Around 8pm tonight the stars came out above Taylor’s Bull Branch Park. It’s a cool autumn evening here in Central Texas, quiet, and just a little blue in the night skies. A tripod, of course, helped make this image work. That streak across the center is an aircraft making its way through our Texas sky.
It’s hard to describe just how good cool weather makes me feel. We’re well into the month of November, but temperatures are getting to where they need to be. It is, of course, south central Texas, but even here, on the Blackland Prairie, it’s nice to feel some sweet autumn breezes. This post begins in Wuthrich Hill, defined by this wonderful church on a hill along County Road 417, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Try as I might, it’s hard to stop recording its delicate serene beauty. Tonight, a truck was meandering up the hill. And the moon? It’s in its Waxing Crescent phase, only 2.3% visible. That’s okay, friends. It’s still there if we look. The night’s post concludes on a county road, well past sunset, at a pond on the prairie. Let’s hope this sweet weather continues for a while.
Today I spent a glorious amount of time at Berry Springs Park & Preserve in Georgetown, Texas. My purpose for being there, however, is not the subject of tonight’s post. What’s here came after, when I was getting ready to head home to Taylor. There’s this old barn at the park. The grackles, at least I think that’s what they are, were flying en masse around the structure, casting shadows, etc. The movement fascinated me for quite a while. I’m not sure I ever got what I wanted, but it’s posted here, in both color and black and white. While watching the barn, however, another image came into view: a dad manning the grill under the shade of some very nice trees. As it turns out, his family was celebrating their daughter’s 6th birthday at the park. That is also presented two ways. Dad at the grill is more photojournalistic. The other one? The one that originally got my attention? I’m not sure what to call that one. More later on my reason for being at the park, but not tonight. Forgive the color vs. b/w thing, folks. It’s really okay either way.
Consider this a hodgepodge, folks, a bit of this, a little of that. The rooster? He’s a big old metal thing, standing guard over a field in East Williamson County, Texas. It brings to mind my Atlanta days. In Marietta, where I had an office for many years, there’s a Big Chicken. Georgia folks know this bird. Others? Google this: Big Chicken Marietta. You’ll see soon enough. When I spotted this metal bird tonight, I fell down getting to it. Often, when something comes into view, I stop the car and start snapping. Thankfully, that’s mostly doable out here on the prairie. Just up the road a piece from the metal fellow (wait for it) was yes, another windmill, this one surrounded by warm evening skies. The last one? Why that’s a bright red cross, glowing in a field between Taylor and Granger, Texas. It must be the season since I’ve not seen it before last evening. This and that, friends. No rhyme or reason.
This evening, I moseyed a little north of Taylor, coming to this scene at Granger Lake on a night filled with gathering clouds. And yes, some mighty fine blue moodiness. To reiterate, I am so glad that Daylight Saving Time is history, at least for a while. This was a few minutes past 6pm.
Windmills, like barns, are subjects that never grow old for me. Although they may all look similar, they’re all special. I think part of that is being in a part of the country where I didn’t get to see them so much. And if I did see them, the landscape was often too cluttered to do them any justice. Not so around here, folks. Here, on the prairie, we have space … good skies (great, really), and flowing, meandering bits of earth. Granted, you can get the same sense of them in other places .. Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma. But I live here, in Texas. So I see what I see. Like this one from tonight.
Photos posted tonight were taken Sunday, and tonight, around Taylor’s Murphy Park. Some include the rookery, some not. A little color, a little black and white. Mostly, it’s therapy imagery. When I need to take a few photos very close to home, this fits the bill.
Friday night I was close to home, recording the final football game at Taylor’s Memorial Field, where the Taylor High Ducks took on Canyon Lake in a stadium that’s been on Davis Street, by Murphy Park, for a hundred years. Dubbed the “Duck Pond” many years ago, the teams actually played their first game under the lights in 1933. My photos, for the Austin American-Statesman, are not meant to be of the action. Another photographer handled that job. The task at hand for yours truly was to document the scene, something I prefer to game action these days. The good news is that the Taylor Ducks will be moving into a brand-new stadium next year. In fact, it’s almost finished. But the Duck Pond is special to folks around here. Among the photos: several members of football squads (and a cheerleader) from the 1940s-era … parents and kids cheering on the team from the stands … halftime shows … moms of senior players with roses .. and finally, lights out after the game was over. Unfortunately, the Ducks didn’t prevail, losing to Canyon 28-14. Still, it was a grand finale. Taylor High Class of 1962 graduate Irene Michna, was feeling the sadness as she made her way off the darkened field, among the last to leave. Even though a new stadium awaits, I hope the city finds a way to keep the old one around. It has presence in our town.
For the 12th year in row, a Veterans Day observance was held at Sun City’s Georgetown-Williamson County Veterans Memorial Plaza. After a week of cool, sometime wet weather, the morning was warm and dry, just a little cloudy. Included here are some of the photos I took for the Williamson County Sun. One of the more poignant moments happened in what you see in the opening image. The guest speaker, Brigadier General Kenneth L. Kamper, seeking to point out veterans in attendance, asked for those that could do so to stand and be recognized. In the back of the plaza, under a tree, was 99-year-old Douglas Smith, a World War II Army Air Corps veteran confined to a wheelchair. Not to be deterred, he moved to stand up. Coming to his aid were not only his daughter, but two U.S. Army veterans as well. He stood proud for several seconds before returning to his chair. The final photo shows family members. The older gent in the wheelchair, 87, is a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He’s been assisted by his 28-year-old nephew, currently an active duty Army Sergeant based at Fort Hood, Texas. The younger fellow has had deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a sweet conclusion to the day.
To kick off the weekend, how about something light and colorful? These photos were taken recently at Taylor’s Liberty Garden, located at Murphy Park. I’ll keep words to a minimum and let the butterflies (and a bee) do the hard work of communicating this time.