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  • Headed out from church. It's in the 90's here in Dallas. I walk where I usually walk, Spring Creek Nature Area in Richardson. It is shady. I walked along the paved trails, and soon left to walk along unmarked dirt. I prefer the dirt trails. I like the sound of my hiking shoes hitting dirt, and crushing the dried flowers. I walk past bee balm, which is now past blooming, the multiple layers of blooms dried in the heat. North Texas prairie still has blooms, deep purple Ironweed is still quite colorful. I hike across a meadow. Last summer this meadow was scorched black by a wildfire. This Spring it turned to a field covered with bee balm, firewheel and milkweed. Last week I heard a male painting bunting. I searched until I saw it's brilliant blue head, in the top of a cedar elm. The fire has done's its job returning nutrient to the soil, and killing some of the invasive ashe juniper

    I continued hiking, an unidentified hawk catches a thermal high overhead. I make my way to the bluff overlooking Spring Creek. I sit in the shade next to the grave of Jacob Routh. He was a Baptist Preacher, who came her from Tennessee by wagon in the 1850's. He was buried here with his wife in 1879. Asleep in Jesus, his simple marble tombstone reads. Other than the trash which is jammed in the trees by spring floods the place looks much like it must have looked for Pastor Routh.

    I sit in the shade drinking water, cold stiff from the ice i filled the bottle with earlier. I eat the peanuts and dried cranberries in my pack, and read the Psalms, the only sound the creek flowing thirty feet below and the sound of a hawk crying. Later, the hawk flies down stream, at eye level, apparently unaware of my presence. I love Summer hikes. I have the place almost to myself. With water, shade and a wide brim hat, I'm comfortable enough.
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