Not much needs to be said about these photos taken this evening outside Granger, Texas. Spring has come to the Blackland Prairie. It’s a time for wildflowers, of course, but also a time when the farming life ramps up even more. That tractor is dormant right now, but not for long. While I don’t look forward to the coming warmer months, what we have right now is just fine, thank you. In fact, it’s all fine.
These photographs were made possible by a new, but good friend whose name I will not mention here for fear of getting on her bad side. Tonight’s photos are at Bartlett’s First United Methodist Church, a grand old structure, both inside and out. The texture of the dark wood in the sanctuary is joyful to see. The pews are original. A little history, perhaps? The first part of the church, on the left side of this opening photo, was completed in 1896. The rest came along in 1912. In drives through Bartlett, I’ve wanted a closer look. Thanks to my friend, that look came true. Thank you. And please don’t be mad, but I had to include you in one image.
While photographing some other residents of this field north of Granger last evening, a brief, but very strong rain moved across the prairie. Before you feel sorry for these cows, just know that an enclosure was very close by. They weren’t in the least bothered by it at all. A longhorn who shares this field, however, headed straight for cover. Maybe longhorns are smarter. I’d like to think so.
This is just a collection of photos taken last night and this evening. That big old tree is one I’ve been trying to get a good photograph of for several years. Is it an oak? If so, what kind? It spreads its wings in an East Williamson County field. Even when crops are planted, it commands presence, but it’s a tough subject to document. Also from last night, one with storms on the horizon, a sun begins its descent. Then from tonight, while I was waiting on something else to come to fruition, a white horse lazily grazed in a field north of Granger, oblivious to the gathering clouds above. Just stuff, friends.
Last night, when I went rambling around, I hadn’t expected to find wildflowers this early in the season, but driving along a road traveled pretty often, I saw a hint of blue on a hill to my left. A closer look let me know it was our state flower, bluebonnets. For a few seconds, I drove on past, then it hit me …. turn around, fool! What I found there was not just wildflowers, and lilies, but a very old cemetery on that hill. The flowers seemed to be embracing those headstones. The latest burials, from what I could read on the markers, were in the 1870s. Is this a family cemetery? I don’t know since there were no signs, nor any “no trespassing” signs posted. My biggest fear, of course, was snakes. The visual curiosity won out and I stepped lightly, carefully, into the cemetery. There I found not just bluebonnets, but white lilies, another sure sign of the coming season. So here’s a few for you, friends.
This whole thing about photos taken with cell phones is something I’m mentally working through my old noodle. For a long time there’s been a hole in my picture-taking when on those daily walks. I don’t walk very fast (purposely), but stay out for a long time, usually about two hours or more. After searching for something small, something that would fit in my pocket, I decided to try my inexpensive Motorola Moto smartphone. These are some of the photos taken this week while on those strolls. If you see kids in some, it’s because we’re in spring break week. So far, the cameras on phones won’t do what I need for “serious” work. While they do zoom, they don’t do it well. They don’t perform well in low light, most of them don’t shoot RAW files (yet), but in the end, they are a tool at my disposal. Maybe I’ll upgrade to a better phone, or get a pocket-friendly point-and-shoot camera, but for now, I’m playing with this idea. Never let it be said I’m not subject to change. Call these townscapes.
Try as I might, Taylor’s rookery at Murphy Park is one of those places I’ll return to time and time again. At only a mile from home, it’s a simple jaunt. I’m thankful it’s so close because the therapy received from observing the meanderings of ducks, egrets, cormorants, geese and the occasional heron is one of my most calming pastimes. While trolling the Blackland Prairie is rewarding, many of those images are hard to come by because of their locations. With the rookery, I can park my car, load up the gear … and watch. People can be standing right next to me and it’s as if they don’t exist. Not that I don’t like them, mind you, but meditation is meditation.
These are from tonight in Coupland, Texas, a little community of around 300 people a few miles south of our home in Taylor, Williamson County, Texas. After the obligatory sunset, you have differing versions of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, built in 1905 and 1906. If you look closely at the first church image, you might notice a large aircraft, which we can assume is making its approach into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The final two were taken right up until the time there was little light left in the sky. The stained glass windows in the last one were the deciding factor to include that one, even though the focus is a little soft!
Isn’t Princess beautiful? She’s a sweet girl. She was born August 7, 2010. Her daddy was KJH Lonestar Warrior, her mama was CWR Minnie’s Pearl. She belongs to a good friend who lives north of Granger, but south of Bartlett. Princess graciously shares her pasture with other cows, even a few donkeys. Mostly, she’s camera-shy, but on this particular day, she was open to a few photos. I’ll start this post with a black-and-white photo of her, one I happen to like a lot.
Debating which direction to wander tonight, east seemed good. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in Wuthrich Hill, is east. Just a short drive to something beautiful on this peaceful Monday evening. Different views, different light.