Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two wild birds, wood violets and some tennis

I think that this spring thing may be catching on.  It was about eighty degrees about noon when I took a jaunt down by the river, Crosby Farm Park to be more exact.  There have been landscaping changes in the park, but the wild areas remain pretty static. There were a few people walking in the woods and a few bicyclists passing through, but it was mainly pretty peaceful down in the flood plain.

I spent about an hour and a half walking and appreciating the return of the color green to the landscape.  It's been late in coming, but it looks like green is going to stay a while.

I encountered this white heron (snowy heron?) on Upper Lake as I walked by. As usual he was shy and flew long before I was close enough for a really good picture. But it was nice to see that he and his ilk are back in the state.

The water is still flowing a little through some of the sluggish creeks in the area, and they provided a nice mirror to reflect the trees and plants coming alive for another summer.

There were a lot of these wood violets along the path and I stopped to capture these in camera memory. I have since learned that the wood violet is the state flower of Wisconsin. ( Don't you just love google?)  There were also other flowers, including marsh marigolds and blue glory of the snow, that didn't make it into this blog entry.

This wild turkey showed himself as I walked along the path near the lake. He showed no trepidation as I took his picture and he continued on his way.  And so did I.

It was a nice day and I enjoyed the walk.  I'm reminding myself to get back there more often this summer to watch the vegetation and the wild things that still reside within the city.

And then later in the day there was some tennis scheduled.   I was recruited for a USTA tennis league by one of my tennis buddies.  I may be in over my head on this team, at least that's what I thought before I showed up to play at 5:30 at St Paul Academy.  The team is a level 4.0 - over 40 men's team.   That means any guy 40 or over can be on the team and it also means that I'm again the oldest guy on the roster.  I played with a new partner against a pair of guys clearly not much over forty - no gray hair.  And top spin on their shots.  Peter and I didn't embarrass ourselves, but we didn't win either.  Clearly winning is better, but we held our own, even having three set points in the first set before squandering them and then  losing in a tiebreaker 7-6, followed by a competitive set at 6-3.  I guess I may be asked to play again next week.  The team meet consisted of five individual matches - two singles and three doubles - and our team edged out the other team 3-2, so we won and probably we're going to be okay in this league.


Retired Professor said...

It's nice to see Crosby Farm in its green dress. We've had an explosion of ticks and mosquitoes here just lately, so be careful. Good job on getting a photo of the wild turkey. I've seen a few, but they won't pose for me. The wild violets are one of my favorites. We have marsh marigolds here, in profusion. I think the wet spring is a factor. I don't know what blue glory of the snow looks like.
More tennis? You're going to wear yourself out. Though I guess that's not a bad way to go. Good job.

Jimi said...

Here's a pic of Glory of the snow. They are one of the first flowers to emerge around here. Sometimes even in people's lawns.

The turkey was quite uninterested in posing for me, too. I had to be ready to point and shoot.

I'm endeavoring to wear out before I rust out. It's a close race.

Retired Professor said...

I don't remember seeing them around here. Quite pretty, and blue flowers aren't all that common.