Southwestern University, the oldest university in Texas, had a football program until 1951. In 2013, the Southwestern Pirates once again added football, as part of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Under the direction of head coach Joe Austin, they were undefeated in 2016. On Saturday, the team, alums, football players, students and coaches celebrated their honor with the Pirate Bowl, held at Mel’s Lone Star Lanes in Georgetown. For two hours, folks had fun. For a $20 entry fee, you could bowl all you wanted. Mel’s donated half of that to Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Williamson County. That group is overseen by Coach Austin’s wife, Marissa Holcomb Austin, who joined in Saturday’s fun with her husband and their 20-month-old daughter, Reagan. Also in attendance was Cory Tchida, the City of Georgetown’s Assistant Police Chief, a board member for CASA. The most fun I had here was watching Coach Austin and his daughter. As I was about to leave, Reagan decided she wanted to latch onto a balling ball. Mom picked out a 7-pounder. Reagan picked that baby up without too much trouble, but when she went to place it back in the rack, it slipped to the floor. Thankfully, no toes were bruised!
A new president was inaugurated today. One of my paying assignments was to photograph a GOP inauguration watch party in Georgetown, Texas. That, however, is not what you see here. Friends, you will have plenty of stories, sound bites and images from a myriad of sources about that important event. I won’t join in. Know this: I am not enamored with the 45th President of the United States. But this is what we have for now. Like me, you don’t have to embrace, or even like, the new guy, but perhaps we don’t want to wish for failure, either. From tonight: light fading near the Masonic Lodge building on the Georgetown square. Georgetown friends would also reer to this as Gumbos North. And a flooded field close to my Taylor home. Stay focused, friends. I’ll try to reciprocate.
On one of my wandering drives in East Williamson County this week, something that got my attention was Waterloo Gin, in full production. Why is that unusual, you ask? In South Central Texas, cotton is normally harvested from late-August through November. Mid-January isn’t when you see our cotton gins up and running. As it happens, an overabundance of rain this fall put a few farmers behind. Four farms in the area are finally finishing up. This, I decided, merited a few photos.
After a period of heavy rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Blackland Prairie fields in East Williamson County, Texas were filled with water. By Wednesday night the skies and those fields were filled with warm blue light.
Tonight was another of those evenings where no specific idea came to mind. When it began to rain, I thought to wander through downtown Taylor. The rain flowing in the street, combined with some longish camera exposures created some interesting color patterns. Hey, it’s something to do, right? And utilizing the tripod is good for enhancing one’s work ethic. The second and last photos are basically the same scene, but by the time the latter was taken, the rain was really pounding. Soon after that one, I packed up for home.
On this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday my cameras were aimed at Georgetown, Texas, where there was a march from the town square, followed by a service at Macedonia Baptist Church. I don’t think there’s more to be said. The photos can do the work here.
It wasn’t my expectation to post more fog imagery, but when heading out the door for a Sunday morning errand, the fog was there, more dominant than Saturday’s. You probably know this by now, but unless I’m doing a daily round of aerobic exercise, the camera stays with me at all times. By that, I mean a camera, not a phone. Not to bash those who use phones for their photos, but this is my living, my passion. But, as usual, I digress. These photos were taken Sunday morning in and around Taylor’s Bull Branch Park. Included are a few ducks crossing the road, and a feisty squirrel. All images are presented in black and white. Fog, for the most part, simplifies and clarifies things, strips them down to the essentials. As does black and white photography.
A few of these are presented in black and white. Sometimes it seems the proper way to go. Our Blackland Prairie weather today was cool and quite foggy. I didn’t get out to record what I saw until about 5p.m. In this post you have a deserted farmhouse, a pair of barns, a lovely tree and its tractor. You also have a long stretch of road, seemingly endless. One of my mentors, Bill Clough, who grew up in the Texas panhandle, has a body of images much better than this. On that same long road is a sturdy tank, also known as a stock pond. Tonight there was no stock, which adds to its interest. At least I think it does. The state flag adorned on an outbuilding completes the misty Texas evening.
Some subjects I will likely just pound into your consciousness, for better or worse. The moon, in all its forms, is one of these. In recent years, the phrase “Super Moon” comes up more and more. Let’s be clear, folks: I consider all forms of the moon “super.” While I like it when I get those tight shots of full moons with a bird flying past, what inspires me most is working it into the prevailing landscape, including the skies and clouds that embrace it. These photos were taken this week, when it’s described as waxing gibbous. Essentially, it’s a full moon. If you want to get precise, it’s 99.6% full. My concern was not being able to see it due to clouds and predicted rain. The first three photos in this post are from Wednesday night, when the skies were still clear. The little pond reflecting the moon is at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in Wuthrich Hill, Texas. Note that I do NOT call this a tank. There’s not a cow to be seen. It’s strictly, and sweetly, a pond. The last three images were taken Thursday night in East Williamson County. The clouds were so prevalent, I hadn’t expected to see the moon at all, but when leaving the grocery store, there it was, fading and reappearing. I watched it for several minutes. It’s just pretty enough to almost make me howl. Almost.
While wandering around Georgetown Thursday evening I briefly stopped on a bridge overlooking the San Gabriel River, on the north side of San Gabriel Park. In the far distance there was a heron relaxing on its perch. Joining her were two ducks, although barely visible. Looking below, into the blue water, made so by the lateness of the hour (it was approaching 6:30), a red shirt-clad fisherman was still at it. He caught a few perch, but seemed to have had a good time just enjoying this unseasonably warm January night. A technical note: that last photo’s exposure was 1/5 of a second. Normally I won’t mention this stuff, but was happy to see my fisherman just sharp enough keep!