Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve and Beyond 2

As we proceeded further south, we reached another large open area - apparently we were entering another park, which turned out to be Woodruff Park. This northern section of the park has large open area in the north, a big pond at the south by the Parker road, some recreational facilities on the east of the pond - playground, sand volleyball court and a pavilion. We rode around the pond and went further south via the underpass of Parker road and reached the southern section of the park - another large prairie - looks very similar to the prairie by the oak point lake - the concrete trail extends into another forested area and ends at its southern boarder.

As we rested under a big tree at the southern Woodruff, by the Rowlett Creek, Lily noticed a shell of Cicada on a leaf. Looking around we found more shells. It is a good time to show the kids that Cicada grows by molting and it is the insect that makes the sound of summer. She also identified a wheat like plant.

On the way back, we stayed at the pond of Woodruff for a while, as we observed an Egret by a marsh land. Justin spotted the egret and waited for Nick and I to come since we brought our cameras with us for the outing. We were about only 10 yards away by this big egret - we could see the bird clearly - its long black leg, bright brown beak, light green eyelid, green eye and snow white feathers! Standing in the tall green grass, it looked so elegant, graceful. Then wind blew its feather, the egret started to clean its feather, scratch its neck ... enough of the show for us, it flew away from the spot and to the pond, ready for its lunch.

On the way back to oak point park, I was separated from the group again, thinking that they went to the parking lot, I went to the oak point lake directly, but they took a detour to oak point amphitheater. So I slowed down to enjoy the prairie under the hot Sun. There were a lot of grasshoppers of different colors - green, grey, yellow ... somehow many grasshoppers jumped out of grass and stayed on the concrete, seemingly sunbathing :).

With all the blooming around, there must be many butterflies, dragonflies and bees. But I did see any while speeding around; with their camouflage and the bright sunshine, it is really hard to see them. So I got off the bike and stood still for a minute or so, and finally saw some butterflies and dragonflies, - and one dragon fly flew nearby and rested on a plant. While I was wandering around, I also noticed some burrowed holes - still not knowing what they are. Finally we were reunited by the parking lot, resting at shaded area, enjoying the breeze and watching a captured grasshopper climbing out of its water bottle prison. Afterwards, we headed to the huge pavilion by the lake for our picnic lunch.

In the the pavilion, we were by ourselves, enjoying our lunch feast -home made french bread freshly baked that morning, individually sliced lunch beef and hams, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, celery, kettle chips, ice cooled peaches, tomatoes, plums, ice cold water from frozen bottles......With the surrounding tall trees, the sound of summer from cicadas all around, the light northern wind, the rural like atmosphere was tranquilizing.


Nicholas took the picture that the egret scratch its neck
The trip exceeded our expectations.
When we were about to leave, we noticed that our van was the only vehicle in the huge parking lot - we did have the park for ourselves for a period of time

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