Skip to main content

A walk in the park

When my feet take me out the door for my daily walk, they usually head in the direction of Trinity Park. This piece of green space alongside the Trinity River is one of the few nice places within walking distance, and there's always something to see there.

Along the river itself there are usually egrets flexing their long necks and stalking the shallows in search of fish. A group of cormorants stands solemnly on a metal ring in the middle of the stream. Turtles the size of dinner plates poke their square heads out of the water, or sunbathe happily on the bank, slithering hurriedly into the water as you approach.

In the duck pond flocks of multi-coloured waterfowl home in at the first sound of bread hitting the water. A couple of latecomers skid to a stop as they hit the water and join the gobbling throng.

The squirrels, too, seem to have got in on the act, and a couple approach to within a few feet, sitting up on their haunches like a pair of begging dogs. Most of their cousins, though, are happy with the fuzzy-capped burr acorns, and make a dash for the trees when you appear. A few feet up, they pause, spreadeagled on the trunk, and regard you with bright eyes.

If you follow the loop trail around the park, you pass a corner where there are often three or four cats sunning themselves on the grass - a miniature lion pride in tortoiseshell and tabby. They seem to live wild, although traces of cat biscuits on a nearby rock suggests that someone feeds them.

Raccoon trails cross the path, looking as well-worn as motorways, but their users are not often seen. Once I saw a group under a tree, somewhat cat-like in size and appearance except for their zebra-striped tails and panda masks.

A tiny train runs on weekends and holidays, looping around the park and crossing the river on a narrow trestle to reach the zoo. Kids wave from the brightly-coloured carriages as it goes by.

Overhead, a full-size railway supported on massive black timbers crosses not three feet above your head. Standing underneath as a train passes is a test of the nerve - you can see the beams flex as the endless line of freight wagons rumbles past.

As I head home, lycra-clad cyclists whizz past and joggers pant sweatily by. A group of Mexican teenagers plays basketball under the bridge as I go up the green metal steps and back to the city.

Comments

John Evens said…
I guess I must have missed out on Trinity Park when I came to visit. We'll have to put it on the list of things to do if we ever make it to Ft Worth before you guys leave. Kristal and I took a stroll in Meadow Farm/Crump Park. I think you were with us when we toured the house there? We also saw some turtles, but dinner plates they were not! You know how puppies look different to dogs, and babies look different to grown-ups. Well baby turtles just look like exactly scaled-down versions of their bigger, older kin. No wonder they live so long - it must take years to gradually grow that hard shell into a bigger size. We saw turtles of all sizes basking on a log. Some scurried into the deep as soon as we arrived, but others seemed content to stay and be admired. I imagine they just didn't want their sunbathing interrupted!

Popular posts from this blog

Dove Valley Walk: Going round the bend

Somewhere between Marchington and Uttoxeter, the wiggles of the River Dove stop wiggling west to east, and start wiggling north to south. If it went in straight lines, it would make a right-angled bend. As I'm following the river upstream, this was my last section walking west. After this it's north to the Peak District and Dovedale. here the Dove swings north The main walk of this section was all on the south side of the river. But I also did a separate, shorter walk, to explore the village of Doveridge, and the old Dove Bridge which is tantalisingly glimpsed from the A50. Walk 1: Marchington to Uttoxeter I liked Marchington even more as I arrived there for the second time. I parked opposite the village shop - noting the "ice cream" sign outside for later - and near the brick-built St Peter's Church, with a war memorial built in above the door.  A few streets took me to the other side of the village, where I found a path alongside a stream, then across some hay m

San Antonio

San Antonio is towards the south of Texas and feels very much more Mexican than American. The balmy evenings, the colourful Mexican market, the architecture of the buildings, and the number of people speaking Spanish around us all added to the impression. The city, in fact, grew out of a Spanish mission and presidio (fort), built in 1718 as part of Spain's attempt to colonize and secure what was then the northern frontier of the colony of Mexico. Texas was then a buffer zone between Mexico and the French-held Louisiana, and Spain was keen to cement her hold on the area by introducing settlers and converting the natives to Catholicism and loyalty to the Spanish government. The missions in general had no great effect, but the San Antonio area was the exception to the rule, growing into an important city with five missions strung out along the San Antonio river. The first of these, San Antonio de Valero, later became well-known as the Alamo, where 182 Texans died in 1836

Lots of cooking

This week, I have mostly been creating enormous piles of washing up. I thought you'd prefer to see the clean stuff. Occasionally something edible escaped from the mounds of mess and made it to the table. I don't know why it turned into such a cooking week; we haven't been entertaining, and I didn't think I'd added too many new dishes to my weekly menu.  The main problem was that I made several things in advance, which spread out the cooking - and hence the washing up - across a much greater time and area. The star of the menu was undoubtedly the barbeque ribs.  I don't believe I've ever cooked ribs before, but I followed the recipe from Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie , and they turned out - well, just like ribs should!  Soft and tender, and coated generously with a sweet and tangy glaze.  It's not in any way a difficult recipe - but like I said, it kind of spreeeaaads, until you feel like you've been dealing with these ribs for a very