The Colony Shoreline Trail In May 2018

This morning, I watched the wildlife, while sitting under a tree at the pond by the Shoreline trail. At this time of the year, lots of turtles love to rest at the shore of the waters edge and take in the warm rays of the sun. One lonely Mallard Duck waddled around in the grass. I’ve got up to walk around the pond, before I would hike at the lake for a little bit. When I crossed the bridge, I noticed two Yellow-crowned Night Herons. They just sat there and looked at the stream, which leads to the pond. I wonder, if they had a frog meal.

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Red-eared Slider Turtle

At the lake, I walked toward the little flower field. There is a lady, she’s sowing Spring flowers for the pollinators, every Autumn. In May these flowers begin to bloom. And I always like to take a look and capture some photos. Due to the cooler weather in early Spring, not all the flowers are in bloom yet. I might have to come back in a week or two to see what else is flourishing on her property. At least this time I’ve got her hold of her blooming poppies.

Foggy Morning Pond

When the temperatures drop below freezing and the sun is rising, fog builds on top of the pond near Sara’s school. After I drop Sara off, I take my camera and hike down to the pond sometimes. Here are some photos, I’ve captured back in February 2014.

Bill Allen Memorial Park In January

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.

Autumn At Bill Allen Memorial Park

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.

Stone Creek Park

I have a confession to make: I’m an internet “junkie” and a Pinterest addict. 😉 Now this has been said, I can tell that I love to pin photos of places in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to check them out later. I stumbled across this park with a small waterfall in Flower Mound.

One October morning of last year, I drove to Stone Creek Park to capture some  photos of the park and the waterfall. I wish, the water had been just a tiny little bit higher. But since  I wasn’t familiar with this area, it was a good thing and more safe that the water is at a lower level. It was a nice little hike. The foliage slowly changes colors. It was a perfect Autumn morning. 🙂

Young Bobcats At The Colony Nature Trail

A couple of years ago, I did some bird watching on a local trail. On my way walking back I wanted to see, if I can a better look at those little chickadees. When I stepped of the trail, something jumped into the bushes. Hmm, that was bigger than a squirrel or a rabbit?! I tried to see what it was. There was this little bobcat. First I thought it was a cat. But shortly later it dawned on me. This little one just laid in the foliage and enjoyed the warming rays of the sun. It’s sibling was shy; the one that jumped further back into the bushes. After years of waiting to capture a bobcat on camera, I’ve got rewarded with two kittens. ❤

My guess: Since they were really close to the houses in our community, their den must have been flooded due to the high water levels of Lewisville Lake in 2015. I always kept an eye out for Momma Bobcat. And I really didn’t want to run into her. She must have been hunting for lunch, while she left the kittens under the safer shrubs. One of the kittens decided to come out and bask in the sun. And that’s how I almost stumbled over them.

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I discovered this little bobcat kitten at The Colony Nature Trail a couple of years ago.

The Wichita Mountains

When Kevin was about Katelynn’s age, his dad was stationed as a soldier in Fort Sill by Lawton, Oklahoma. Since the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is lining up with Fort Sill, my parents-in-law took their three boys and went camping and/or hiking in the mountains for the weekends.

Many years later, Kevin always talked about going back hiking in the Wichita Mountains. At the Labor Day weekend in 2014, I said: “Okay, the girls are big enough. Let’s pack the camping gear and give it a shot!” At that time, we didn’t know it would become a Labor Day weekend tradition in our family.

Well, this year we arrived at the campground a little bit too late. Since the campground takes only ‘First come – first serve’ in, and they don’t do reservations for single families, we didn’t get to camp. The campground was overflowing with guests. Maybe it was good that way. When a place is too crowded, we can’t really relax and enjoy our weekend getaway, either.

But since we were here already, we used the chance to hike for a couple of hours. We went up to Mount Scott to enjoy the beautiful scenery from above. And we went to the Jed Johnson Dam and the Quanah Parker Lake Dam to exercise the dogs for a little bit. After all, we’ve got out of the house and enjoyed the day as a family. Can’t ask for more, right? 😉

When we came home and unpacked the car, it didn’t take long for us to pass out on our beds. And today, we can enjoy all the goodies we packed for the trip. We are still considering, if we put up the tent, grill some hotdogs and marshmallows over the campfire, and listen to daddy’s spooky ghost stories, in the backyard tonight.

NOTE: Original posted in “The Barefoot Garden Fairy” on September 4, 2016