Tonight’s wanderings took me just ten minutes from home. My purpose for the visit was not the photos posted here. Those, hopefully, will come later. The clouds looked billowy, surrounded by a sweet blue sky. Completing the scene was a large aircraft. En route home, I stopped for a few shots of a barn I like. These days, the old structure seems to be getting overtaken by a quickly-growing tree. The fields around it are loaded with Spring crop planting. After a day filled with sinus issues, combined with our annual income tax appointment, photo therapy was a blessing.
Hopefully, I’m getting this right when calling this a lily. After identifying an evening primrose wildflower a winecup earlier this week, one must be careful. Tuesday’s walk took by this flower. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by to ask for permission to photograph it. The lady was more than happy to oblige.
We’re expecting possible stormy weather tonight in Central Texas. As I wandered around the Blackland Prairie tonight, clouds were already making an appearance, partially covering the sun a little bit before sunset. After a night of storms, Wednesday morning skies were expected to clear. Hopefully, folks will fare well this evening, but I do like the moodiness of these images. Be safe.
Here’s a few photos taken tonight in and around Taylor, Texas, including (again) baby ducks, this time at Murphy Park, a gaggle of geese, also at Murphy Park. And winecup wildflowers, delicate and sweet. The winecup closeups are at Murphy Park, while the grouping is along a farmer’s field just west of town. And there’s a windmill, too. There will always be windmills around here.
The bluebonnets are in bloom! Tonight I moseyed over to Palm Valley Lutheran Church in Round Rock. The field in front was filled with wildflowers, even a few Indian Blankets. When I finished my photo session, I met a very nice family taking their own photos. After taking a a few shots with their camera, I took a few of them, too. Spring brings pollen, but also a bit of Texas sweetness.
These new crop of ducklings was my original intention the other day when stopping at Taylor’s Bull Branch Park. For those new to my posts, Taylor is all about ducks. Our parks are full of them. The high school mascot is a duck. There are duck crossing signs on some of our streets. People stop for ducks here. One of the rites of Spring around here are the ducklings. The mother ducks usually do not like it when I encroach. My approach is to stay as far away as possible. It’s all good.
En route to the grocery store this week, I stopped by Taylor’s Bull Branch Park. During my daily walks, I’d been noticing baby ducklings in abundance. While those were evident on this visit (more later on that), my interest quickly turned to this dad on a little fishing outing with his 6-year-old son. The pair stayed well beyond sundown. They were using night crawler worms, a good bait for this little stream. The little guy hasn’t quite mastered the technique of placing his worms on the hook. Thank goodness, dad was there to provide guidance where needed.
Something simple this evening, folks, just a youngster peddling home from Taylor Regional Park a few minutes after sunset. Taylor, a bit over 15,000 population, still retains a small-town feel. Sometimes, children can do things like we kids used to do back in the day.
Last week, on Saint Patrick’s Day, Turner Classic Movies was airing “The Quiet Man,” with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, a movie which came out in 1952, the year of my birth. On Facebook, I happened to mention I was watching it, while remembering photographing Mr. Wayne on December 16, 1978, at the Independence Bowl football game in Shreveport. Wayne was there to receive the bowl’s Omar N. Bradley Spirit of Independence award. The game matched up East Carolina against Louisiana Tech, but on that cold, cloudy and otherwise dreary afternoon, my attention was squarely on the Duke. Not many people impress me, but Wayne was one who did. It has nothing to do with his political leanings, different from mine as can be, but rather his character, strength and God-given talent. What an impressive man he was. On the day of the game, Wayne, who’d been quite public about his lung and stomach cancer, looked happy, but weary, too. Even though the game was on the field, most of the stadium’s eyes were on him. So were mine. If memory serves, I probably missed most of the first quarter, snapping away at the legend. Close to the end of the quarter, as nicely as he could, Wayne asked “Son, don’t you have enough photos yet?” Not wanting to add to his pain, I answered “Yessir,” and went back to recording the game. Forgive the quality of the photos, taken with Kodak Ektachrome transparency film, not known to do well in poor light. The Duke had plenty of personnel there to run interference. Few people got close that day, but one little girl, wearing a red jacket, must’ve had connections. She got to meet him, if only briefly. She’s the last photo in this post, but in the big crowd shot before it, you see her again, watching intently. This was among Wayne’s last public appearances. In accepting the bowl’s award, Wayne said “You may find a man more worthy to honor, but you’ll never find one so grateful.” He died the following June. There aren’t many like him around today.
At certain times of the year, usually from January-March, the shadows seem more pronounced. When photographing fellow humans, that can often be a negative, but not necessarily for landscape and nature work. I’ve recently taken notice of barns’ proximity to trees, and the shadows they leave. The first photo in this grouping reads much better in color, but mostly I’m partial to black and white for this subject matter. One of these barns seems awfully-bright in the late-day light, its reds almost overpowering. Maybe (assuming you like it at all) black and white strips things down in a good way. I’m ambivalent about it. The last image? Well, that’s just a nice tree, surrounded by a whole lot of Blackland Prairie.