Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stopping to Look Around On a Really Nice Day.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex now sprawls over at least seven large counties. We have more than seven million people and umpteen area codes, but we also are spread out some. Public transportation has improved to sucky. It used to be more or less nonexistent.

For years, I would pass the lettuce farm on both sides of I35, less than a mile from the downtown skyscrapers. Whole working ranches--some measuring in sections, not acres--are surrounded by new housing and strip malls that have sprung up to support the 300+ people that move in every day.

In short, we have a lot of rural in our cityplex. Acreage of beef cows, and increasingly goats, are scattered about. Some mighty fine horses get raised here. I have three neighbors in one block who raise a few chickens. Just enough for the family and to sell a dozen or five every week.

The late, very wet spring followed by the intense 18 days of above 100-degree heat, made for the poor tomato crop this summer, but the fall crops are coming along.

Okra and black-eyed peas are re-invigorated and producing again.

I've seen 100 degrees in October, but about three weeks ago, an unusually cool wave of air came along and hasn't really left yet. This is the last week of the State Fair in Dallas, which started Sept. 24. The weather has mostly stayed in the 70s and 80s. If attendance is off this year, it's the economy, not the weather. Nigh perfect. Texans loves to fry just about everything at the fair, but I am still a fool for the corny dogs, funnel cake and Belgian waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.

We have a bumper crop of ragweed this fall, which really needs a more useful purpose than spiking antihistimine sales.. The silvery doveweed was plentiful this year, too, and in the early mornings and evenings I've heard the shotguns in the neighboring fields as hunters test themselves against the wily, fast dovebirds in flight. Even in the so-called city, the country intrudes.

I doubt most city dwellers go out to get the morning paper, sniff, and look around to see if the passing skunk is still around like its aroma.

A couple of years ago, drinving to Fort Worth from Denton,I saw a large buck bound across the road foom the thin greenbelt on one side to the greenbelt on the other. Wild turkeys hide out, too.

Life is busy right now, but I try to stop, look around and smile at folks who, like me, are just enjoying an ordinary day in the land of North Texas.

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