Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some Like it Hot - Wed., Aug. 14

If you're someone who likes it hot, then San Antonio, Texas, would be right up your alley. Early morning temperatures in the summer are 82° degrees. Today, the high is expected to be 99° with a 20% chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. When you plan to do an 11K (6.8 mi.) walk in the mid-summer Texas heat, it's best to start early.

I was up at 5 a.m. with a plan to start my Volksmarch in the Broadway neighborhood by 7 a.m. Didn't happen, but I did make it by 8 a.m. (It is said, the pathway to somewhere hot is lined with good intentions.)

If you like it hot, then the Broadway Daily Bread Company would be a good place for you to get your morning coffee and some pastry while it's fresh. That was the start point of the walk.

Thankfully, this walk spent about 80% of the time in the deep shade of old live oaks or on park walking trails. Having long morning shadows helped too.

The walk started by going around the block behind the bakery in a stately old neighborhood, through a small shopping center, past HEB's Central Market and onto the campus of University of the Incarnate Word. The university is getting ready for new student orientation on August 19. Construction workers, early new arrivals with their parents, and those preparing for the arrival of new students were out and about on campus today. It wasn't very crowded.

Photos at University of the Incarnate Word:

Cemetery at the University.
Beautiful iron bridge.
 Do you think maybe the mascot at this university might be a cardinal??

This cardinal was nice enough to strike a pose.
Cardinal sculpture at Benson Stadium.

A meditation maze on the side of a footpath.
Below is a photo of St. Brigid's Oak, a live oak tree that is approximately 600 years old, dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare (451-525 AD).
Live oak (Quercus virginiana)
"In Celebration of Children's Play," by Joe and Betty Frost.
"Classmates," by Paul Tadlock
1881 school insignia in walkway.

Below is the lovely Jordan Carillon Clock Tower. I got to hear it play music at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Jordan Carillon clock tower.
Stained glass as seen from inside the clock tower.
Another perspective.
George Washington Brackenridge Villa with sculpture.

From the university, the walk took me down Broadway just past the Witte (pronounced witty) Museum and into Brackenridge Park. I love walks in Brackenridge Park on tree-shaded trails. Here are photos of the park and surrounds.
Gate to the Witte Museum grounds.
The start of the San Antonio River.
Turtles sunning.
A photo from the old days taken in the San Antonio River.
The restaurant below looks like good place to eat. We'll have to try it. It's called Bombay Bicycle Club Grille.

Next destination in Brackenridge Park: the Chinese/Japanese Tea Garden. This garden is built on the site of an old quarry. Don't you just love all the rock work?

The Japanese Garden waterfalll
Japanese Garden Pavilion
The pond surrounded by rock work and filled with koi.

Koi polloi.
Another koi.
Lotus blossoming.
Lotus blossoms.
So, I'm walking along the trail toward the San Antonio Zoo. Off to my left, I see a wooden enclosure with two furry critters in it. At first I think it's a rabbit pen in the middle of nowhere. Didn't make sense. So I zoomed in and found that someone is feeding stray cats here. One of the cats spooked when I turned on my camera and beat feet out of there, but I was able to get a photo of one of them.

Stray cat feeding station.
Agave in bloom.
Dragonfly on water lily pad.
Water lily in bloom.
On the opposite side of the river people and their kids were feeding the ducks. The two youngsters below were as still as stone. I almost missed them. But when I zoomed in I realized they were ducklings. Beautiful!

The pattern of falling water.
Wilderness Trail in Brackenridge Park.
Grass seed pods in morning light.
I did this walk by myself. Even though it took two hours and 45 minutes (because of all the stops to take photos) to do 6.8 miles, it didn't feel near that long because of all the things to look at. When I'm out walking I'm always glad I got out and did it. It's so easy to stay inside in the air conditioning and watch movies, read magazines and blogs, but it's essential for me to exercise and enjoy the natural world. This particular walk is an excellent one to do on a summer morning. I like it hot, but I also like shade.

Travel Bug out.

The end.