It’s no secret that I love photographing the birds at Taylor’s rookery: egrets, herons, cormorants, and yes, even ducks. Just observing their aerial ballet is mesmerizing. Last evening, , on the way home, I encountered some wonderful flight patterns in our Taylor skies as a couple of friends perhaps came close to avian ballet as they navigated their motorized paragliders through our Blackland Prairie sky. While always fearful of high places, somehow this appeals to me, a peaceful dance in the clouds.
Much of my Sunday was spent documenting the annual church bazaar in New Corn Hill, Texas, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The folks there do things right, with plenty of fried chicken and barbecue with all the fixings, polka music, a raffle, both live and silent auctions, a kolache bake sale, children’s games and a cake walk, which leads this post. For those in the dark, in a cake walk, a wheel adorned with numbers is spun around. If the number where it stops corresponds with the number selected by participants, they win a cake. I loved watching the expressions of two brothers, ages 5 and 3, as they tried their luck. The young fellow on the left did win a cake. Good for him! The others images are a bit of this and that, including some photos of the sanctuary at the church, an eloquent and serene place. The final photo in this post was taken in a storage room adjacent to the choir loft. Those shrouded items are Christmas trees. The ladder at left goes to the bell tower. It’s an odd photo, but then again, so is the photographer.
There’s something about watching a cat that’s calming. Lucy, our cat now in her early-teens, enjoys peering out the window of our bedroom during the first light of day. When we adopted her, her front claws had been removed. Thus, she’s a house cat and mostly seems fine with that. In recent years, however, removing a cat’s claws is often viewed as a cruel amputation. I’d agree with that. Advice, friends: if you bring a cat into your home, be sure you want her/him, but leave them intact. Your furniture isn’t a living thing.
These are some photos I’d planned to toss, but decided to post them tonight since what I’d like to go with here isn’t ready for publication. The photos here were taken a few nights back around Granger Lake. It was a somewhat stormy evening, one where I’d hoped to get a few lightning streaks. That didn’t pan out. Looking at these selection now, they’re not so bad. So here they are, even one in black-and-white.
Each September the little town of Bartlett, Texas, with around 1700 residents, holds its Bartlett Friendship Fest. It’s a small festival, including a parade, food, a barbecue cook-off, vendors and games, but more than anything, it’s a time for folks to simply visit, like the 4-year-old cousins that open the photos in this post. They’re repeated at the conclusion. I like that the Bartlett High band, mascots, football team and cheerleaders participated in the parade. I really really like Eva, a cat who apparently loves strolling on a leash, or sitting on her mom’s shoulders. What an interesting feline she is! A Jeep-owners club from Austin took part, showing folks what they could do with their 4-wheel-drive babies. But the key word here: friendship. We need a bit more of that, don’t we? These were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
Last night was one of those times where I needed to stay close to home. Thankfully, our area parks are filled with things worth seeing. We have a hike-and-bike trail that winds through Taylor. Bull Branch Creek runs close to its path. This section, photographed last evening? I think it’s also called Bull Branch Park, but am not sure. It’s a long stretch of land connecting Bull Branch Park to Murphy Park. Local folks here for a while might know the answer. At any rate, in certain parts, where the park lighting takes control a bit, the scenes are rather arresting. This post is topped off with what I saw in the sky while there. Is that a planet, or a star, to the left of the moon? If you’re interested in technique, the first two photos are long exposures utilizing a tripod. That last one’s just a basic old grab shot.
As I make my way around the Blackland Prairie, the signs of growth are everywhere. While I understand some of it, it’s kind of sad to see the land used for farming and ranching for so long fall victim to so-called progress. Nevertheless, signs of the past manifest in a few farmhouses still standing in East Williamson County, Texas. Some, like in the opening photo, are intact, but I seldom see signs of life there. That field in front, however, is still actively-cultivated. The other couple, being slowly consumed by unchecked trees, have morphed into memories, now more home to critters. As people continue to find affordable land and lives, some of this prairie will go away. Hopefully, not before I record as much as strength allows.
With as much rain as we’ve had recently (it’s raining as I write tonight), I don’t have good feelings about the fields of unpicked cotton I’m seeing around the prairie. As long as it’s out there, in whatever condition, I’ll document it. The first couple are fields a little outside Granger. The last two include the old hand shack I visit quite a lot. The last two are the same image, but one’s presented in black-and-white, just for the heck of it.
While it’s always an honor to document events related to the 9/11 anniversary, there are times, like this evening, when I need to unplug. Rainbows, fleeting bits of color preceded by rain, are calming. Stopping by HEB for a few groceries, this rainbow materialized. Since they usually don’t stay around long, I put the grocery errand on hold and chased color for a few minutes. Then it was gone, but not before I managed to come up with something. Once done, it was back to. HEB for much-needed eggs.
For the last several years, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedies in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., I’ve found my way to Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, Texas for an annual remembrance by first responders in our area, their Memorial Stair Climb. The climb, in a most physical way, honors the service of fire and police personnel in New York City. Participants trudge up and down the stadium steps the equivalent of 110-stories at the World Trade Center. It’s always a moving event. This year, the Georgetown High School football team stood in silence on the field as things got underway. Brothers, ages 7 and 10, representing their Cub Scout pack, handed out water and sports drinks to participants. A member of the fire department’s Pipes & Drums played “Amazing Grace.” Thanks to recent rain, it was cooler, but the bleachers, made of metal, were very slippery. Challenges to overcome. One firefighter friend reminded me that this shouldn’t be about politics. He’s right. Another participant wonders about what those born after 9/11 will remember. I do, too. These photos were taken for the Williamson County Sun.