These are just some photos I took while wandering around a little earlier this week. The skies were looking pretty nice. There was even a rainbow, but I never got the image I sought for that. The old truss bridge is one I’ve spent a lot of time around. It’s no longer in service, but I like that it’s still here. Another thought about light …. the photo of the old-growth pecan trees was taken at a wonderful time of the day. The bark was glowing orange and the grass below had a nice resonance, too. Don’t even ask, friends. It is not manipulated by me. God takes the credit here. The last photo? It was about a mile from home. I almost passed it up in a rush to call it a night, but in the far distance, you could see sheets of rain along with the clouds. It was a good conclusion to a nice night. By the way, does anyone else notice the face in the clouds in the bridge photo?
As old photos go, this one’s not that old, taken in 1997 during my tenure at the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Emmy, a 5-year-old Exotic cat, gets bathed in preparation for the Cotton States Cat Club’s 59th Annual Cat Fancier’s Association Cat Show. It was amazing to see this kitty submit to this feline indignity. She did not look happy.
I think it was early last year when I visited this pasture just north of Taylor. In fact, it may have been this very horse, but there are several horses stabled here so I’m not sure. This one’s a little different, with some late-day dark clouds hovering above. At any rate, it’s always a nice thing when a white horse places itself so nicely in a dark area!
Sunday afternoon I stayed pretty close to home, not leaving the Taylor city limits. About mid-afternoon, a storm system rolled through our area. Since storms are pretty interesting, I hopped in the car for a look around, ending up in front of a huge grain elevator at Williamson County Grain. If you follow my posts, you know I go on about how changing light will transform most anything. Around 3pm, when I took the first photo, that grain elevator looked regal. When I stopped by again, about 3 hours later, the sun’s rays fading away, it looked completely different. On the way home from that evening excursion, I stopped in downtown Taylor to admire the windows at the McCrory-Timmerman building. It’s interesting (at least to me) how the west-facing window on the left in the final images reflects the warmth of the setting sun, while the windows at right, facing south, take on a cool blue set of tones.
I’ve always found it nice when folks find some way to hold onto historic structures in their community. Since moving to Taylor, Texas in 2009, I’ve admired the Old Taylor High building on 7th Street. It’s been used by several non-profits for a number of years, but its future had been uncertain until Cliff and Kaitlin Olle purchased it from the school district. Renovation is ongoing for multiple uses, including apartments and retail space. Thankfully, some of the non-profits who’ve been tenants, like Meals on Wheels, will remain. The school opened in 1923, finally closing its doors in 1969. The gymnasium, a Works Progress Administration project, was added in 1936. An annex came along in 1956. I’m told the lockers will remain, which is kind of neat. My favorite part of the structure is its 900-seat auditorium. What a grand space! Not all old buildings are worth holding onto, but this school is a classic … and a gem.
Last evening I covered the first of two nights of the annual Taylor Rodeo. What I love about the Taylor Rodeo are many things … among them is that the arena is only two miles from my house! And Taylor is the home of Bill Pickett, an African-American who invented bulldogging, also known as steer wrestling. But here’s what I wonder. Why are rodeos a summer sport? It was so dang hot last night! Without researching the matter, my assumption is that rodeo must have its roots somewhere up around the Rockies. You know, a really cold place in winter. But here in the Southwest, it seems like a great sporting endeavor meant for our more relaxed winter climate (except for the Panhandle, that is). But I digress. The Taylor Rodeo, whenever you hold it, is a fine, well-organized event, drawing cowboys, and fans, from all over. Here are a few photos I took for the Williamson County Sun, including the obligatory action shots, but some Mutton Bustin’ and Steer Saddling, too. In case you’re wondering, Steer Saddling is when a team enters the arena with a cow, then proceeds to put a saddle on the critter, then ride it. It was a bunch of fun. Except, of course, for the heat.
One of my wandering little adventures this week took me a few miles north, to the area around Granger. The only “theme” to this collection of images is proximity to that community of just over 1400 in East Williamson County, Texas. The session ended over Granger Lake at sundown, a good place to finish up a bit of summer rambling.
In the early 1980s, during my time at the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, I had the opportunity to visit with this Atlanta doctor as he gave a 3-year-old the news that the little boot-wearing fellow would have to have a few stitches to fix that boo boo on his head. On Facebook, I rail quite a bit about what’s wrong with healthcare in the United States. The economics of healthcare today is terrible. And most doctors I’ve come in contact with have an incredible God complex. But this young doctor had a grand bedside manner. We need more like him.
While I try to hold back on posting too much of the same subject matter, the rookery at Murphy Park in Taylor, when the area is active, is a place of peace and relief. This week, I got up before dawn for an early-morning look. The first photo was taken then. The rest of the images were made about 13 hours later on the same day. A story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week was interesting, about egrets nesting in neighborhoods there, creating quite a mess. Local folks in Taylor tell me the egrets have also dropped a lot of poop on their yards and homes, too, but I haven’t heard much about that recently. They are a protected species. Despite their drawbacks, I do enjoy seeing them. As always, it’s therapy.
Last evening the clouds in East Williamson County, Texas looked ready to drop a load of rain on our fields. Alas, it didn’t happen, but the skies around here looked mighty fine. The first photo is Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, sitting regally on its hill in Wuthrich Hill. The other is a long barn passed from time to time.