Thoughts & Images from Andy Sharp


Another Barn Study

One of my recurring themes:  barns.   New ones exist, but I really admire the ones that have stood the test of time.   The barn presented here, only 1.5 miles from my home in Taylor, Texas, has been around since 1900.   It belongs to Mike and Deby Lannen, two wonderful folks who allowed me access to this structure.  At one time, says Mike, a farmhouse stood next to this barn.  It’s now relegated to history, but the barn remains.  These photos were taken just after dawn on Saturday.   After climbing the fence to get to the barn, with permission, of course, I found the grass to be quite high, and wet with morning dew.  Deby gave a warning:  watch out for rattlesnakes.   I am no fan of snakes.  Thankfully, none made their presence known.  It’s all good.

The Clouds Lift

Tuesday was a typical late-winter Texas day.  The high temperature, maybe 60 degrees, came early.  From there, the remnants of the rain that came on Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday remained, with a heavy layer of clouds and very high winds.  Temperatures dropped fifteen degrees.   By a little before 6p.m. Tuesday, however, the skies parted, just a bit, ushering in some nice, sweet light.   These are photos from areas you’ve seen before, East Williamson County, Texas.   The opening photo, of course, is Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, atop its hill in Wuthrich Hill.  The last image presented is also the church, but a few minutes later, when the pale green light graced its facade.   Simply stated, Texas is beautiful.

On the San Gabriel River

While at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown this morning, I spent some extra time watching birds.   When I was finished with that adventure, a young fly fisherman from Austin came along to add to the scenery of the always-beautiful San Gabriel River.   This set of photos is nothing more than more wanderings, but it’s what I like to do.

Following the Cyclopaths of Texas

Going into last weekend, I didn’t see many events going on in the area I cover.    On Friday, however, I had a lucid few moments and thought about cycling groups.    The Cyclopaths of Texas immediately came to mind.   This  group has been promoting bicycling in our great state since 1989.   In the Central Texas area, they promote year-round weekly rides where all are welcome.  They’re mostly low-stress affairs.  One of the things I like about this group is their “no-drop” policy.  That means they don’t take off and leave fellow cyclists behind.   They keep it light, and fun.   Saturday morning I met eleven cyclists preparing for a 35-miler starting in the parking lot at Dale’s Essenhaus Restaurant, in Walburg.   Dale’s is a  cyclist-friendly business.  Only guys showed up for this ride, but women are often in attendance.   The rides cost nothing except your time.  The photos you see here takes you through Eastern and Northern Williamson County, to Bartlett, Schwertner, New Corn Hill, Theon, Jarrell, and back to Walburg.   Photographing cyclists is also a good way for yours truly to do landscape photography with a little newsier slant!   Watch out for cyclists, please.

Trains and Tracks (And Light)

It’s been a slow week, but generally speaking, I find something to occupy the time.  Not feeling so well for the past few days, I didn’t want to go too far from home.   Recalling that Amtrak made morning and evening runs through Taylor during the week, I decided to watch the action at the local rail yards.   The play of light on train tracks, when done at the right time of day, is pretty neat.   Most of what you see here are examples of that.  These photos were taken over a four-day period, from Monday through Thursday evening.  I wanted to get the Amtrak train in a few shots, but timing was not always right.   On Tuesday, I got the train as it was leaving the yard, on time.  They usually keep a good schedule.  Wanting to place it somewhere else, on Wednesday, I drove ten miles north, to Granger.   Last night the train, for whatever reason, was running almost an hour behind, but I managed to get it going past a crossing, at County Road 401, just west of Taylor, at 6:30p.m.  Mostly, this was an exercise in watching light.

A Fine February Evening

If you haven’t figured it out yet, a lot of what I do is wander.   These excursions, as my site implies, are ramblings.   Sometimes I have something in mind.   Mostly, however, I’m following, and chasing, the light.   As a first grader, I couldn’t draw worth a lick.   When Miss Bertha White, my first grade teacher at Grim Elementary School, in Texarkana, Texas, asked the class to draw a person, I drew one alright, but left off an essential portion of the anatomy:  a body.   There was a head, eyes, nose, mouth and ears.  There were a set of legs and arms to match.  The arms, however, were attached to the legs, sans body.   I got a D-minus.  Fast-forward to my late-teens, when I discovered photography.  I was hooked, and have been ever since.   I could “draw” with light.   These photos taken last week were the result of 75-minute wandering, in East Williamson County, Texas, from just before sunset, until well after.   Chase the light when you can.

The Winter Special Olympics Comes to Georgetown

On another very busy Saturday for the Williamson County Sun, my cameras and I visited Mel’s Lone Star Lanes, in Georgetown.   The occasion was the bowling competition for the statewide Special Olympics Winter Games.   My main focus was on a Georgetown team, the Cen-Tex Rockets, but included in this post is the final photo, a father (and coach) giving encouragement to his son before taking another turn on the lanes.    Another image, next to the last one, demonstrates another dad’s love and support for his son.   And don’t forget volunteers, like the young lady helping a bowler through a tough time. Or John (in yellow jacket with two Rocket team members), a guy who gives his time as a volunteer coach for the team.   It’s not just about the game.

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.