you THOUGHT you saw the longhorns, but they're not there because you remembered it wrong, they're actually in the town just a few miles from your house (you think), but once you get THERE, they're NOT there, and now you've wasted time, energy, gas, and a perfectly good bladder on a foolish hunt, when you should have just stayed home and gone fishing, because everybody knows a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.

A bad day of taking photos is just a bad day.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What Women Want

There are two kinds of women in the world:
  1. Those who want their man to surprise them with roses, fine dining and expensive jewelry.
  2. And those who want their man to surprise them with plants, Domino's pizza every Friday night, and appliances that work.
Thank God I chose the right woman.

Did you?