Our Mini Oasis

by PammyMcB

DJ and I went for a drive in order to take a walk in a park. We ended up in the section of Cal Young Park on the other side of the creek than what is normally frequented by patrons. What we found was astounding, a beautiful mini-oasis. Here lives thousands of butterflies, bees, dragonflies, locust, and wasps among many other invertebrates. We listened as the locust and birds sung their songs. The rustling of brush allowed us to guess there small mammals living within the brush. Who would have ever thought that there could be such a peaceful place untouched by man in the middle of the city? Who would of ever guessed that there would be a lush oasis in the center of a dried up drought ridden ecosystem? I wouldn’t have. Below are some photos of what we were lucky enough to find.

Sunflower and Bee
Ecosystem
Rose Mallow
Dragon Fly
 Trumpet Creeper
Hornet
Plains Coreopsis is part of the sunflower family.
Cedar Creek
Allium
What a Web
Texas Bluebells

Original Photography by
©Pamela N. Brown

DJ and I walked through our mini oasis, with me snapping pictures all the while. Memories of playing at the creek bed in Haskell seeped through the vestiges of my mind. I remembered leech filled legs after catching tadpoles. The prizes outweighed the pain of feeling the little bloodsuckers pulled from my tender flesh. I was reminded of exploring every little plant, every little flower, and every little creature. DJ reveled in the joy of watching my face light up when I discovered something new to photograph.

We further explored the overgrown park, and found several city blocks where buildings once stood, but now crumbling concrete is barely noticeable due to being overgrown with brush. We made our way to a trail that snaked around the creek bed when I noticed something that I had not seen since a child. The home next to ours in Haskell, which would be the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark, had a large Horse Apple tree that dropped its fruit over the fence and into our yard. We knew as children not to eat the fruit from the tree, but we did play with the hard fruit by playing catch with the Clark’s grandchildren and one another. Very seldom did the sisters leave the Clark’s yard, but Jay frequented our home on a regular basis. I believe the younger sister was named Katie. The older sister’s name escapes me although she was my favorite of the three. I knew no one as eccentric and fun to be around as she. I made DJ pull over, so I could show him the horse apples. DJ said that he had never heard of such fruit and always thought that horse apples were horse poop. I find it amusing how different our language can be depending what part of the country you are from.

Horse Apples (Osage-orange/Hedge Apple)

Original Photography by
©Pamela N. Brown

DJ drove further along the trail where we saw such a pristine wilderness. Trees were downed across the trail in places. The creek was in full shade from the canopy of the trees that stretched high above us. A large mammal scurried across the trail and up a tree. The creature was so quick that I was unable to determine what I had seen, and DJ did not see the creature at all. I was astounded that this area is located in the middle of our city.

DJ and I exited the park, and we made our way around to the downtown area. We came across the new addition to Evermans Park, The Cat in the Hat. We walked around the park, and I photographed the statue, fountain, and new plants and flowers. I also photographed the sweater knitted for the the historical marker at the park.

Evermans Park

Original Photography by
©Pamela N. Brown

DJ and I decided to head back toward home as the day had grown hot, and the bright sun continued to scorch the earth.

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