The Trails at Mayfield Park Preserve 8-13-2017

DSC_0727-PanoI had an Austin Pond Society meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm this past Sunday which was going to be held at Mayfield Park. Making the most of the moment, so to speak, I arrived a couple of hours early so that I could walk the trails at Mayfield Park Preserve. In my many visits to this Park generally with something related to fish and ponds, I had seen many people drive in to use the trails and wanted to find out for myself.

I  took the time to change into my boots and strapped  on my single camera harness as I only planned on carrying the one camera with the 16-300 lens which is my go to lens for all occasions. After making  sure that I had my water bottle and walking poles I was ready to move. I stopped at the kiosk to take a look at the map and just like the last place, St Edwards Park, this map was also backwards from how I was viewing it. I quickly worked out where I wanted to go and set off down the trail along with several other people including a family who were carrying swimming stuff, towels and floats and the sort of thing one would associate with going to the beach or around here, one of the lakes. They disappeared down the opposite trail to the one that I took (thank goodness) as I strode away on my chosen path.

I wandered around for about an hour and a half exploring many of the trails. There did not seem to be much organization but without a map, which I was not able to locate either at the site or on the web, it was hard to know where to go. Many of the trails were very steep and/or required climbing up or down rock faces more like a rock climbing exercise than a walk on the trails. I have no idea if I covered all of the trails on my side but I switched and took the trail taken by the swimming family.

This trail eventually brought me down to Town Lake but I never did see a spot that the swimming family could hit the water. Of course, I have no idea if I covered all of the trails on this side either and there may be others that I did not see.

I retraced my steps back to the Parking Lot and sat for a while before changing into dry clothes in readiness for the meeting.  The car parked next to me was driven by a young and pretty lady in the skimpiest of bikinis who was very busy first hoisting her float board onto her car and then taking a very long time to tie it down to the roof rack. Her boyfriend was helping her and I was glad when they finally drove off as I was having the hardest time in not staring at her. Interestingly enough, she was not a bit fazed by her almost nakedness and was in no hurry to complete her tasks. I wanted to take pictures but didn’t have the nerve to ask her to pose for me. Maybe because her boyfriend was a lot bigger and younger than me? I am definitely not a prude but it was a bit unnerving (in a good way). Jeez, I gotta be getting bloody old.

The trails are tree covered nearly all of the way so there was a lot of shade. Most were easy walking except where they went up and over the rock face and there they suddenly got very difficult.

Below is a link to the slideshow of the trails.

Trails at Mayfield Park 8-12-2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.


Another of some of the views.

Views at Mayfield Park Trails 8-13-2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Gary and Kathy Ragan Night Party

This past Saturday, Gary and Kathy Ragan opened their home and their yard as host to a party for the Austin Pond Society members. The party was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but I arranged to arrive early so that I could take some video pictures in the daylight of the pond and stream that they have built.

What a beautiful piece of art it turned out to be. The stream starts level with the top deck, runs past the lower deck and then into the pond which is set below the lower deck. The pond was home to several very pretty goldfish who obligingly showed off their colors to the guests. The high spot for me was the little rubber duckie that also called the pond, home.

The stream and pond appearance was very deceiving as far as the height between the waterfall and the pump. Guesses ranged from 16 feet to 4 feet, the last of which was Gary’s and as he built the feature, I think he should know.

About 20 or so members showed up to enjoy the food and the excellent company. As I walked from group taking pictures, I heard snippets of conversation about the things that interest pond enthusiasts and as always, there was discussion of Nature’s most feared killing machine, at least to pond people, the majestic Blue Heron. From what I could hear, the Heron(s) was winning most of the battles.

Ragan Party from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

I left the party about 9:30 and it was still going strong. Thank you Gary and Kathy for hosting it.