More Thoughts


I got to thinking the other day
after many long years of living alone
just what is it that makes us this way
with nobody else to share our home
history shows that things went well
in the first few years of married bliss
but then as time did tell
things started to come amiss
and all of the love of those early days
could not withstand in so many ways
the pressures that life brings to the fore
and loved walked out of the open door
leaving behind a broken heart
and the price to pay is living apart
three attempts at trying to find love
in a marriage and a happy home
each one ending just like before
with me being shown the door
and finally choosing to live alone
rather than try to do it again
as a broken heart is not easy to mend
and it’s much easier to just be friends
after twenty five years of living alone
with many pets that I chaperoned
I do not wish to share my life
or have any other form of strife
and the remaining dogs get along just fine
and the quiet life is so sublime
they give me love and affection too
and sense when my moods are blue
they cheer me up with cuddles and wags
and lots of kisses if I get too close
these are things that I like the most
so instead of a wife my life to share
I have the love of my pets that are in my care
there have been a lot of pets in that time
as their lives are short beyond compare
new ones fill the holes left behind
each special in that moment so dear
they ask for nothing and in return
I give them love and caring too
and together we will see the end
when that final moment comes due…

Written 6/21/2019





As We Grow Old


As we grow old we are sometimes alone
maybe through no fault of our own
and even in another life
we may even have had a wife
or two or three whatever the odds
and their actions mean we lost the toss
and even though they left us to go
and we grew too old and willing to roam
and had not the urge to pick up the phone
instead choosing to live alone
along with our pets who are our friends
who stay with us until their end
both dogs and cats are in that group
with one another in an endless loop
as such short lives they all do have
and when they are gone we are so sad
at losing yet another mate
whose love for us had been their fate
if I had one last request
it would be that at my behest
when I die and my soul moves on
and even if there is no song
I want it to be at the very same place
where all of my pets at their Pearly Gates
are waiting for me and welcome me home
and together we will never be alone
for the past twenty years my pets and I
have looked after each other with the lows and the highs
they have been there through good times and bad
and comforted me when I was sad
and carefully laid their chin on my knee
which was their way of comforting me
and in return I would stroke their fur
and the troubles would lessen with them being there
as I grow old with the passing years
and know that my end and all of my fears
will someday no longer be
and I hope then that my destiny
once young and vibrant and full of life
now old and wrinkled no longer in strife
my pets will still have someone to care
and look after them as I am not there
to give them the love that has been their life
and look after them without any strife
and even though their lives are short
this is one time that I have to report
that they could well outlive me
as my life fades into history.

For the love of a pet or in my case, many pets…

Written 4/15/2019



Reimers Ranch 12-21-2018


A panoramic view

I took another walk at Reimers Ranch just to get out and about in the fresh air and the beautiful sunny weather. Hard to believe that it is winter time with the temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. Even so, Mother Nature, in all of her glory, has on her winter coat at least in my part of Texas. Everything is a drab brown color except for the Evergreen Oaks and of course, the Cedars with the occasional Possumhaw Holly showing its red berries.

Possumhaw Holly

I decided that I would walk the other half of the Multi Use Trail that I didn’t complete on one of my earlier walks on the Northern end of the Park. I parked in the Mountain Bike Parking Lot which had several cars in it. I noticed as I drove past that the Horse Trailer Parking also had several trailers in it so there was some activity and on a Friday to boot. A couple of bikers came in as I was getting ready after having completed their runs chattering away and quite obviously having enjoyed it very much.

Oh, to be young again.

I changed into my hiking boots and decided on just one camera as I set out taking the trail that leads to Johnny’s Homestead which, by the way, is nothing but a standing chimney as the rest of the building disappeared in a fire several years ago. It still serves as a map marker. I passed a young couple going in the opposite direction and we exchanged pleasantries. As I hit the Multi Use Trail, I turned south. This trail is very easy walking and only at the very end, does it get rougher going. I managed to get a picture of a Pine Warbler which for me, is quite an achievement as I don’t see many birds. Probably because I am too noisy as I walk along and also because I don’t have the patience to sit and watch. When I do get to see one, I have to rely on the zoom lens to bring them in close and then hope I can crop the pictures to get them even closer and with color.


Pine Warbler

This end of the Multi Use Trail also brings me close to the stream that marks the boundary on this end of the park. It runs roughly north/south and tends to dry up in the very hot weather. This time of the year, it has a nice steady flow and as with a lot of the streams and waterways around here, has dug itself quite a deep ditch/canyon to flow through. I walked over to the closest spot and took a couple of pictures but was not able to convey the depth of the canyon very well which is about 50 feet at this point.

Stream

The trail eventually veers away from the stream as it makes the turn to bring me back to where I started. The posted markers indicate that the complete loop is 4.7 miles. I am not sure how they measure it as both of my pedometers always show more distance. At this point, the walking gets a little harder as the terrain turns rocky and also with a grade increase both up and down. I met a horse and rider who were just starting out from the Horse Trailer Parking Area and we exchanged pleasantries and joking about her six legs of transport compared to my two. I finally made the turn back up the road and into the Mountain Bike Parking Lot and to my truck. The lot was quite a bit emptier as many of the bikers had already left as had most of the Horse Trailers when I walked by their parking lot.

View from the parking lot.

Altogether, I covered a little over four miles of pleasant and easy walking on a beautiful sunny day in Texas in the winter. The slideshow below is made up of the still pictures that I took.

A collection of photos

Written 12/24/2018

Reimers Ranch 12-13-2018


The far bank

With the weather so great, I just had to get out and take a walk. It was really a spur of the moment decision as I had not really planned on it. So, I grabbed my cameras and filled my water bottle and headed to Reimers Ranch. I had no specific plans for any particular trail and ended up at the River Bend Parking lot. This is the one that leads to both the swimming areas and to the river trails which is where I opted to hike.

The River Trail

I walked along the river trail taking pictures of the wonderful views including the Pedernales River. The walking is easy although there are a couple of places where the trail gets a little tricky like climbing up and over the rocks. The plan was to walk to River View parking No 1. at which point, I would make the difficult climb up and out of the canyon and take the gravel path that runs along the top of the bluff back to my truck.

The climb out
Quite a climb

As usual, exiting the river trails at River Parking No 1 was a challenge. This requires literally climbing up rocks that are placed in the form of a very rudimentary set of stone steps, easy enough for the young and agile but challenging to old people like me. I safely made it out and then started to walk back along the gravel path. This is easy walking although it too has washed out in a few places and needs some maintenance work. I could see the storm clouds off in the distance and wondered if I would beat them back to my truck as I didn’t fancy getting a soaking although I was more concerned for my cameras than for me. As it happened, I beat the rain and made it back with time to spare.

Thunderclouds building
Almost back to my truck before the rain.

I covered a little over four miles and as usual, took a lot of pictures and have put them together in the form of a slideshow set to music. Enjoy.

Written 12/23/2018

McKinney Roughs 12-15-2018


I had the hikers itch and so grabbing all of my gear, I headed to McKinney Roughs just to get back out in the fresh air and spend some time with Nature. The weather was gorgeous with the temperature around 65 degrees and just a few light clouds in the sky, perfect weather for being outdoors. 

I pulled into the parking lot and there were a few other cars, hopefully all making the most of the sunshine and getting their exercise. I went through my usual procedures of boots and gear and decided to take only one camera with me. I must not have been paying much attention as when I got out on the trail, I noticed that I had brought the one with the smaller lens. The two cameras that I have are the Nikon D 7200 and the Nikon D 7500 with the latter a little more advanced with stuff that I haven’t figured out how to use. I wasn’t about to go back as I knew that I could still get good pictures with the 7200. It was equipped with a telescopic 16-300 lens.

All of the trails were open with the exception of the short piece on Road Runner that has been closed for quite a while. I planned on walking down Ridge and then complete the circuit on Bluff Trail Loop and finally ending up on Woodland and home. I met several people out on the trail and stopped to talk to a couple of young men, named Seth and Parker. They were very interested in the lichen growing on the trees and rocks and I never thought to ask them why. They are both holding a twig with lichen on it in the picture.

I met another older gentleman who told me that he was “turned around” and wanted to get on the Coyote Road trail. We were on Bluff Trail Loop at the time and I showed him where he would have to go if he stayed on the trails. His comment was that he was going to “bushwhack” it as he could hear his friends off to one side. I heard them too as without another word, he struck off in a direct line from where the sound was coming from sort of forging his own trail. Luckily for him, he was walking downhill making the going a little easier. “Good Luck” I called out to him as he disappeared among the brush. Hopefully, he made it to where he was going.

I continued on as I had before following the trails and taking a lot of pictures. Most of the greenery is gone with the occasional cedar tree still green and breaking the monotony. The panoramic picture below shows of just how barren everything is looking. It is winter here in my part of central Texas although by comparison to a lot of the USA, hard to tell it.

Winter in Texas

It was quite obvious from the condition of some of the trails that there had been a lot of rain  fallen in the past week or so as the trails were deeply rutted with many footprints. They were at the stage where the footprints from the walkers and had dried in that condition and it was going to take a lot of hikers feet to make the trails level and more comfortable to walk on especially as no horses were allowed on this particular trail.

I made my way back up Woodland heading back to the parking lot and passed an older couple sitting on one of the many benches placed on that trail. This trail leads directly back to the office and is designed for anyone to take a leisurely walk. It is fairly level with no hills to climb.

I arrived back at my truck just as a young lady was saying goodbye to someone who had dropped her off. She told him that she loved him and as we passed, I said “I like what you just said, There is not enough of it in the world today”. She replied that it was her uncle and I thought how sweet it was to belong to a tight knit family such as that. I thought about it as I sat in my truck relaxing after the walk and wished for a moment that I had a different life. Luckily for me, the feeling soon passed as we are talking of a life gone by and we can’t turn back the clock no matter how hard we try.

I headed home stopping at the HEB that I usually stop at and the Starbucks right next door before arriving home. Altogether, I covered a little over five miles including the HEB shopping. It all counts as exercise…

Below is a video of the nine panoramic views of the park.  Both videos are best viewed in full screen.

The video below is a slideshow of the many other pictures that I took. Both videos are best viewed in full screen.

Written 12/17/2018

The Rich and the Poor


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Human Nature is a funny old thing
with each of us as different as plants in the Spring
we are basically all the same
though some have a much better brain
we all are born with two arms and legs
and of course we have a head
the color of our skin may change
but basically we are all the same.

There are many religions in play
each to believe in their own way
wars are fought over which is the best
to the winners the price is the ultimate test
how many believers can they convert
and sustain their world without getting hurt
as the vanquished are never still
awaiting their chance the victors to kill.

People don’t all live the same
like the food on the table with different names
or speak in tongues only they understand
like the clothes they wear made for their land
even the landscape so different may be
forever changing the scenery
and the standards of living may be different for each
based on the wealth of each nations reach
less wealthier nations may find it best
to keep people happy to avoid unrest.

I live in the wealthiest of lands
with a standard of living that’s way out of hand
and yet even then in a land so rich
many people are poor and wish they could switch
all they see is the wealthy people succeed
as the top one percent have more than they need
and many of them are forced to stand
on street corners with their hat in their hand
looking for anything that may come their way
Please mister, Can you spare a dollar today.

The average American has a kind heart
and are ready and able a dollar to impart
others choose to look and have their say
and criticize the bum for acting that way
not knowing the reasons they are down on their luck
but ready instead to keep them stuck
in the circle of hardship they find themselves in
blaming instead on the bottles of gin
that in their minds the bums have consumed
which as far as they know could be far from the truth

If every rich person gave ten percent
of the wealth they accrue the money to be spent
on helping the homeless the poor and the sick
and the families who are finding it hard to pick
themselves up and turn it around
as sinking that low makes it hard to rebound
and with just a little help from the rich
would certainly go a long way to unhitch
and break the circle of poverty and help switch
to a better life for one and all
and the rich could feel good they helped stop the fall.

Alas I fear it will never be
as most of the rich have no sympathy
towards anything other than their own
and it won’t be that very long
that the top one percent will be so strong
and the wealth they have will soon consume
the rest of the folks and keep them in tune
with what it is they have to do
to stay alive as they have no clue
and work at the jobs that the rich men provide
a mere pittance is all their work will derive

Luckily for me I have enough money saved
to see me through to the end of my days
nothing like the one percent
on whose money mine makes no dent
enough to keep me away from the ones
that stand on the corners looking for crumbs
and enough that one of those I can be
who hands out the dollars for those poorer than me
for at the end of the day if things hadn’t worked out
I could be one of those souls that this stories about.

Written 10/10/2018

 

A Walk at Reimers 4-4-2018


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My buddy George, who has been staying with me for a couple of days, suggested we should take a walk which I thought was an excellent idea. I chose to go back to Reimers Ranch as I like the long distance and panoramic shots that I can take there plus there is always the possibility of catching site of the Osprey.

Reimers Ranch has many trails including one that encircles the entire park, With the focal point of the Park being the Pedernales River, there are two trails close to the river that entails going down anyone of the four access points. The first one is located on the first parking lot  which is named the Rock Climbing Parking.  This is a favorite parking area for the Rock Climbers as they pursue their hazardous sport. This entrance is not for the faint of heart as it requires scrambling down a rocky trail and a certain amount of actual climbing over and around the rocks. Even when you have traversed the way down, the river trail also requires a certain amount of scrambling over very rocky terrain.

The second parking lot is known as River Bend Parking which is a lot more accessible to the river and the trails. It has a wide concrete road leading down to the swimming and lower trail area. Vehicles can drive down to unload but cannot park anywhere at the bottom and must drive back out to park.

The third parking area is known as River View Parking #1 and further along is the last of the parking areas known as River View Parking #2. Both of these have very tricky entrances to the river trails below as they are both on steep  rocky hillsides that have been crudely shaped with rocky steps. Both require considerable care in negotiating the trails and again, they are designed for the rock climbers who scale the cliff faces at this end of the Park. In the last three cases, once down on the river trail, it is a very nice walk with a little scrambling here and there and it is possible to go all the way to the northernmost end of the Park and complete the loop by taking the Wild Turkey Trail and then the Multi Use Trail back to whatever parking lot originally chosen.

There is also a gravel path that starts at the very first parking area on the top of the Bluff and leads all of the way following the river as close as possible and ends at the last parking lot.

We opted to park in the second lot, River Bend Parking, the one with the ramp leading down to the river and the swimming area and then took the lower trail heading towards the Northernmost end of the Park. We didn’t plan on walking the entire length of the trail but only as far as the last parking area.

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Both of these shots are panoramas made up of at least 5 separate vertical pictures

We passed several people, some with their dogs and exchanged greetings. Some stopped to chat with us whilst others just had a short hello as they passed. The River activity was really busy with several kayaks going in both directions and other people walking along the river bed. The weather was great and the sun was warm and it was obvious that people were just glad to get out and enjoy it all. Mother Nature was putting on a grand display as things began to burst forth. I really like the “new” green at this time of the year before the leaves and things begin to darken.

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On the opposite bank, I could see several large white shapes but could not identify them. I switched cameras and with the long lens saw they were cactus in flower. The flowers had to be huge as even at a distance, they are big. Below are the pictures I took.

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The spring flowers are beginning to show.

George suffers from vertigo and did not feel confidant enough in his ability to climb either of the two stone staircases to the last two exits to get back to the top so we decided to backtrack along the way we had come, finally making it back to the concrete ramp, which is also quite a steep climb and then back to the truck.

There is an interesting cave in the opposite cliff face and also the owners of the property across on the other side have built a stairway leading down to the river. That must have been a very interesting project.

As usual, Reimers did not disappoint and it was great to be out there walking again even on a weekend with lots of people around. Oh yes, no Osprey…

Written 4/7/2018