While in search of something else this week, this scene wandered into my frame. This was last evening in Coupland, Texas. The steeple at St. Peter’s Church of Coupland does an admirable job of serving as the community skyscraper.
My friend Carol Fox, a writer and teacher who also happens to do a bit of ranching (with her brother, John) in Circleville, Texas, was interested in getting some photos of a newborn calf. Since we share phone numbers and email addresses, I asked that she let me know when the ranch added a little critter to their herd. The little lady (or is it a little man?) came along last week. Carol texted me and I moseyed on over. Since the actual moment of cattle births are generally hard to pin down, Carol guessed the calf was maybe two days old. Thankfully, the herd was in a field easy to navigate. Still, it was an interesting game of tag keeping up with these bovines. As the sun went down, mama and baby wandered into the west, through a stand of trees, exiting to another pasture. They’d had enough of me. With Carol’s permission, the last photo is of her. Life on the prairie is a joy.
As this is written on Monday evening, the storms and flooding from the weekend have moved east, but allow me to offer up a few photos made Sunday evening as the remnants of our Texas weather were still apparent. Friends, if you didn’t already know this, I look for excuses to photograph certain things. Windmills are right up there at the top of that list, closely followed by grain elevators, barns and trees. Although I don’t have a precise number, I’m thinking there are maybe a dozen windmills where these cameras are pointed. Tonight’s post includes three of them. Those flooded fields? They’ll likely be just fine. Our Blackland Prairie soil is one heck of a sponge. It’s warm now. Today’s highs were in the mid-80s. Call it spring if you like, but summer’s pretty much here where we live in south Central Texas.
While covering Chisholm Trail Days at the Williamson Museum on the Chisholm Trail on Saturday, I had the honor of spending time with Mr. Horace Williams, one of the Buffalo Soldiers from Company A 9th Cavalry, based at Camp Mabry in Austin. Since returning to Texas. a few years ago, I’ve had occasion to meet and photograph Mr. Williams, but wanted to do a little more here. While I could offer up photos of him teaching kids about life on the 1800s frontier, these will work tonight. Williams is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, something he always proudly wears on that scratchy wool uniform. His face and eyes are magic. Those hands have accomplished much through the years. He’s a genuine treasure.
Before the rains descended on Central Texas Saturday, I had fun photographing the happenings during Chisholm Trail Days, held at the Williamson Museum on the Chisholm Trail in Round Rock. It was a blast watching the youngsters learn about the art of roping. The young fellow wielding the rope here is only 3, but he was doing a good job! Waiting in the wings are siblings, ages 8 and 6. Normally, I don’t post strictly-local events here, but this was a good moment that needs sharing. The kerchiefs? All cowboys know about keeping dust at bay.
Driving home to Taylor this afternoon after a couple of assignments, I found myself driving into some pretty serious rain. When I got home, the precipitation was abundant enough to actually come into our house. A few well-placed towels made things okay. No worries. En route home, here are some things I saw. How do horses deal with the elements? Sure, they’re livestock per se, but a part of me wants to herd them into the nearest shelter. The others are just things I saw on this very moist afternoon. All is well tonight in Taylor, Texas.
The area where we live is home to many Lutheran churches. A few are regular subjects for my camera. Among them are Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Wuthrich Hill (East Williamson County) and New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church (Northeast Travis County). The first photo, taken tonight, is from Prince of Peace. The second image, made last evening, is at New Sweden. While I don’t think that tree was planned with shadows in mind, but it’s nice to see.
Sometimes, when a theme seems to be in the works, I’ll hold onto a few images. These photos are some recent examples, taken on two (or was it three?) nights. Cows can be a bit nervous around us humans, but sometimes their curiosity outweighs any fear they might have. Who can blame them? Humans are kind of scary! Anyway, here are a few images for your evening viewing. The little critter in the opening photo was quite a hoot. He/she was really giving the photographer what for! Life on the prairie can be quite entertaining, friends.
Spring planting is progressing nicely here on the Blackland Prairie. This vista includes two thriving fields and a fine old farmhouse I’ve photographed before, but never from this point of view. It’s good to see these thriving fields. And that old house, too.
It’s a fact you don’t want to be on one of our picturesque country roads after a heavy dose of rain, but on dry evenings in Central Texas these paths are genuinely wonderful. Last evening, while looking for something else along this road, I looked in the rearview mirror, where road dust had kicked up its heels and found its way into nearby fields. There are reasons not to like dirt roads, but there are reasons to embrace them, too. As our area continues to grow, I don’t see these surviving many more years. As an aside, note some of our state flowers at lower right!