"Hello... My name is Nancy!"
It was another one of those wickedly hot days in Texas but, nonetheless, my passion for photography got the best of me and I just had to go out and shoot something.
My go-to "happy place" is White Rock Lake as there is always something to photograph and I can be certain of finding a variety of birds at Sunset Bay. Being a weekday and the thermometer soaring to the triple digits, there were not many people there when I arrived.
I proceeded to the dock and shot way too many images of a young egret fishing. But then again, it is hard to know what will and will not work based on shutter speed and timing. Yes, I got lots of deletes but thought this was fun as he plunged his head into the water.
I saw some children along the shoreline feeding the ducks, so I headed that way. Not only were there ducks and geese and the lonely swan but there was also a coot and luck must have been on my side as I got this shot... one of my better coot photos.
Pretty soon I hear a voice say... "Hello! My name is Nancy. What are you doing?"
I turned away from my camera to meet this lovely young girl who just introduced herself and I then introduced myself and told her I was taking pictures of the birds. By then the rest of the kids had gathered round and she introduced me to her little brother, sister and also her friend.
It was apparent that Nancy loves nature... and loves animals, in general. She even made the comment to me that she wished everyone would appreciate nature. I instantly liked her and had such respect for her feelings! How is it that she has become so sensitive to the beauty around us at such a young age? This was actually the first time she has been to White Rock Lake and it was quite obvious that she was enjoying every minute of it and seemed quite knowledgable about animals she has seen and read about. She even reminded her little brother not to litter. I was so impressed! What an ambassador for all the critters out there, and for the earth.
We sat on a stone at the side of the lake chatting and watched the egret, ducks, dragonflies, minnows, geese, swan, pigeons and coot. Her friend called out in excitement when she saw a turtle poke his head out of the water. What good eyes to have caught that and it took a bit of looking before Nancy and I saw him too.
I asked the children how to say butterfly in Spanish... mariposa. And bird... pájaro. Turtle... tortuga. They laughed as I tried to repeat the words and as I attempted to "roll" my "r's"! How fortunate that they are growing up biliingual. It will serve them well in life.
Her little brother sat on the ground by the side of the lake and was folding a couple leaves together and in his eyes... he saw a dragon! With that he pushes it towards me and makes a loud roar, and we all laughed! And yes... it definitely did resemble a dragon!
(No batteries required!)
I told Nancy about the nature shows on KERA and she became so excited saying that she watches them too! She has been to the Dallas Zoo several times when they had Dollar Day and loves seeing the animals there. Once again I marveled at her passion for the animals.
It was then that I told her about the plaque imbedded in the concrete by the bench near where we were sitting. I told her about Robert Renfro... and how he liked to come to the lake nearly every day to feed the ducks and how he had died and this plaque and bench were put there in his honor. I also told her about Wilbur the Goose who was also remembered on that plaque. Poor Wilbur somehow mysteriously disappeared and was never seen again. With that, the children ran to the bench to read the plaque and then sit on the bench. Suddenly this bench had so much more meaning to them... and they were so respectful!
As I was preparing to leave for the day, I went over to Nancy's mother and told her how much I enjoyed visiting with the children and that she was to be commended for raising children so sensitive and appreciative of the beauty in nature. I asked if I might take a photo of the children and as she fixed the little sister's hat, I asked if she too would like to be in the photo... and yes, she would. I tried to keep them out of the glaring sun and got a couple shots. Nancy is in the middle, back row.
With that, Nancy's mom asked if she might take a photo of me with the children. She pulled out her cell phone and was nearly ready to snap the photo when she realized my hat was shading my face and asked me to take it off. When I did, my sweaty head of hair must have been a bit unruly and to much laughter, Nancy put it in place! Hahaha! The children gathered round and we got a photo taken of our special day at the lake and our new found friendship.
I gave them my card and said if they could have someone in the family with a computer e-mail me, that I would be more than happy to send some photos their way. Sadly, I do not believe that they have a computer as Nancy said she uses the one at the library. Bravo to the library for this service! I will post my favorites here in hopes that someone might get in touch with me and I can share our story.
I waved good-bye and thanked them for a nice day and with that Nancy runs over and gives me a big hug! You all made my day out in the heat so extra special!
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