I have an affection for dirt roads. Sure, they’re rough and tumble. If it rains, they get really messy. But they have character. When growing up in Texarkana in the 50s and 60s, we had them everywhere. During my 29 years in Atlanta, Georgia, however, I watched as dirt roads faded, replaced by asphalt and concrete. We have a few left in my part of Central Texas. This post is one of those, nestled away in East Williamson County. One of the reasons to drive this road is to see if an ancient farmhouse still stands. Thankfully, it’s there. Much has disappeared in our area since we came home in 2009. Old homes and barns I used to see are just gone. This leaning farmhouse will probably leave us, too. A road sign indicates the speed limit on this road is 40 mph. There’s no way you want to go that fast. And why would you want to?
A little scene tonight at Taylor’s Bull Branch Park, a Waxing Crescent moon, just 4.1% visibility, hovering overhead. The wider photos were aided by a handy tripod. Night moves.
Two photos close to home tonight, a little east of town. The opening shot is one of my favorite old farmhouses. I never see any sign of activity there, but occasionally an RV is parked nearby. Thankfully, when a rainbow briefly appeared, the RV was gone. The other photo is from last night, a long barn that’s always intrigued me. Like that house, I never see activity here, but no matter. It’s eye-catching. Both the house and barn are visible now since the fields in front of them have been harvested.
From recent visits to Coupland, Texas, a ten-minute drive south of our Taylor home. Included are an evening scene focused on St. Peter’s Church of Coupland. The other photo are some four-legged town residents enjoying a late-summer breeze in their pasture just east of town.
Mager Cemetery is a place I find myself going pretty often. I like the Beyersville area quite a lot. The rapid of pace of development seems to be slower here. This cemetery speaks to that. On this recent visit, there was a nice sunset, but also a few colorful patches of flowers. I’m not sure if they’re considered wildflowers. My sense is they sprout from bulbs. I mostly see them sprouting in late-summer yards in our area, but it’s not unusual to find them growing along the roadside, or in beautiful places of rest like this. I’d be curious if these blooms have a name. Some smart person will tell me. While not bluebonnets, they’re a mighty welcome sight in these unsettled times.
Just a few photos from a recent visit to Bartlett, Texas, 20-minutes north of our Taylor home. I don’t know the town’s population now, but the last census had it around 1600. It resides in both Williamson and Bell Counties, a little over 50 miles northeast of Austin. It was another opportunity to try out my new tripod. Slow shutter speeds, low ISO.
These are some leftover photos from a recent cloudy evening when I was rambling a little east of Granger, Texas. Clouds and stormy skies can sometimes give us warm imagery. I didn’t want to file this without sharing a little more from that outing.
As mentioned a few times, I don’t normally post specifically-local things here, or on social media, but some subjects, like children, are universal. This morning, I spent a few hours at Market Days, held on the square in Georgetown, Texas. Socially-distanced vendors encompassed the town center, doing their best to keep a positive focus in these hard times. As I was getting ready to leave, this delightful 2-year-old, enjoying a frozen treat on a warm late-summer day got my attention. While photos of kids might be considered “cute”, I like to see beyond that word. Struggling publications, looking for important topics, would do well to listen to their readers.
This year’s Memorial Stair Climb, held at Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field, was scaled down because of the ongoing pandemic. But September 11, 2001 was remembered by a few first responders in this Central Texas city. The stadium opened before dawn. There was no formal ceremony this time. Unlike past climbs, participants were spaced well apart. Each year the climb remembers the sacrifice made by New York firefighters and police officers as they climbed the stairs in the twin towers. A number didn’t make it out. I thought about how the kids at an elementary school photographed yesterday probably don’t know about 9/11. One who does, however, is 3-year-old Micah, who joined his firefighter dad during the walk. When he grows up, says dad, Micah wants to be a firefighter, too.
Online study began August 20th for students in the Georgetown (TX) Independent School District. This morning, staff, teachers and students entered the next phase with in-person classes. I visited Williams Elementary School for their first day. Williams, along with Wolf Ranch Elementary, is a brand-new school. A number of families will continue with remote learning for a while. It was nice to see children and families taking part. The principal, adding to her many duties, was in front before sunrise, placing traffic cones. The pandemic has changed how we do things. I’ve been documenting the start of school since the early-1970s, but circumstances bring caution. At Williams, everyone is required to wear a mask. There are hand sanitizing stations everywhere. In classrooms, children are more widely-spaced. A dad dropping off his third grader lowered his mask just long enough to plant a kiss before his young lady headed for her class, the mask quickly put back in place.
Parents aren’t allowed to come into the school for goodbyes. One of the teachers acted as a greeter, opening her arms for “air hugs” as kids came inside. I hope we get to return to normalcy someday, but completely understand the need for stepping lightly.