Sunshine in my heart

Already in West Plano, it seemed logical to get my nature fix and walk at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve instead of driving all the way to Oak Point. Many folks were out in mid-afternoon; old guys baring their white torsos for the first sun of the season, shirtless bike riders covered in tattoos, mommies with strollers, a family with grandma in a wheelchair, spandex women training large dogs to walk nice. Time to get off the paved trails!

Without a plan, I felt a strong pull to the unpaved Indian Creek Trail. Fish were sunning in the shallow rock-bottom creek. A couple sat on boulders in the middle of the stream smoking.  Ahead of me a woman in a fleece jacket stopped and started. Like me, she was taking photos.

At a bend in the trail I spotted two little clumps of trout lilies, my personal sign of spring.  Beyond a muddy patch I caught up with the fleece photo woman. She laughed a smoky laugh and said she was  always taking pictures of trees. I said my buddy was looking for someplace free to live in retirement, so I always check out hollow trees.


We bantered awhile, and she showed me photos of odd trees, some phallic, on her phone. I had the strangest feeling of comfort, like I'd known her for years. We agreed it was good to have a hobby that gave us fresh air, exercise, and peace of mind. That laugh, that speech pattern! I almost asked if she was born in Arkansas. We visited about the changes at Oak Point with the zip line and new boardwalk seen on her recent visit, and about the improved soft trail markers at Arbor Hill since my last visit. We laughed about trees with faces. We parted as anonymous kindred spirits where the trail forked.

© 2014-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Forever Goatweed, Dear Lord Leafwing

Binge-watching season two of "Victoria" and can't make normal sentences now. My gowns are low on my porcelain white shoulders. White gloves extend to my elbows as I take a loop around the full lake at Oak Point. We have had over eight inches of rain in a week, and water rushes in the overflow channel below the dam.

Did Queen Victoria really rescue Prince Albert from drowning in an ice skating accident? Was my new washing machine really delivered less than twenty-four hours after purchase? Are goatweed leafwing butterflies just the most glorious surprises each February? Gloriana. Alleluia.

© 2014-2017 Nancy L. Ruder