Dallas Isn’t In The Desert?
I write this post shortly after I awaken in a city, Dallas, I have hated for almost a half a century. I am a lifelong, diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, and as any football fan would know, the Dallas Cowboys are our mortal enemies. I am here for a cousin’s wedding and left my favorite, and, in my opinion, greatest, city in the world, Philadelphia, early yesterday morning. The trip started out well, as I found out shortly after I boarded my flight. The two seats next to me on my flight were empty. I was in airplane heaven. I was able to spread out and get a short nap in. I sure wish this happened on my flights to and from Australia.
It was dark for most of our flight, but as the rising sun caught up with us near Dallas, I was able to check out the landscape of this city of my enemy. I was immediately surprised at the amount of green there was and also the lakes and waterways below. They were surrounded by the usual cookie cutter houses in the usual suburban housing developments. This is a link to some more photographs from my flight to Dallas.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/philadelphia-to-dallas-april-7-2016
I found the airport to be modern and efficient and I was soon in a taxi driving the crowded highways to my hotel, the Renaissance, located in the northwestern part of the city. I again was surprised with the amount of trees along the way. From the old westerns and television shows I had always pictured to be a dry, treeless desert.
I arrived at my hotel before 9 A.M. and, of course, my room wasn’t ready. I made a quick change into summer cloths in the rest room. It was already 70 degrees with an expected high near 90 degrees. I was hungry so walked a short distance to the Market Diner where I had a nice breakfast including some fried okra and a homemade biscuit. I planned to visit the historic downtown with my sister and her husband when they arrived so decided to head to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical gardens in the morning.
I took a nice taxi ride past the skyscrapers of the downtown , through the working class neighborhoods of east Dallas and to the affluent Lakewood area where the gardens were located. Here is a link to some more photographs from my ride through the city. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/dallas-texas-arboretum-drive-april-7-2016
The sun was shining and it was already hot when I was dropped off at the entrance to the Arboretum. The entrance was filled with buses dropping off school children. And I was greeted by the noisy cries of the many great-tailed grackles that live in the trees of the arboretum.
Inside I wanted to first visit the azaleas. I read that the have a spectacular display here in the Spring. I was disappointed finding they had reached their peak bloom a few days earlier. There were still some species in bloom and there were some beautiful displays but many had already faded and dropped their flowers.
I soon got over my disappointment. The grounds of the arboretum were spectacular and there were many other displays of flowers in bloom.
I walked to the grounds overlooking the lake, passing many landscaped ponds and waterfalls along the way. The gardens were crowded and the voices of school children visiting the arboretum where everywhere.
There were plenty of other critters too, including birds in the trees, including scores of the great-tailed grackles, cardinals, sparrows and even a robin.
The ponds were filled with many beautiful koi swimming about in their splendid colors. And there were many red squirrels scurrying about the grounds too. Here is a link to some more photographs of the wildlife I observed at the arboretum. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/dallas-texas-arboretum-wildlife-april-7-2016
There were so many flowers in bloom many familiar like the snapdragons, on of my favorite, and many exotic flowers I never saw before. Here is a link to many more of the flowers I saw on my walk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/dallas-texas-arboretum-flowers-april-7-2016
Every turn along the path seemed to have a secret to reveal. And there were a number of restaurants, all with outdoors seating filled to capacity on this wonderful Spring day. I wished I hadn’t eaten breakfast since they all looked so inviting.
And there were the statues, a recent addition of eight sculptures of “Great Contributors “to the history and culture of the world. They seemed at home in their garden setting. See if you can identify them all. Here is a link to photographs of all eight of these sculptures. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/dallas-texas-arboretum-statues-april-7-2017
I continued to explore the many nooks and crannies, all containing beautiful displays of flower gardens.
I soon realized I could not see them all in the short time I was there. I was meeting my nephew and his girlfriend in the afternoon so i had to leave this Spring wonderland of flowers. I hope I get a chance to return. I learned that Dallas sure wasn’t the desert town I thought it was for all of these years. I actually is very green, alive and beautiful, in the Spring anyway. Here is a link to some more photographs of my walk through the gardens. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/dallas-texas-arborteum-walk-april-7-2016
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream