On Tuesday, I spent the morning at Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park for summer day camp fun with counselors and kids taking part in one of Camp Peniel’s summer camps. Camp Peniel is a camp founded in the 1940s in East Texas. In 1960, they found a new home base, in Marble Fallls, Texas. While they have camps onsite, at their Silver Hills Ranch, in the summer months, camps are offered in other parts of Central Texas, too. Camp Peniel was founded on Christian principles by Gordon and Alice Whitelock. Although their time on earth is done, their camp continues. The counselors, by the way, are very good at soothing any distress that may come.
Rain moved into Wiliamson County, Texas late this afternoon, quite a bit of it. The roads were pretty slick, even the less-traveled ones, like County Road 127, shown in this post. And a corn field looked interesting through my car window, too.
Early Saturday morning my cameras and I made a short drive to Coupland, for Fish–a-Rama, a low-key fishing tournament for both children and adults, taking photos for the Austin American-Statesman. Thankfully, a bit of cloud cover made it a pleasant time. Fish-a-Rama was held at Brushy Creek Watershed #32, a privately-owned lake very near downtown. This was billed as a “catch-and-keep” event because the little lake will be drained soon so that renovations can be made to its dam. Members of the Coupland Civic Organization, a non-profit group, saw the lake’s draining as an opportunity to raise a little money for upkeep and maintenance of the town’s historic caboose and depot. It was a lot of fun to watch the little folks, but also the old folks, too!
As the headline indicates, I’m anything but a cowboy. In 60-something years, I’ve only been on a horse’s back a couple of times. Pointed-toe cowboy boots with big heels? I’ve had a few pair, but only wore them to fit in. I’m more a Crocs or running shoe type of fellow, or maybe a good hiking boot. And cowboy hats just get in the way when trying to take photos. But here’s the thing. I do love rodeo. As a kid growing up in Texarkana, it was so much fun to visit the Four States Fair & Rodeo every September. The atmosphere at traditional rodeo arenas is intoxicating. If you don’t think rodeo cowboys (and cowgirls) aren’t athletes, think again. They work very hard, often for very little reward. Thus it was grand fun once again to visit the Williamson County Sheriffs Posse Rodeo, in Georgetown, Texas for my friends at the Williamson County Sun. Rodeo may not have begun in Texas, but we’ve come close to perfecting it.
After completing an assignment in Coupland, Texas Saturday for the Austin American-Statesman, the cloud patterns above the village caught my eye. Today, the community in East Williamson County has, according to most recent census figures, a population of 298. Keeping the landscape intact, at left, is St. Peter’s Church, formed in 1890 by German and Swiss families. At the turn of the 20th Century, Coupland was bustling, with 25 businesses, including several doctors, pharmacies, garages and the Coupland Inn. The Inn (and dance hall) are once again going strong. The red brick structure at right is the inn. Areas around Coupland have been used in a number of films, including one I like a lot, “Secondhand Lions.” As with many of my posts, don’t look for a heavy dose of news value, just my rambling impressions.
Today’s post are truly ramblings. I left Georgetown, with no GPS set and just wandered (or rambled) along County Roads I’ve not explored. Along County Road 327 there were nice windmills, and plenty of corn fields. Nearing Granger, which I didn’t know at the time, I spotted a cow having an afternoon snack, with a friend on her back. She seemed oblivious. The egret, however, decided to take flight just after this photo was taken. An interesting tidbit about the cow’s location …. a Google search to pinpoint the road also indicated that road was the same one as the house used in the movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” I’ll be going back to see it again, from the road, of course.
For various reasons, last night was another restless one. At times, no matter what I do, sleep won’t come. And when it does, I still wake up. What’s a fellow to do? Fortunately, there’s photography! After being mostly awake since 3:30, I finally gave up around 5:30, threw on some clothes, grabbed the cameras and made it to Murphy Park’s rookery. It’s a very active place this time of year. The birds are nesting and bringing new avian life into our world. The first photo was taken a little before 6a.m. Dawn was still a half hour away. The full moon continued its presence in the clear sky, dappled with shades of gray, blue and magenta. For an hour, I trudged around the little lake, first with a tripod, then free-form as the light level expanded. Right before leaving, however, I noticed something very melancholy … under the park’s little gazebo, a man slept. My guess? He has no other place to go. Even in a town of 15,000, many people live on the edge, experiencing pain we don’t understand. It’s something to think about, it really is.
Summer has begun. Tonight, in Jonah, Texas, horses frolic in a field near the end of a long bit of daylight, the longest day of the year.
Spring said goodbye to us last evening, prompting one more visit to the Blackland Prairie with my camera, and a new lens, too. The lens seems to work fine, thank goodness. It’s all too expensive, this camera gear. I’m surprised anyone can stay afloat unless they have a large reserve of funds, or well-off family members. But I digress! In addition to a lovely field of thriving corn along County Road 417, we were graced with a wonderful moon, mostly full. A vertical image in this post was taken along County Road 419, above yet another field of corn. We have it in abundance this year. After tossing in the obligatory moon closeup, this post concludes with one more moon photo, along F.M. 1331. It’s funny, but I’d not noticed the old barn’s tin roof before. It’s an easy one to miss, but it’s there. And now, so is summer.
Juneteenth is celebrated all over the world, but it has its roots in Texas. On Saturday in Georgetown, the Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association held its 64th annual observance. I photographed the celebration again this year for my friends at the Williamson County Sun. There was speechifying, singing, dancing, eating, and remembrance. In attendance were 94-year-olds, but on the other end of the spectrum, the very young, like a dad sharing a dance with his 9-month-old son. It was a good day.