Church members and volunteers at Georgetown’s First United Methodist Church were in pumpkin heaven late this afternoon as they helped unload 3,000 pumpkins in advance of their annual fundraiser for children’s and youth ministries and local outreach. The pumpkins made their journey from the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. On October 20th, another 1,500 pumpkins will arrive to replenish the stock. The sale will continue daily through Halloween. I always enjoy photographing this for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.
On a recent post, a sunrise in Jonah, Texas, I griped about the incessant power lines in the image. A friend on Instagram mentioned she’d learned to embrace power lines. With a background in journalism, I do not remove things like that from a photo. With tonight’s photo, I’m taking that friend’s advice in this scene just outside Taylor, Texas.
Since returning to Texas ten years ago, I’ve been fortunate to photograph a few rodeos in our area. One that’s particularly fun is the Clayman Rodeo, held at Windsong Farm in Georgetown, Texas. Unlike most rodeos, Clayman is a training facility for young equestrians, where they learn about rodeo, but more than that, an equestrian lifestyle. You won’t see bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, etc. Jim Bob and Kelly Clayman, both former rodeo champions, began teaching equestrian arts here years ago. The Clayman family rodeo is an opportunity for Clayman students to show off their skills to friends and family. There are some action photos here, from barrel racing, roping, pole bending, but also presented are just scenes and portraits of this community of horse lovers. One photo that veers off course a little is Payden Cash Clayman, son of the founders, spending quality time with his dog Luka. Payden is a senior at University of Texas at Dallas, but comes home at rodeo time to help out along with his younger brother Ryden Rope Clayman, a high school junior. This is a sport I truly love to document.
This Sunday morning was spent in Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park for the annual Blessing of the Animals service conducted by Grace Episcopal Church. The service pays homage to Saint Francis of Assisi, an 11th Century Italian priest closely aligned with our animal friends and the natural environment. Presented here are a few photos from this morning. Dogs and cats, certainly, but a few others, too. This service has been held under the park’s Live Oak trees for a few years. Although not related to the actual service, I like that children in attendance find pleasure in those trees. I believe Saint Francis would approve.
On the way to an early-morning assignment in Georgetown today, a look in the rearview mirror revealed a quite nice sunrise in progress. This was along Texas Highway 29 in Jonah. I am thankful that the highway had a shoulder where I could pull off and watch for a very few minutes. As you probably know, the sun gets intense pretty fast. It would’ve been great to have a few less power lines in the picture, but anyone familiar with my work knows that I am not a proponent of removing things via Photoshop. You see what I see. Hopefully.
Lakes and oceans are wonderful things, but I have an affection for rivers. The San Gabriel River, pictured tonight in Jonah, Texas, is one such body of water. The river begins west/northwest of Georgetown and continues to meander through Williamson and Milam Counties, eventually joining the Brazos River, which completes its journey at the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport, Texas. Rivers, unlike many lakes, are natural bits of nature. I adore them all.
Sitting down at the computer early this morning, I was attracted to light filtering through the window. It merited a photo. Sometimes we’re engaged without having to go very far.
Ah, it’s so nice to have the days grow shorter, providing more opportunities for evening imagery. Like tonight in downtown Bartlett, Texas, when a Waxing Crescent moon, 34.3% visible, accompanied by (I think) the planet Jupiter in this scene above West Clark Street. Normally, two posts in a day are too much, but moon phases change quickly. Must strike while the iron is hot. And the planets align.
In the early-1980s, while working for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, I paid a visit to Atlanta’s Starlight Drive-In Theatre, on Moreland Avenue. It was a rainy summer night, folks dashing back to the safety of their vehicles to continue their movie enjoyment. Just today, I was happy to find out the Starlight is still in business. It opened its doors in 1949 with one gigantic screen. Some years later a second screen was added. I have a personal affection for these theaters. My father was a projectionist at the Joy Drive-In Theater in Texarkana, Texas. Since my mom also worked a night shift as a telephone operator, I got to go to work with daddy as a 4-year-old. It was great fun. This was in the mid-late 1950s. Move ahead to the 60s and there I was, a teen working at the Joy, as well as another drive-in on the Arkansas side of town. An Instagram photo this week made me think of drive-ins. They had their issues, mosquitos being a big one, but what a nice piece of American culture!
It’s another of those nights where I’m not nailing down a specific theme. The opening photo was made on a recent night with rain clouds were forming in the Beyersville area. The rain didn’t materialize, but the skies were mighty nice. Only after taking the photo did I notice the little cotton patch in front of the barns, a pleasant addition. The second image was maybe ten miles north of Beyersville, close to Granger. On this evening that Texas sky was almost ethereal.