Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun will be ‘reborn” and “climb its way to the top of the hill”, until Summer Solstice in June, before the days will become shorter again. We call it the Winter Solstice, when the days are short and the nights are long. And the days start to become longer.
Katelynn and Sara had their last day of school for 2018. It is also the end of the first semester in school. When the girls go back, Katelynn will have a new schedule in January. And Sara will begin to prepare for the STAAR tests, in Spring. But first, we will enjoy the last days of this year. Hopefully, we have a good start into the new year, 2019. We will visit the family in North Carolina for a few days. The girls want to see their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. They always enjoy traveling and seeing something new on the road. It never gets old for them. 😉
Snow in Bill Allen Memorial park in The Colony, Texas (March 2015)
☃️Blessed Yuletide! Happy First Day of Winter!
It was nice taking a walk in the park, again. I haven’t been walking and hiking for quite some time. But since it is cooler, I want to go back to my favorite hobby: Nature Photography. So, I took a nice stroll in Bill Allen Memorial Park around noon today. I watched some birds and a few squirrels getting the fresh Autumn wild berries. A double-crested cormorant landed on the water surface of the turtle pond. It enjoyed diving in the water and came up at a different place of the pond, every single time. It was almost a game to guess, where the cormorant would pop its head out of the water, next. The trees show signs of Autumn as well. There is still a lot of green, but it is mixed mostly with yellow. Here and there are some orange and red spots visible between the other trees. And some trees already lost almost all their foliage. We might not get the Indian Summer like up north, but Autumn has still its beauty down here in the South.
Autumn in Bill Allen Memorial Park
Autumn In Bill Allen Memorial Park
Double-crested Cormorant in the turtle pond
Autumn Park Lantern
Sara wanted to go to the turtle pond at Bill Allen Memorial Park, this afternoon. The weather was very nice. And Katelynn wouldn’t come home from school for another two hours.
When we walked on the paved trail, we saw some wild flowers, and a few critters roamed in the park. A red-eared slider turtle was hiding in the reeds by the pond. Since it is mating season, some dragonflies chased each other for that particular reason across the pond. Walking back to the car, Sara and I saw a Mallard couple resting at the creek. And two squirrels jumped from one tree to the ground and back into another tree. Yes, there was a lot of wildlife out and about this afternoon. It was fun to watch them.
It was a beautiful afternoon in Bill Allen Memorial Park, today.
Fox Squirrel # 1
Fox Squirrel # 2
… Love is in the air …
Resting Mallards at the creek in Bill Allen Memorial Park
The weather was too nice to stay inside the house. I decided to drive for a little photo hike over to Bill Allen Memorial Park. Some disc golf players had the same idea. They used this beautiful weather for a little match between friends. I was surprised, not very many birds and critters were out and about. But they might have been further back in the forested area, due to more visitors in the park. Right now, the vegetation is still dormant at Bill Allen Memorial Park. As same as in my yard, everything is still in gray/beige colors. I can’t wait until Spring arrives and Nature begins to wake up, again. But until then, we deal with the Texas Winter beauty.
It’s a beautiful day in Bill Allen Memorial Park.
One lonely squirrel looks for a buried nut in the park.
Now, the trees are still bare. But soon, there will be bloom and foliage again.
In Summer, the community enjoys plays at the Bill Allen Memorial Park Amphitheater.
The pond at Bill Allen Memorial Park
The sun reflects like diamonds in the pond water.
This afternoon I took a little photo walk through Bill Allen Memorial Park. I wanted to see, how far the foliage has already turned in the park. And I have to say, the trees are much further in to the season, than the trees are on our street. Some trees show lots of gold and red. Some trees hang on to the few leaves, they have left on their branches.
Since there are not as many leaves on the trees anymore, it is much easier to see the wildlife. A squirrel finds a nut on the ground, hops on the trunk, runs up the tree and stores it in its home for Winter; a variety of birds feast on the ripe berries on the trees and shrubs, while others sing their songs of Autumn in the meantime.
When the wind blew, the foliage “rained” down and danced on the ground. The sun peeked out of the clouds, and some butterflies flew to the few asters left between the grass. They all enjoyed this beautiful Autumn afternoon at the park.
Autumn has long arrived in Bill Allen Memorial Park.
Snail shell on a tree
Autumn by the pond in Bill Allen Memorial Park
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker
Male Northern Cardinal
This tree is still in transition from Summer to Autumn foliage
Autumn Yellow-rumped Warbler
A little bit of gold …
Autumn at the creek
Autumn at Bill Allen Memorial Park
Question Mark Butterfly
… and a little bit of red
The weather is so gorgeous, today. The temperatures are in the upper 60s. I asked Kevin, if we want to take Sara to Bill Allen Memorial Park. She loves to go to the playground, and she might want to visit the turtles at the pond. Kevin said, she needs to get out anyway. “Yeah, let’s go to the park after lunch”, he replied.
At the pond we saw one little slider turtle resting on a tree log, enjoying the warm rays of the sun. But when we went to the playground, I saw several local birds: red-bellied woodpeckers, kinglets, cardinals, chickadees, … to name some. It was fun to see them fly from tree to tree and sing their beautiful songs of Spring on a Winter day.
Kevin and Sara look for turtles.
The turtle pond at Bill Allen Memorial Park