Sometimes it’s enriching to find one stretch of road and photograph just that. Every road, large or small, has a little something to say. This little road, not very long, is not far from Coupland, Texas. In a few minutes near sunset, I was able to find a Great Egret relaxing in a tree above a cow pasture. And a few bales of hay basking in the warm light. As you might know, I have an ongoing interest in our disappearing Blackland Prairie land. Some of it’s disappearing due to development. Our farmland is popular with subdivision developers. But then there are the old homesites and barns, slowly sinking into the soil, their time nearing an end. I found one of those on this road, too. That last one’s a little shadow play, stopping long enough to take a photo of my vehicle’s shadow through the passenger window, looking out onto a cornfield recently harvested. Yep, the shadow’s a truck. My normal wanderings are in a Honda, but occasionally an old truck seems to fit the bill. Not often though. Its gas mileage is awful.
It was warm, but fun morning watching a group of women volunteers give maximum effort in helping to build a new Habitat for Humanity home for single mom Flor Candelario in Taylor. Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County hosted Women Build, where a group of women volunteers put on their hard hats to do some really heavy lifting. Note that male volunteers were there, too, doing work that required climbing and placing truss beams, but these ladies kept pace without a hitch. The male taking a group photo for Habitat is friend David Valdez, who was the personal photographer for President George H.W. Bush. He’s been volunteering with Habitat for years. Weather permitting, Ms. Candelario’s home will be move-in ready for her and her three kids by Thanksgiving.
It seems to be a given that moonrises happen later than expected. This evening in Noack, Texas was no exception. This full moon, also called the Harvest Moon, finally made an appearance about 20 minutes past the time I expected to see it. Clouds were a problem. One finds other things to pass the time. A lovely sunset made tonight worthwhile. The Harvest Moon shines above a metal barn a little before 9pm tonight. And there’s the expected lunar closeup. Have a good night, friends.
Thursdays won’t always be “throwback” days, but if something sparks my attention when looking through old film, then I go with it. A morning stroll through the files merited this photo made on September 15, 1975 in Shreveport, Louisiana, as a very dapper James Evans went about his leaf-raking task with energy and style. That tie was a bit loose, but just wearing it while getting a start on autumn leaf-raking made this a moment worth stopping for. The six years I spent working at the Shreveport Journal were among the most rewarding and productive days of this career, thanks in part to a great editor, Stan Tiner. He seemed to appreciate this desire to record everyday people doing everyday things. Or as I often call them, slices of life. Or found moments. They may not be big news, but everyone is a story. This was, of course, taken with Kodak Tri-X film, among the best products ever made.
Since Taylor, Texas is my home, it seemed fitting that I cover their annual Patriot Day observance in commemoration of the events on September 11, 2001. Citizens and first responders gathered tonight at Heritage Square Park on a night where rain had just moved through. I’m keeping this one simple, but am always moved by the Ringing of the Bell, a firefighter’s tradition signaling to all the completion of service, a symbol of a comrade’s passing. It’s three rings, three times each. Simple and poignant.
On this, the 18th anniversary of 9/11, first responders, friends and family once again came to Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field to climb a lot of steps for the 8th Annual Memorial Stair Climb, an event to honor first responders who worked, and those who died while lending their hands and hearts at the World Trade Center towers in New York. It was a cloudy, but very humid morning, making the work all that harder, but this group was up the task, aided in part by Cub Scout brothers on hand to provide hydration for the climbers. They’re from Georgetown Cub Scout Pack 151, at Georgetown’s First United Methodist Church. The session concluded with a short prayer before responders returned to doing what they do well.
Just a couple of images tonight, friends. We had a little burst of rain late this afternoon. It was spotty drizzle for the remainder of the evening, but left us with some nice clouds on the Blackland Prairie. The first photo was made as a truck hauling a load of hay made its way past Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Wuthrich Hill. The second image, one I thought worked well in black-and-white, is a nice field of healthy cotton under a cloudy sky, and more rain to the west. I never grow tired of this prairie.
After Sunday night’s post, a very sad one, let’s follow that with something taken tonight not far from Beyersville, Texas. About a year ago, I noticed these Texas Longhorns grazing on their hill. Needing some inspiration, I found them there this evening. A mother and her calf is my favorite, but the lone longhorn’s okay, too. Have a grand night, friends.
For almost two years, I’ve watched the restoration of the circa 1890s Bartlett First Christian Church as it was restored under the direction of its owner, Kris Ruiz. The church had been closed for years when Ruiz purchased it to bring it back to life, as a church, or community center, or private residence for this community of a little over 1600. Early this morning the vacant house adjacent to the church caught fire. The flames quickly spread to the church. When I saw it tonight, it was heartbreaking. I hope Ms. Ruiz doesn’t give up on her idea of bringing history back to life, but this was a terrible loss. These photos are from past visits, plus tonight.
While accepted practice to say that summer ends on Labor Day, few people in our area of Central Texas would agree. We’ll probably be experiencing a few more triple-digit days before the heat gives us a break. Our canine friends had a chance to cool off this morning, thanks to the outdoor pool at the Georgetown Recreation Center, enjoying K-9 Kerplunk, coordinated by Georgetown Parks and Recreation. When I got to the pool a few minutes before the 10am start, there was quite an assortment of dogs and owners ready to make a splash. Though it’s a Georgetown event, I met families from Austin, Killeen and other communities thrilled to be there. Approximately 300 dogs participated. Amazingly, most of the pooches got along! I think the urge to cool off outweighed the need for arguments.