Sunset and Moon Rise Over Coupland

Thanks to a sweet lady who allowed me to park in her driveway tonight, I was able to get a fairly good sunset image over St. Peter’s Church of Coupland.    And the moon was pretty, too.   Tonight’s Waxing Gibbous moon is 93.7% visible.   Although not quite full, the forecast through the weekend calls for cloudy skies and rain.  I document the moon when it’s visible.   The St. Peter’s congregation was formed by German and Swiss immigrants in 1894.  The current church was built in 1905-1906.   It’s affiliated with the United Church of Christ, not to be confused with the Church of Christ.

A Few Bartlett Images

Bartlett is a Central Texas community I occasionally visit with the cameras. The community of 1623 (according to the 2010 census) resides in both Williamson and Bell Counties.  Founded in 1881, it’s about 24 miles south of Temple and 50 mile northeast of Austin.   I enjoy seeing this community when enveloped by darkness.  There’s almost always enough light for photos if one totes a handy tripod.  All but one of these seven photos were taken Monday night, when a Waxing Gibbous moon shone overhead.   The last image, with the Alamo Hotel sign,  was made last November.  I just needed an excuse to post it.   Small communities have immense charm, regardless of where in the world you find them.  My focus just happens to be on all things Texas. . 

A Bridge in Coupland

In 2003, when “Secondhand Lions” was released, we were still living in metro-Atlanta.   It’s set in 1950s Texas, starring Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Kyra Sedgwick and Haley Joel Osment.  Considering the setting, us homesick Texans latched onto it.  It wasn’t until we returned to Texas that we learned much of the movie was filmed in our area.   The truss bridge pictured in this post was prominent in the movie.   That bridge is just outside Coupland, minutes south of our current home.  It was featured in both the beginning and ending scenes of the movie.  For a couple years, the bridge was off-limits while repairs were made.  It’s back in service now, crossing over Brushy Creek.   The movie is part of our collection. .   It’s not a perfect movie, but worth watching, if only for the scenery.    These photos were taken Sunday night, a Waxing Gibbous moon shining above.

Train Stuff

The recent unpleasant Texas weather has put me off my game for a while, but it’s time to move on.   Trains and train-related things are on tap tonight.   The first two photos hopefully give a sense of our Blackland Prairie landscape.   The last photo  is just a pictorial  rendition of Taylor’s rail yard, nothing more.

Sunshine … the Melt Continues

So it seems to take a while to shed ourselves of the snow and ice that’s been the scourge of Texas for almost a week.   Tonight I visited a cherished place on the San Gabriel River, where the snow’s remnants hold on, but not for long.  Temperatures reached the lower-50s today.  Sunday’s high will climb into the 60s.   Sunshine prevails.   The last photo is not about snow at all.  Just streaming golden light.    For many of us, the irritation continues.  Water issues haven’t been resolved.   Since most of us around here haven’t had showers for days, social distancing’s a piece of cake.  Stinky cake.

The Joy of Melting Snow

For the first time in several days, temperatures rose above the freezing mark, allowing the frozen irritation to melt into the history books.   These photos were taken near sunset this evening in Taylor, Texas.  Although the low tonight is around 22, highs on Saturday will reach the low-50s.   Rural images from our Blackland Prairie.   We’re still dealing with water supply issues, but we can see positive changes. We saw  the sun tonight.  That’s a plus. 

In the Mountains with Bob

In January 1985, Atlanta Journal & Constitution writer Ron Taylor and I ventured into the North Georgia mountains to see if we could find any mountain men.  It wasn’t the kind of assignment where we could call ahead.  You just had to go.   One of the men we found was Bob Orton, who lived in a small dwelling on a mountain near Blue Ridge, Georgia.   He welcomed us into his home, playing his banjo while we visited.  He paid $900 for the banjo, his most prized possession.  Bob’s house had no electricity or running water, but he got by just fine with a wood-powered oven, plus a wood-burning stove.   Since the mountains was known to be icy, Orton helped the traction issue with chains attached to his boots.   It seemed to work for him.   Ron and I produced the work for Atlanta Weekly, the paper’s Sunday magazine.   I miss Ron Taylor, one of the best writers I’ve ever known.  

Winter On the Prairie

it’s probably no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with snow.   While it can be mighty pretty, it can be dangerous, too.  Take this week in Texas, for instance.   Along with the recent snowfall, temperatures have plummeted to zero a couple times.   It’s caused power grid problems, resulting in rolling blackouts across the state.   That means many of us were sleeping in very cold homes.  Add to that issues with a Brazos River Authority  water generating plant in Granger, which supplies water to my town of Taylor.   Because of the storm, their equipment was made useless, translating to zero water for our entire town.   Just this afternoon it’s starting to trickle a little.   So while snow can be elegant, it can cause much pain.   But enough of that.  These are just some photos taken last evening around the Blackland Prairie, opening with a scene from the Bartlett City Cemetery.   I made the choice to drive when it seemed okay to do so.   That’s not the case today!   Be safe, fellow Texans.

Morning Snow Musings … and Minnie Moo

Morning light was filtering into a window near sunrise today in Taylor.   I stepped outside for a look.  7 degrees.   Dang snow everywhere, but warm rays were nice.   The opening photo is just after sunrise.   The second, more pattern things, was a few minutes later, but in the backyard.   Minnie Moo woke up, venturing out on her morning constitutional.   At a bit over 7-months-old, this snow stuff fascinates her.  She’s so black it’s hard to photograph her on fresh white snow, but I tried.  The last photo is Minnie wondering about the state of her little blue chair, a place she likes to sit.    She didn’t wander long, returning to the house, continuing her nap.   She hates wearing clothes, but we’re only letting out a few minutes at a time.