Although the sun finally peeked through the clouds late this afternoon, last evening, the mist and fog held sway over the Blackland Prairie landscape. Along an often-traveled country road I happened on this scene, combining an old fence, delicate water drops on the trees, a peaceful pond and my favorite shade of night blue. As you may know, blue is cool, both literally and figuratively.
There’s a group called Miniwonders of Texas, a non-profit founded by Wendi Threlkeld and friends in Georgetown, Texas a few years ago. Wendi and her friends oversee a group of adorable miniature horses that they share with the community here in Williamson County, visiting assisted living and memory care facilities, and sometimes area schools. On Monday afternoon, in celebration of Valentines Day, Wendi and her crew stopped by The Legacy at Georgetown for a bit over an hour with Mercy, a beautiful 5-year-old mare who weighs a whopping 120 pounds! Mercy’s other three little horse companions stayed close to home because of the cold. I’ve been happy to sometimes be on hand when these four-legged gems are bringing smiles and incredible joy to those who might need a lift in their day. Mercy was dressed in her best (pink, of course) Valentines finery, including booties. This opening photo, my favorite, was one of the last ones taken. This lovely lady, 92, had just come from a doctor’s appointment, certain she’d miss Mercy’s visit. Thank goodness they got to meet. These are photos I took for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
When we moved to Taylor in the summer of 2009, these twin windmills were a bit more visible, but the proliferation of too many limbs has taken its toll. Nevertheless, I managed to record an image through the morass last evening. I do like these windmills, which brings to mind that famous song, “The Windmills of Your Mind,” by French composer Michel Legrand and lyrics by Americans Alan and Marilyn Bergman, created for the 1968 movie, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” sung by Noel Harrison. But these are just windmills, friends. Let your minds go where they may.
When I arrived at Georgetown’s Williamson County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Arena Saturday morning for the Brushy Creek Saddle Club FunDay (that’s how it’s written), the fog had just lifted, leaving a morning that began in the mid-upper 50s. Shortly after my arrival, however, a cold front barreled in. Literally within a few short minutes, we found ourselves in low-40s territory, feeling colder with those Texas winds. Horse folks, however, are not deterred. As the name implies, these are “fun days,” held the second Saturday of every month, open to all who wish to come. These sessions do seem dominated by young folks, and more women than men, but I did manage to find some fellows participating, too, one a spry 68-year-old from Copperas Cove who goes by “Sarge.” One of my favorite images, the opening photo, bends my rule about folks peering into the camera. This little 5-year-old, with her big old horse called Monty, was adorable. The second photo shows her sitting high in the saddle, with dad there to watch after her. The youngest cowpoke was her little brother, just 1, but doing just fine on a miniature horse called Wilma. The rest are a little of this and that. The last two photos are Goose, a handsome blue-eyed fellow. I liked Goose. These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
On the way to an assignment this morning, the urge to stop was inescapable. Another thick layer of fog was wrapping itself around our prairie landscape. I still made it to that paying assignment with ample time to spare. The last of these three photos, with the playground equipment, is in Jonah, at what’s now called the Jonah Community Center. At one time it was Jonah School, opened in 1922. Schools come and go, but it’s nice when their original bones remain with us.
I’ll keep the words brief for this post. It’s no secret that I love to visit the rookery at Taylor’s Murphy Park. When spring comes, there’ll be more to see, too. This week, however, I slowed the shutter speeds way down to accentuate the grace and purity of their movements. The predominant birds on display right now are cormorants, but one or two egrets are thrown in for good measure, too. Hopefully, this departure in style is okay with my friends!
In June 1986, Atlanta Journal & Constitution writer Ron Martz and I traveled to Montana for a 110th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn, a fight that took place on June 25, 1876 in what is now known as Custer National Battlefield Monument. On this solemn occasion the remains of thirty-six 7th Cavalry soldiers led by General George Armstrong Custer, were reburied in one flag-draped coffin. The pallbearers were member of the 7th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. On a hot day in June 1876, Custer led his troops into an unwinnable situation, leaving 225 soldiers dead, including, Custer. Numbers vary widely, but the cavalry was up against a force of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe that numbered between 2,500 and 20,000. On hand this day in 1986 were Native American descendants of those who fought in the famous battle. It was again a warm summer day, but a peaceful one this time.
After a drive around the county that produced nothing, I found myself just down the street from home, at Taylor’s Bull Branch Park. Heaven knows what I was thinking, unloading the tripod and wandering into a chilly mist. After a time, with the mist increasing its presence, turning into more of a steady rain, I moseyed on back home. Still, to be by the meandering stream, among the cypress trees, is sweet.
There’s something about American flags that I find intriguing. Through the years I’ve pointed my cameras at them many times. Don’t get me wrong, friends. I love the Texas state flag quite a bit, too, but the American flag has a universality. There’s this old barn in Northeast Williamson County that recently got my attention. It’s an elegant pairing. For this “exercise” the barn is presented in both color and black-and-white. Perhaps the color rules the day, but as you know, I like to piddle around sometimes. Presented here are six images, the first before the day gave up its light, progressing to a time well after dark. The color versions are first, followed by the same photo in shades of gray. I do like the night photos, but it’s instructive to look at how the progression of time affects a subject.
While many friends were watching a football game tonight, I was wandering around on the prairie. While I like football per se, professional foot ball is something I removed from my psyche many years ago. Most days, my preference is prairie rambling. This is along a farm-to-market road a hair east of Walburg, Texas. I included the second photo when I noticed a cowboy hat attached to the fellow in the driver’s seat. It is Texas, you know.