In the Presence of Ducks

Since ducks are revered in my town, I would be remiss if not posting the arrival of new babies every year.   It seems they’re late this time around.  Maybe that’s due in part to our horrendous winter storm in February?   It’s hard to say.   These photos were taken on two different evenings this week at Taylor’s Bull Branch Park.   The post begins with a very protective mama, giving me the stink eye!

Little Adventures at the Creek

At  Taylor’s Bull Branch Park last evening, I was on a mission to find something else, but the mission changed when I saw an adorable 4-year-old having a grand time at the creek, navigating the cypress trees in search of tiny treasures.   Joey was joined by his dad, plus his two-year-old sister.   Daddy made sure little sister didn’t venture too close to the water.   The 4-year-old, however, enjoyed the adventure, only getting a little muddy in the process.  It’s nice to see such a good daddy, giving his kids memories that will stay with them for a lifetime.    I’ll bet Joey slept well last night!    These slices of life define community photojournalism for me.  They’re important, too.  

Dennis and Mikail

If you’ve followed my posts for a few years, you might recall a Fathers Day story I did 3 years ago this month about Dennis Levitin’s relationship with his then 4-year-old son, Mikail.   Dennis, an artist and musician  from Denmark who lives in Taylor, was raising Mikail mostly on his own.  Since then, I occasionally see them at the park or around town.   A recent post Dennis mentioned that dad and son, now 38 and 7,  were getting into skateboarding.   Taylor’s new skatepark, Pierce Park, recently reopened after COVID restrictions were eased.   I joined them for a recent outing.  Mikail, who will be 8 in July, is really the expert.   Dad was a rollerblader in Copenhaven, but skateboarding’s new to him.   The last couple of photos are from the original story.  FYI, dad needs to get a helmet, too! 


Looming Development

Evening descends along a farm to market road in Northeast Williamson County, Texas.   These photos were taken from the driveway of a friend who has lived along this road for decades.   During a recent visit, I learned about the coming expansion of this road, eventually an extension of Ronald Reagan Parkway, a wide and very busy highway that begins on the western side of Williamson County.    While my friend’s home appears to be safe, a good slice of her frontage will be taken.   Looming development continues to rear its head in farm and ranch country.

A Sanctuary Enveloped in Love

In December, Rhonda Mindardi  founded  Living Grace Canine Ranch, a sanctuary for dogs,  a few miles north of Bertram, Texas.   The non-profit’s purpose is   prominent on their website: a ” charity dedicated to saving, serving and valuing the lives of displaced, un-adoptable and unwanted Texas senior canines.  Our mission of mercy celebrates all breeds, regardless of physical, emotional and medical challenges,” plus “Here, you will find rest, safety and nourishment for your weary body & spirit.”    Dogs who’ve been abused find homes here, as well as dogs given up by elderly owners faced with moving   into nursing homes.    These photos were taken Easter Sunday, when Minardi (in opening photo) and volunteers held an Easter egg hunt for their residents.   One of the dogs is Tommy, a deaf Siberian Husky. Volunteer Ally Johnson communicates with Tommy via sign language.   The day I was there, Minardi was caring for 27 dogs.  During the Easter egg hunt, dogs were getting plenty of cheese treats.  At their age, considering how many were treated before coming here,  these dogs deserve to be spoiled.  Minardi lives onsite.  Each dog has his/her own apartment.   The photos were taken for an Austin American Statesman story by Claire Osborn.    Note that this is a sanctuary, a place for these dogs to live out their lives in peace and happiness.   They are not available  for adoption.     For ways to sponsor a dog, make a donation, or volunteer, refer to their site.    Also on the site’s home page–Where Love Resides.   I like that.

A Leftover

Clouds were ominous-looking Saturday afternoon near the end of the Williamson Museum’s Pioneer Days, held at the Old Settlers Association in Round Rock.  Heavy rains followed.   A leftover image.   A leftover image.

It’s Okay to be Tiny

Thinking about what to post today, these miniature horses, a mama and her colt, the baby born April 14th, seemed like a good fit.   A big horse race happened today in Kentucky.   These little ones probably won’t ever  be competitors there, but so what?  They’re just cute.  “Cute” is a word I don’t like very much regarding my photos, but it seems to apply here.  Mom’s name is Brownie.  A name awaits the little one.  They are residents at the Old Settlers Association in Round Rock, where I took photos of the Williamson Museum’s Pioneer Days today.

Flowers in Taylor … Little Landscapes

I think of flowers as tiny landscapes.   Don’t misunderstand.   I find pleasure in expansive scenes quite a lot, but at this time of the year in Texas, flowers are very much a part of our lives.   These photos are all taken within the city limits of my town, Taylor.   The first photo was taken well past sunset along Bill Pickett Trail.  The color is subtle.   The other images were taken in Liberty Gardens, at the entrance to Murphy Park (home to the rookery).    Just some little landscapes, friends.