Take a Hike

The paved half of the trail at Willow Grove Park (Lake Dallas Texas)

Hey y’all! Today is National Trails Day…can you believe it? Have you gone out and hiked or biked a trail yet?

Well I did. This morning I hip-wiggled into my flattering padded tush biking shorts, pumped up the tires and took off for a 6-mile ride on a City trail along the lake edge.

It will never cease to amaze me the things you can see and hear when you’re not motoring. I will always appreciate the natural stuff and truly let its grasp take hold of me. That is until I happen upon a snake (or vice versa).

If that were to happen (a snake and me encounter), well…I’m either going to pity the snake for the panicked wild man wrath about to be unleashed upon it…after the fact, or if someone is with me heaven forbid they get in my way during a hasty, Katy-bar-the-door, asses-n-elbows, Monty Python “run away” retreat. Did I ever mention when confronted by a snake, the kind of snake makes no difference, this blogger can run a whole lot faster than he can bicycle? “Drop the bicycle and RUUUUUNNNNNN!”

But there were no snakes seen today (and you thought you were gonna get a Tim-got-scared snake story didn’t ya? HA!).

The gravel half of the trail length at Willow Grove Park (Lake Dallas Texas). Watch out for wash outs and loose rocks.

Tooling about this morning on my Trek 4500 I witnessed nature first hand, up close and personal.

Down by the lake edge, of course there were the usual Mallard ducks, egets, and Great Blue Herons hanging out. Those Herons, they are a spooky bunch. They want little to do with a human, espicially one with a camera. No pictures of them today – if you’ve read this blog before you’ve seen plenty of those pictures.

Along the trail I scared up a Red Tail Hawk (didn’t get my camera out in time). He “kawed” at me in his fleeting flight – that was cool. I was close enough to hear his wings flapping. Thankfully, he did not “lighten his load” on me getting out of the tree.

Then there were a couple woodpeckers thumping to their own tune high above the trail. I wondered aloud if they ever get a headache. I also pondered whether other birds considered a woodpecker’s tree trunk rat-a-tats an aviary version of rap music. (if so, that would be the only rap music I’ve ever heard that I like)

Keeping a watchful eye...on the chick and me

Got buzzed by a few Chickadees as I sought shade relief under “their” tree for a few minutes. They do talk to/at/about you, incessantly I might add.

And the highlight of my ride was being chased by a Canadian goose.

Apparently he/she did not like me taking pictures of the kiddos. Or was it maybe he/she didn’t like the color of my bicycle. Either way, let me say this: a goose can run nearly as fast as this big ol’ boy can bicycle! (Hmmm…fleeing from snakes sure come to mind here)

Did you know geese “hiss”? When aggravated, they open their mouth(beak) halfway…and arch their tongue…and slobber a lot while they audiblize their attitude and displeasure towards you. Believe me, I know first hand! He/she got so close on the chase that I could practically count the bumps on the dang bird’s tongue.

Oh yeah, I might also add…their hiss gets louder when you tauntingly hiss back at them (and their pace quickens as well).

Here come the Waddlers

Geese apparently have a communal sense of existence. I know from grade school learning their flight journey north and south is one of teamwork to conserve energy. But these birds also team (gang) up on the ground. They will flock, walk, honk – and hiss – together without ever leaving foot. Now where these particular guys live, I think they’re used to food scraps tossed to them by the marina patrons…bunch of freeloaders. They keep a watchful eye on any stopped human movement. Then they use the trail (at least on this National Trails Day they do) to come see what’s going on.

Yup, nature was using the trail with me this morning. Only passed one guy walking – I wonder if he knew what today was?

Up the creek (lake) without a paddle(paddler)

I did get a couple photo opps on semi-nature things during the ride this morning. I’m thinking a guy in a canoe or kayak can paddle their own trail if they so choose. Might have to get me one of these sometime soon.

So you got all day. Get out and “take a hike”…or a bike ride…or a glide across the water.

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