Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
Have you ever thought of a reason why that birds should fly up in the sky when all we can do is walk on the land no matter how hard we plan and even though we all might try we know that we can never fly.
My dogs run and jump and play with paws on the ground to help them stay firmly fixed as they walk around no thoughts of flight nothing that profound as content with life as it stands flying is just not in their plans.
The fish in my ponds all behave used to their life below the waves and even though they may swim and jump they are much too solid a lump to leave the water just a little way and flying for them is only play.
I envy the birds to have this skill to come and go at their will sometimes walking on the ground alert to danger that is all around a quick little hop and away they go leaving the danger far below.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".