Spring in the Parks

The weather finally cooperated on the weekend for us here in Oxford, and we had two straight days of mostly sunny and 60 degrees.  Chelsea and I did have to go in to work this weekend, but it was only for a short amount of time, and because of where we live, we got to cut through the University Parks just North of the science corridor.  On our way back through the parks we took a longer path than normal, and even managed to do some reading on Saturday.

I have made it a point to find a couple favorite trees at all three of the universities I have lived at, and then followed these trees during the various seasons.  On one of our extended walks through the Parks, I found two good candidate trees for my favorites here in Oxford.  Here is one of them:

I find the picture above to be a little disappointing actually.  I have yet to completely master our point-and-shoot Canon, and don’t know how to better capture this tree.  This is not the largest or the oldest tree around, but I like it because its long branches extend almost all the way around it right down to the ground, including right over the path around the Parks.  I can’t wait for its leaves to develop, because when we run along said path, we basically run underneath the tree umbrella.

We also found a few little ponds full of all kinds of ducks and water birds.  The diversity of birds seen here was pretty neat and at one of the ponds we counted 10 different kinds of them.  I managed to take a few pictures of them above, including a really cool looking blue-headed mallard.  (Don’t worry Dad, I’m putting together a collection of birds for you to identify for us.)

We even saw a giant hot-air balloon overhead.  To give you an idea how big this thing really was, I estimate that the “basket” on the bottom is actually more like the size of a city bus.

We hear that May is actually some of the best weather of the year here, because we get sunshine without all that annoying rain England is so well known for.  We sure hope to enjoy it.

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