Part of my Saturday last weekend was spent at Georgetown’s I.O.O.F. Cemetery, where a group gathered for a small ceremony to rededicate a Confederate Cross of Honor for Civil War veteran George Washington Glasscock, Jr. Glasscock was the son of the city’s namesake. Recently, the cemetery, the final resting place for a number of Civil War veterans, was vandalized, specifically, it seems, targeting these graves. Richard Brewer, a San Antonio resident and ancestor to the Glasscock family, led an effort to rededicate a cross here. A small group gathered here on this cloudy Saturday afternoon.
This past week, for whatever reason, my cameras have led me to fields of corn the past few days. It does seem to be a very good year for corn. These few photos were taken on Wednesday and Thursday night. I won’t promise to stop presenting corn images. If the mood moves me that way, so be it. Cows wandering into the frame don’t hurt, either.
We had a whole lot of rain in Central Texas, beginning late Wednesday and continuing through much of Thursday. By day’s end, everything was looking wonderful, particularly in Jonah, Texas, a rural dot in the landscape I often pass on my way to (or from) Taylor. The corn crops are looking grand this year. The moon always looks good. On the way home Thursday, a little before 8p.m., that lovely orb made itself known in the eastern sky. I really wanted to get on home, but the scene begged for attention. So I stopped for a few minutes to take it all in, in both color and monotone. It’s all good.
Just a quick post here, from last evening. The San Gabriel River overflowed its banks at County Road 100, just east of Georgetown. The skies, however, looked pretty nice after the rain moved on.
It’s interesting, this profession I’ve embraced for 44 years. Much of the work I’ve done comes with the added to need to actually gather information …. names, circumstances, places, etc. It’s fun, then, to sometimes be freed of that responsibility, like when photographing wild animals in nature. I don’t have to ask them questions, get the spelling of their names right, or ask where they live. Yesterday afternoon was kind of like that. I had gone to Georgetown to visit a friend who wanted to share how my work was displayed in her office (very nice, by the way). After our visit, I determined to wander around and look for photos of any high water resulting from a long spate of heavy rain. I took a short drive to Chandler Park, adorned with a lovely waterfall flowing on part of the San Gabriel River. As I drove over the bridge approaching the park, a Great Blue Heron was standing atop the fall, no doubt angling for fresh fish. Once the car was parked, I assumed she’d be long gone, but no, she was a persistent bird. I spent about thirty or so minutes watching her work. She didn’t find a fish while I observed, the high and rushing water presenting an added challenge to her hunt. A few people at the park stopped to watch, too, pointing their camera phones at the heron. Watching the bird was a simple task. No muss, no fuss. Sometimes, the camera, and its operator, go on autopilot. And we don’t take names.
It’s amazing that I’ve gone through a 40-plus year career in photojournalism and never attended a beauty pageant. The stars aligned Saturday as I covered the Miss Georgetown Scholarship Pageant, held at Carver Elementary School. These photos were taken for the Williamson County Sun. Ten girls put their best foot forward to vie for the honor of becoming Miss Georgetown 2016. There was even a small portion of the two-hour program devoted to young men, culminating in a Master Georgetown 2016 winner, too! But mostly, it was a contest for young ladies. This was the 28th year for the pageant, which awards college scholarships to the contenders. Contestants modeled casual wear, evening attire, showed off their talents and answered hard questions. This isn’t a cheesy contest, either…no swimsuit category is included. I spent as much time backstage, watching the nervous contestants get ready, with a backstage “mom,” pageant official Ann Duff, keep things moving along. Out front, one audience member brought a sign to cheer on contestant Hannah McReynolds, a family friend. When the judges finished their work, William May was crowned Master Georgetown, while Claire Lindemann won the big title, Miss Georgetown 2016. In the final photo, Claire is hugged by Stacey Robertson, who won the Miss Georgetown title 20 years ago, in 1996. Their families have known each other since before Claire was born. Both Claire and Stacey’s fathers are members of the Texas Rangers, the law enforcement folks, not the baseball players. That is very cool … and very Texas.
A simple post tonight from Taylor, Texas. On the way home from the library, I pulled up by St. James Episcopal Church, something I’ve done a few times. The light, as usual, was nice, but on this evening, I noticed a distinct reflection in a window: the steeple at St. Jame’s across-the-street neighbor, First Baptist Church. When we moved here in 2009, we learned that this little town of just over 15,000 had fifty-something churches. An interesting tidbit, perhaps? The final image, not a reflection, is just another bird in front of St. James’ facade.
It rained tonight when I went to get gas. On the way back to the house, I stopped to take a few photos of the water-soaked yellow lilies at Bull Branch Park in Taylor.
Circleville Store, a few miles north of Taylor, had its first “Buck Out” on Thursday evening. Continually, for several days, the Buck Out event was promoted on Facebook. Since it was close to home, I decided to pay a visit. A Buck Out is just what it sounds like…an opportunity for folks to ride either a bull or steer out behind the store, providing entertainment for Circleville Store diners, but also giving rodeo types a chance to hone their skills in the arena. It’s a low-key affair, with no entry fees and no prize money. In short, it’s not competitive. Last night, a few fellows showed up to give it a try, most of them pros, but also a few young fellows, too. And a young lady, riding a bull for the first time ever! For the ladies, and the other younger entrants, younger steers and bulls are there to ride. Note that you don’t just show and up and say you want to ride. If you’re an adult, you must provide proof you compete in rodeo. If you’re a minor, a parent or guardian must sign a release. The Buck Outs will continue through the summer, starting at 5p.m. every Thursday. Mosey on over to Circleville Store.
Last evening, after a day of tackling a home project that’s worn us out, I needed a break…a visual break, of course. So off I drove, not knowing if anything would whet my whistle. After a few minutes, I was ready to pack it in and head for home, but in the distance, something warm and billowy came into view. Wheat. Lots and lots of wheat. Corn crops are big here on the Blackland Prairie in the early Spring, but wheat’s there, too. There are times when I think these rural offerings might be boring to folks. This afternoon, however, while visiting a client for an upcoming photography assignment, I was pleased to see a vase in her office filled with not flowers, but stems of golden wheat. It seems I’m not its only fan. The last two offerings in this group are at a field just a mile from my home. They’re probably my favorite of this bunch. Late-day light, even on cloudy days, is elegant.