Driving out this evening, as is often the case, there was no game plan at all, but I found myself drawn west, to Norman’s Crossing. In the far distance, light was on its way to golden serenity on the grain elevators at the Boehm family farm. Hopefully, my friends there don’t mind this impromptu visit. I stayed for about half an hour, watching the light diminish on this wonderful bit of the Blackland Prairie.
The Clayman Family Rodeo’s 25th anniversary event was held Saturday evening in Georgetown, Texas. Because the arena was full of water after a steady afternoon of rain, events were moved to a covered arena at Windsong Farm. The Clayman event was begun by Kelly and Jim Bob Clayman, both former rodeo stars. Throughout the year, they instruct young equestrians in all things related to horses, not just rodeo. The annual rodeo is a way of honoring the work done throughout the year. As rodeos go, it’s not typical. There’s barrel racing and pole bending, a little breakaway roping, as in the opening photo, but you won’t see those more strenuous events as you would in typical rodeos. There’s a little action in this post, but beyond that (hopefully), a sense of the culture … a grandpa with his 2-year-old grandson, both wearing their cowboy hats, spectators for the night’s fun, three sisters, ages 4, 8 and 10, finding a good place to watch. There’s Mary Jo, recovering nicely after a spill during pole bending. Finally, there’s Kyle, an 8-year-old cowpoke, a student of Jim Bob and Kelly, but on this day, a helper. I like this little guy’s style. He’s the one also presented in color. These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
This has been a most stressful week for our country, evident in the social media posts I am seeing in abundance. With that in mind, I open tonight’s offering with a barn I first photographed a couple of years ago in Travis County, Texas. During some Friday evening wandering, without planning to do so, the barn, now with a lovely light, came into view again. This flag …. any flag, really, is a symbol, in no way the exclusive property of a political ideology. Think about that for a bit. Add to that opening photo a couple of photos taken tonight around my Blackland Prairie, including something a little past sunset, a little north of Hutto, followed by a cyclist, adorned with night lights, getting in his daily miles along a fine stretch of road outside Taylor a few minutes before 8. If you can, friends, lower your stress.
By “downtown” I mean my sweet little community, Taylor, Texas. When the mood feels right, and I’m not up to a drive through the country, a relaxing walk feels good. These photos are from a Thursday evening stroll. The opening photo is a little buddy, Mikail, who you might’ve seen before. That’s daddy, Dennis, nearby. And the cat? Well, I think cats are cool. Window-shopping’s included, too. When growing up in Texarkana, my parents and I used to enjoy looking through display windows on a given evening. That last photo, presented in black-and-white? That’s a wonderful statue of Taylor native Bill Pickett, who created bulldogging. Have a good night, friends.
Berry Springs Park & Preserve, just outside Georgetown, is one of those places I find so very relaxing. Adorned with old-growth pecan trees, it brings back memories of the three large pecan trees in the front yard of my family home in Texarkana. Sadly, a rode-widening project led to the end of those beautiful trees, but Berry Spring’s grove remains. The park, however, is full of abundant plant and water life. These are some photos taken Wednesday evening before moseying on back to Taylor. Those last couple of photos, slow-shutter speed images of a flowing stream, are mysterious. When editing last evening, I saw a face in those small waves. Am I off my nut? These photos are for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
This is a windmill photographed a number of times. These four images, however, were all taken this month. I’ll leave it at that for tonight, friends.
Late this afternoon, while a father and son plumbing duo fixed a problem at our home, a UPS delivery fellow delivered my recently-broken Nikon. With the plumbing work done, I commenced to give a test drive to my baby. Thanks to Berrie Smith, easily the best camera repairman in the world, all is good. The first photo was taken a little before sunset along a farm-to-market road north of Norman’s Crossing, Texas as a farmer toted a hay bale behind his tractor. The second image is similar to one of trains posted recently. The main reason this was taken, however, is simple. I was stopped at the tracks while the train moseyed by. What better thing to do than take a photo, right?
Horses are wonderful beings. While I don’t always offer a themed post, tonight let’s go with horses. These are photos taken at a few areas around our Blackland Prairie. The opening photo was taken close to two weeks ago, the others more recent. Here’s an idea. I’ll shut up now and let the horses speak for themselves.
Friday night and Saturday morning were a mess in Central Texas. The area, actually much of Texas, was inundated with heavy rain. That didn’t put a damper on the 2nd Annual Barbecue Cook-Off at Georgetown’s VFW Post 8587. Yes, barbecue’s a part of many states throughout the south, southwest and midwest, but in Texas? It’s a way of life. One of the entrants who began preparing his brisket Friday night did mention it got a little dicey, but this VFW post sits high on a hill above the San Gabriel River. All was good. This post includes some entrants and judges, but mostly it’s about folks enjoying the food. The 8-year-old boy in this post was in his element.
After a day of mostly pursuing flood-related photos, tonight, nearing the conclusion of autumn, I found a field not far from home. It’s on a county road I seldom travel, mainly because it’s bumpy, full of potholes. But you know what? It’s a quiet road, one where I can stop the car, put it in park, whip out the tripod and record what’s there with little disturbance from other motorists. It doesn’t always work out like that, but it did this evening. Here’s the thing, friends. I feel compelled to document this tiny slice of the Blackland Prairie. Although I grew up in Northeast Texas, with its Piney Woods (which I love), since leaving Atlanta, Georgia in 2009, I’ve become enamored with these spaces. In the little over nine years we’ve been here, however, the. developers have begun to snatch up bits of this wonderful ocean of land. There’s a compulsion, then, to document what’s here before it’s too late. It’s only a small slice of Texas, but it’s one I love.