Prairie Scenes ….. and Santa

A few years ago, when driving through the community of Granger, a spooky sight caught my eye ….. Santa Claus staring back at me from the window of one of the town’s historic buildings. On closer inspection, it wasn’t real, but it got my attention.   Now each year as Christmas approaches, I look in that window to see if old Saint Nick is still with us.   And he is!   Truthfully, I think you’d find his visage if you looked that way in June.  It’s like seeing an old friend.   The other photos are just prairie scenes that I like.  The barn, photographed well past sundown on a cloudy evening, is surrounded by rich Blackland Prairie soil.   One of these days I’m going to take a closeup photo of this dirt.   You’ll see how the area got its name.   The last image, presented in horizontal and vertical versions, continues a fascination with prairie grass, pretty abundant right now.   Although the tree is elegant, I’m partial to the horizontal shot, where the focus is on that wonderful grass.  It’s wispy. 

Autumn at Our Lady

I think it was 2010 (or 2011) when I took photos at Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery and Prayer    Gardens in Georgetown.    That was for an Austin American-Statesman story by a writer friend. At the time it was one of only two “green” cemeteries in the state.    Those buried here were laid to rest without embalming, allowing the remains to take nature’s course a little sooner.    Since that story, I’ve returned there many times.    While it’s a cemetery, it’s also a place for quiet reflection as you visit the pond or walk the trails.   It’s interesting to note that Our Lady is close enough to a busy toll road that you can almost always hear traffic noises.    You somehow don’t care about the distraction.  It’s just that pleasant.    As autumn winds down, I wanted to visit again while a little color remained.   These photos aren’t just about the color anyway.

Thanksgiving at the Park

This young fellow had a grand time on Thanksgiving, leaping from a resplendent and colorful tree at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas.    He wasn’t jumping into river, but the camera angle may fool you.   We’re expecting rain, followed by much cooler weather.  I think our autumn color will soon be gone, but it’s been a good season! 

A Tuna Christmas

Except for a recent short visit, I haven’t been inside The Georgetown Palace since March, when the pandemic brought life to a standstill.    Since the mid-70s I’ve been taking theater photos.   It was nice to be inside  for last night’s dress rehearsal of “A Tuna Christmas,” opening Friday night and continuing through December 20th.   It stars only two actors, Kirk Kelso and Rick Felkins, but combined they play 20 roles in the almost two-hour production.  Whew!   Note that the theater is being very cautious for this undertaking.   Except for those attending  together, there will seats left open between attendees, only seating on every other row.  Everyone is required to wear a face mask.  There will be no concessions offered.   I’m very happy to see this production.    The community needs this.

Focused

These photos were taken a couple weeks ago while doing some work in Georgetown.   When I saw her/him sitting on a fence post by the side of the road, I figured she’d be gone by the time I grabbed a camera.   She/he was so intent on seeking out prey, the camera’s presence didn’t seem to be an issue.   I wish I knew more about birds of prey.  I’m pretty sure this one’s a hawk, but could it be a falcon?

Lights Shine On

The pandemic has cancelled many things this year.   One of those is the the annual Lighting of the Square in Georgetown, Texas.   The square would be adorned with lights, but without a formal event, potentially attracting quite a crowd.   The lights quietly came on Monday night.   These photos were made this evening.  Persevere, friends.  

November in Murphy Park

This is technically an autumn color post, but let’s start with one that’s close to black-and-white, but is indeed color.   Posts in and around Taylor’s parks will often include water, ducks and cypress trees.   These are scenes recorded in Murphy Park.    I’m still exploring autumn while it’s here.  Why the heck not?

The Season Begins …. and Flags

Each year since returning to Texas I’ve been enchanted by the crisp green light adorning the dome of the historic Williamson County Courthouse when the holiday season approaches, but seeing the lighted dome from a distance has been a photo I wanted to make.  Last night, a friend suggested a location for that idea.   It was a grand suggestion.   The opening photo is the dome as seen from the town square.    The second photo was taken tonight.   I think it works.  The last photo has nothing to do with the courthouse, just a flag.  The light cooperated.  

At Prince of Peace

Since our return to Texas in summer 2009, I’ve taken photos in and around Prince of Peace Lutheran Church quite a few times.   The church rests on a gentle slope of land in Wuthrich Hill.   These are a few from time spent there Friday night.   It’s one of the nicest places on the Blackland Prairie.  

The Remains of Autumn in Georgetown

Lately we’ve been taking weekend drives when time allows.   After driving around a couple of western Williamson County communities, I thought it might be a good time to visit Booty’s Road Park in Georgetown.   It’s  part of a beautiful section of the San Gabriel River Trail system that goes for miles.   My hope was to find some autumn splashes of color before the leaves ran their course for this year.   There were subtle hints of it on my  late-afternoon  stroll.  The last rays of light falling on rock surfaces were also sweet.   A cyclist passing on the trail made sure to mention the vultures up ahead.   Would I have trouble spotting them?   He thought not.   As the trees become more skeletal, the birds have room to spread their wings and roost.    While there’s still color to see, I’ll seek it out.  Birds, too.