Shiloh-McCutcheon Cemetery, rests atop a hill at the end of a dirt road between Hutto and Norman’s Crossing. Development surrounds it, but for now, you can still see evidence of Spring planting in the field below. The first burials here were in 1853, including veterans of the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, plus both World Wars. I was happy to see a thriving field of corn planted in the field below the cemetery. The only evidence I show here are two portable toilets in a field near the cemetery. A subdivision will soon be nearby. Thankfully, the cemetery remains. I can’t help but wonder how much that bothers developers.
I heard a story on NPR this morning mentioning that 75% of Texas is experiencing drought. We need the rain, even when it arrives quick and powerful, then passes to the east. The first image was actually taken during the brief rain. You might not be able to tell it here, but it was pounding the prairie with force. As a photographer living on the prairie, however, what comes after a storm moves through is quite wonderful, the skies rich, the land saturated with moisture. It all comes together nicely. At least I think so.
No theme tonight, only a couple of unrelated photos I need to get off my desktop. The first is a Great Egret foraging for a meal along the San Gabriel River in Georgetown. The second image: wildflowers taking up residence on long-dormant railroad tracks a little south of Granger.
While my sinus and allergy issues give me a hard time at harvest time, I always enjoy seeing the onset of wheat crops around the Blackland Prairie. I don’t know, but wonder if the massive ice storm we had in mid-February slowed down this year’s planting, but it seems so. Two years ago, I was photographing the actual wheat harvest in mid-April. In the first image, you’ll see some lights in the distance. This field is remarkably close to a busy road in East Williamson County, Texas. Unfortunately, we’re seeing more busy roads each year. I like that wildflowers are co-existing with the farmer’s work. Wheat is far and away the most elegant agricultural product on the planet. At least I think it is.
When taking photos, there are times when I just need to sit down and rest a few minutes. I did that on the square in Georgetown Saturday during Market Days. There’s a couple nice benches at 8th and Main Streets, with good shade provided by Oak trees. While relaxing, I looked into tree overhead, thinking I might spot a green heron. They like to nest here. The herons weren’t there, but the light falling on the leaves was intriguing. Still sitting down, I snapped a few photos.
Some photos tonight from two communities in Burnet County, Bertram and Oatmeal. Bertram’s population is around 1400. The town was established in 1882. The opening photo is a family who requested I take a photo of them in front of one of the vintage buildings (circa 1904). By the same building, an Oregon dog called Henry answered nature’s call. Also included here is a photo of the folk art iron work of Garry Curry, very cool, reminiscent of Georgia’s Reverend Howard Finster. About six miles south of Bertram is what remains of the community of Oatmeal, quite a few years older than Bertram, established in the 1840s by German immigrants. There are only a handful of people here today, but a school, now a community center, is there. Along with a very nice windmill.
If the pandemic doesn’t derail it again this year, Bertram hosts the annual Oatmeal Festival on Labor Day. If you drive south from Bertram on Ranch Road 243, look for the oatmeal box.
While taking in the wildflowers beginning to bloom at Berry Springs Park & Preserve this morning, I noticed a small gathering, not unusual at a park as lovely as this. Then I noticed the white doves, taking me away from the flowers. I didn’t want to interrupt, but a journalist’s curiosity clicked on. It was a memorial service for a baby who died at birth, only six days ago. Family and friends gathered to commemorate her birth with the release of white doves, facilitated by Lone Star White Dove Release. Before snapping photos, I asked if it was okay to record what was happening, then proceeded. These are images from that brief observance. This was a Trinity Release. It begins with the release of a single dove, representing the spirit of the departed, followed by the release of three more doves, representing the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Upon release, the spirit dove joins the others as they begin their spiritual flight home. It was a solemn, but touching observance.
One of the versions of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in Wuthrich Hill, hangs on our wall in Taylor. This one’s from tonight, taken during Good Friday services. The other two photos include agave plants extending their reach near sunset, then a sunset image just south of Bartlett. I’ll admit to an overabundance of sunsets this week, but they’re just so nice.
My allergy/sinus issues were driving me up the wall all day so it was a pleasant surprise to see our exceptional skies and sunset tonight on the Blackland Prairie. There’s nothing more words can add to that.
This photo was taken in 1972, not long after arriving on the UT-Austin campus to study journalism/photojournalism. This wasn’t an assignment, just something seen en route to a class. The pooch seemed content on her perch while her human continued scanning the newspaper. Remember newspapers?