Thoughts & Images from Andy Sharp

Field of Horses
2016 January Sunset
River Reflections
Moon & Berry Springs Park
2016 Livestock Show
Livestock Show Preps
Evening on the Square
A Foggy Morning Begins
Barn Tractor Cows


Grace in Motion

These few photos were taken the other night on the way home from Georgetown.   I really know little about horses, but watching them in motion is visual poetry.   The work presented here was done over about a ten minute period, my car pulled to the side of the road while snapping away at these amazing animals.

Monday Night Ramblings

These photos taken last evening are just as the name of this blog indicates, ramblings.   When I got old enough to drive, I’d tool around in my car, often with no goal in mind.   That’s what I do now, too, but with a camera.   Always with a a camera.

River Reflections

After several hours of doing battle with photo printers Saturday, I needed some photo therapy.   It’s not a certainty I’ll find something to relieve the stress, but thankfully, the San Gabriel River provided a peaceful balm.   Taking a drive through San Gabriel Park a while before sundown, I recalled enjoying the way trees sometimes reflected onto the river’s surface.   The ever-present wind around here can readily  squelch that idea.   Like a gift,  the wind abated for a while.  Apparently, a park visitor, her headphones attached  liked the view, too.   After a while, she gave up her rock seat, but I stayed until the light left the sky.

The Moon Above the Trees

Berry Springs Park and Preserve, just east of Georgetown, is a magical place, adorned with old-growth trees, many of them of the pecan variety, from the days when this was an active pecan grove.  These days, it’s a beautiful park, with walking trails for cyclists, hikers and runners.  Birders, as well as fishermen, enjoy its delights.   When possible, I tote a small bag of mini-carrots, stopping by there to feed the park’s resident donkeys.  Last night, near dark, while paying a visit to my four-legged friends, I noted the moon, almost full, hovering over the trees.  This was worth documenting.  Additionally, I took a few photos without the lunar presence.  All are included here.

Just One More Livestock Show Post!

Before leaving the topic for another year, I wanted to share with you some more photos from the 70th Annual Williamson County Livestock Show.  These photos, taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun, were recorded throughout the day on Saturday at the Williamson County Show Barn in Georgetown.   It’s difficult to put into words how much I thoroughly enjoy these shows, to see the results of these kids’ hard work.  Saturday’s judging included poultry and rabbits, with hogs moved into the barn in advance of their Sunday event.   In Texas, in counties large and small, you’ll find youth livestock shows a huge part of the culture.   That’s a good thing.

Xanadu Arrives at the Palace Theatre!

If you’re looking for a production that takes  you back to the 1980s, the Georgetown Palace Theatre’s first play of 2016, “Xanadu,” will be right up your alley.   It’s based on movie of the same name and focuses on a Greek muse sent to Earth to inspire Californians.  While on Earth she meets and falls in love with an artist and helps him achieve his dreams.   Palace artistic director Mary Ellen Butler directed it so you know it will be good!  “Xanadu” will be playing weekends through February 14.

The Livestock Show Is Here!

After the usual slow beginning of another year, things are picking up in my world of photography.   One of my favorite things to cover, the Williamson County Livestock Show, is in full swing at the Williamson County Show Barn, in Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park.   This is the 70th year for the show, with kids from all over the county toting in their lambs, goats, poultry, pigs, steers, heifers and rabbits.   On Wednesday, participants were bringing in their lambs and goats for weigh-ins before their actual competition rolled around Thursday.   The show continues through the weekend, with a premium sale held on Monday.   As I was getting ready to pack up my gear Wednesday, a group of F.F.A. students from Georgetown High mentioned going for a walk with their animals.  Intrigued, I asked where?  “In San Gabriel Park,” they said.  Of course, I had to tag along.  Goats, being goats, wanted to climb trees.  At the end of the park stroll, one young participant and her lamb hitched a ride back to the show barn with mom, once she got her 120-pound sweetie pie safely on board!    Here are a few photos from Wednesday’s fun.  More to come later on the show.

Enjoying the Light on the Square

Monday afternoon I was in Georgetown to purchase supplies for matting photos.  Since the library was close, I stopped by to relax for a few minutes.   About 5:15 or so, the sweet golden light poured in.  Not one to pass up an opportunity, the laptop was shut down and I headed just up the road, to easily the most beautiful town square in Texas.   The lights atop the buildings stay up all year, adding a little touch of class to an already pretty setting.   Included here are the Masonic Lodge building (now Gumbos’s North), Antiques & Artisans (719 Main Street), the Williamson County Sun building (also Main Street),  the M.B. Lockett buidling, now Burger University (corner of 7th and Austin) and the Mileham building, now home to a restaurant on the lower floor, The Hollow, and A Premium Blend School of Performing Arts upstairs.  That one’s shown in the opening photo, the school’s lights adding warmth to a pretty evening.  Topping it off, a waxing crescent moon.    If you want more information about this area, take an electronic stroll


A Foggy Morning Begins

This morning, something awakened me just after 5a.m.   I got up, sauntered around for a minute, then tried to go back to sleep.  Just before 6:30, a decision was made:  it was time to grab the cameras and head out the door.   Early mornings, the time before dawn, are often wonderful times to enjoy, once you get yourself up and moving.   Today was no exception.  The forecast had called for morning fog, giving way to a partly cloudy day by afternoon.   I happen to enjoy fog.  It’s a visual equalizer, stripping down subjects to their core, not unlike black and white photography when you think about it.   Anyway, the official sunrise, if there had been one, would’ve been at 7:28.   I was trolling through East Williamson County’s Blackland Prairie roads well before 7, taking it all in.   The photos taken here were all done in about one hour, the last one, the windmill, just before 8. With the exception of the featured photo, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in Wuthrich Hill, the photos posted were taken in order.  “Sunrise” was during the time at the little cemetery, also at Prince of Peace.   In all, I drove 19.6 miles for this little outing.   When you can, friends, get up and take it all in.  Life’s too short to sleep it away.

Barns, Tractors and Cows

There’s a rickety-looking old barn, just east of Georgetown that I’ve passed hundreds of times.   While full of character, for one reason or another, I passed it by on my treks between Taylor and Georgetown.   Until Tuesday evening, that is.   Returning from a shopping expedition in Georgetown, there was the barn, but added to the mix this time were cows, and a genuine John Deere tractor, one that has obviously done a lot of work over the years.  With that combination of elements in one place, I had to stop.  Thankfully, this section of Texas Highway 29 is blessed with a wide shoulder, providing a good spot for yours truly pull over without being run over!    Looking at those sweet cow eyes sometimes makes me want to become a vegetarian again.  Red meat is only on my plate one day a week as it is.    Safe travels, friends.