Posts Tagged ‘John Burroughs’

Lake Walcott State Park

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs.

Yet Another Amazing Morning Walk

Early morning on Lake Walcott — Photo by Pat Bean

            It’s been a busy past week: Computer problems and two 100-mile round-trips to try to get it fixed before buying a new one to end my frustrations, out-of-town visitors to my camp site here at Lake Walcott, unsuccessful struggles to meet a writing goal although I did add 5,000 new words to my travel book, falling way behind on correspondence, etc. etc.

            All of the above obstructions to my peaceful existence disappeared this morning when I took Pepper for an early morning walk. I let Mother Nature take the weight off my shoulders and simply let my mind an senses revel in the reflection of the sun on the lake, the sight of apples growing in a tree next to the trail to the boat docks, two perfect yellow flowers growing in the cranny of a rock wall smiling at the sun.

I returned to my RV refreshed and ready for the coming week, confident that whatever this week throws at me, I will embrace it and survive.

Thank you Mother Nature.

Book Report: My goal this week is 10,000 words on my travel book. Encourage me keep my fingers and brain moving.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/d9lsjxf Some days it’s just Monday. Blog pick of the day from the Wondering Wanderer

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 “The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life … The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds – how many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday lives – and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!” – John Burroughs

Delightful, Colorful, Awesome Birds

Great blue heron at Lake Arrowhead State Park -- Photo by Pat Bean

From the Bullock oriole’s flash of bright orange feathers as it flew across my path to the Canada geese that strutted down to the lake, birds were constantly making their presence known during my visit to Texas’ Lake Arrowhead State Park.

For an avid birder like myself, it was better than my favorite Jack-in-the-Box chocolate milkshake high — and came without the calories.

Mockingbirds were plentiful, making my mind play tricks on me when I saw one that didn’t quite fit in. I was thinking it might have been a tropical mockingbird, but then this quite-out-of-place species was on my mind from reports of one of them being seen in Texas’ Sabine Woods. I certainly wasn’t sure enough of my find to add it to my life list of birds.

Canada geese strutted across the manicured lawn near the fishing pier, making it easy to photograph them. I wish I had been able to capture the flock that had honked their way overhead earlier in the morning. But as I remind people often, I'm a writer not a photographer, and the only camera I own is a pocket Canon point and shoot. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I saw a great blue heron at the fish-cleaning station near the park’s fishing pier, but before I could get a picture,  it flew away. It landed in the lake on the opposite side of the pier and began fishing for its breakfast.

When I looked at it through my binoculars at it,  I saw a dozen or so spotted sandpipers cruising the shoreline in front of it, and a yellowlegs a bit farther out in the water. It had to have been a lesser yellowlegs because it was too close in size to the sandpipers to be a greater.

As I continued to watch the sandpipers, a red-winged blackbird flew in beside them. Its shoulder epaulets were so brilliantly red that they made my heart skip a beat.

Grackles, robins, snowy and great egrets, swallows (cave, I think), killdeer, scissor-tailed flycatchers and circling turkey vultures were among the many other birds at the park that I saw.

While I suspect the park is mostly favored by fishermen, it’s now on this birders list of favorite places, too.

Bean’s Pat: Trees for Arbor Day http://tinyurl.com/crhxqtu For tree huggers like me, a slide show from the National Wildlife Federation.

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Natural Falls -- Photo by Pat Bean


Travels With Maggie

“To be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. — John Burroughs

Natural Falls State Park

The 1974 movie version of “Where the Red Fern Grows,” the story of the love between a boy and his dogs, was shot here where this 77-foot waterfall flows year-round. Trails take you both above and below this scenic Ozarks’ spot, which is located near where Cherokees were forcibly marched during the infamous Trail of  Tears in the 1830s.

I viewed it on a hot late spring day and relished the coolness that radiated from its flow.

The park is located off Highway 412,  six miles west of Siloam Springs, and has excellent full hook-up sites for RVs. If you can, plan to stay awhile.  



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