Explorations

If you live where we live, in East Williamson County, Texas, you’d be hard-pressed to go far without seeing gigantic fields of corn.   Every growing season, they get my attention.  I tell myself to pass on by.   Then I don’t.   The way this crop spreads its wispy grace across the Blackland Prairie each year sucks me into its orbit.   No harvest photos yet, just cornfields in progress.   From Granger to Noack,  just visual explorations, friends. 

My Visual Therapy at the Rookery

You may grow weary of these posts from Taylor’s rookery, but if anything could be described as personal therapy via photography, it’s this. .   While it’s interesting to see these egrets (and the occasional heron) in their nesting areas, or in trees,  the thing that inspires me the most  is observing their aerial ballet performances.   It didn’t hurt to have some fine Texas skies surrounding them.   While the rookery is here year-round, once nesting season ends around  late-September, the population rapidly decreases.   I’ll still stop by, but for a few months, it’s really enthralling.  Since I wore a face mask, the one downside of these visits, smell, was lessened just a bit!

Texas

Although I’ve photographed this barn before, it recently merited another document, the Texas skies dimming above,  a recently-harvested field below,  made it worth another visit.   Texans are a showy bunch, but that’s fine by me.

Nothing But Skies

There’s nothing complicated tonight, friends.  Just some sweet Texas skies.   One is from Granger, where the old City Hall building stands out against a colorful sunset. The other, taken on this cloudy night, shows a Fed-X plane making its way over Taylor a little before 9p.m., likely en route to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.  

A Socially Distant Parade on the Fourth

This morning I covered a unique parade, hosted by the Georgetown Beard Club and Wilco Strong.  Because of concerns associated with the ongoing pandemic, Independence Day events throughout the country were cancelled, including the ones in Georgetown, Texas.   The hosts crafted a socially-distant parade, a caravan of cars, trucks and motorcycles that drove their vehicles past  area senior care and nursing facilities, including Wesleyan Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Wesleyan at Scenic and The Delaney at Georgetown Village.   Residents were able to come outside to watch thanks to the organizers considering safety first.    It’s been an unusual year.  My July 4th holidays have always been busy though.   I’m glad this one came together.

Sun and Moon (Finally)

The Saharan dust flying through Texas is great for sunsets, but after waiting for the haze to clear tonight for an almost-full moon, I’m irritable.   The moon finally made an appearance, about 75 minutes late.   At any rate, you have a sunset, plus two moon photos, one at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church cemetery, another by a cornfield.   I’ll sign off now.

Soaring Into the Record Books

A few years ago, I photographed Georgetown’s Al Blaschke as he went skydiving on his 100th birthday.  Now 103 (and a half!), he repeated the feat, this time, joined in the Texas sky by his 22-year-old twin grandsons, Jason and Kevin.   Today’s tandem jump celebrated the brothers’ graduation from college, Jason from Texas A&M, Kevin from my alma mater UT-Austin.   But there was another goal to achieve this time, becoming the world’s oldest tandem skydiver.  The record has been held by a 101-year-old from the United Kingdom.  The Guinness folks are awaiting today’s results, but it looks like Al’s on top once verification is made.   These photos were  taken at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos, located in Fentress, Texas.   The last photo shows Al’s friend,  Ernie Columbus, as he snaps a keepsake photo of his buddy.  Ernie recently took up skydiving on his 100th birthday earlier this year.   Best wishes to both Al and Ernie!   And to the new college graduates.

Documenting Slices of Life

Recently, a friend asked how I handled getting candid photos of children.  There’s no easy answer, especially in recent years.   When I first started taking these bits of life photos in the early-70s, people seemed much more trusting.    Tonight’s photos provide some real world examples from recent outings, one set as splash pads opened for the summer in Georgetown, the other, from Tuesday, as a dad and his sons enjoyed a fishing outing on the San Gabriel River.   In each case, I could’ve just started making photos, but in neither instance did it seem the right thing to do.  At the splash pad, I introduced myself  before making photos.  It didn’t mar the candid nature of the children’s fun.   At the river, I did start to take photos, but stopped to identify myself to dad, who was more than happy to oblige.   Granted, I was representing a newspaper for both situations.   That can work either for or against you.   The fishing outing went on without giving the camera a moment’s notice.   Sometimes, if there’s something happening that’s going to come and go quickly, I’ll shoot first, but then make sure parents or guardians are okay.  During recent protests, I honestly just take photos.  If adults bring their children along, they can anticipate photos being taken by many people with cameras.   It’s not easy in 2020, but showing the good side of childhood is not just cute, but important.