Memorial Day Images

Just a few photos from the annual Memorial Day observance in Sun City, Texas.  While some elected officials are friends, my preference is to focus on those who are not elected officials.    They get plenty of publicity without my help.

Prairie Corn

On any given rural road in East Williamson County, Texas, I’m seeing an abundance of corn.   Never mind that most of what’s on my visual radar is feed corn, or corn for meant for fuel.  In a landscape image, corn is corn.   Those stalks are progressing nicely this season,  a rich, healthy green.  Soon, as harvest time nears, those stalks will take on a yellow, almost-burnt appearance.  That’s okay.  It means the field is ready for market.   Allow this collection of recent images from the Blackland Prairie, including a self-serving photo of the roof of my car as I amble along 

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Early Morning at the Taylor Cafe

Several years ago, the Austin American-Statesman assigned me to photograph the Taylor Cafe, and its owner, World War II Army veteran Vencil Mares, who opened his barbecue place soon after coming home from that conflict.    Since then, I’ve occasionally stopped by to say hello to Vencil, sometimes taking photos, sometimes not.   With  Memorial Day near, Mr. Mares seems like a good subject to re-visit.  He celebrate his 94th birthday in November.   One of the things I’d heard through the years was that Vencil arrives at the restaurant every day of the year (except Christmas and Easter) at 6a.m., staying until closing time, around 10pm.   While I sort of believed the story, it wasn’t until earlier this week, while working on another story, that I saw him coming to work, well before 6a.m.   Even though he’s wheelchair-bound, you can still set your clocks by him.   As he guided Vencil into the restaurant, he explained, somewhat apologetically, that they usually get here by 5:30a.m.    This special sighting was somewhat like seeing the Loch Ness monster, but in a good way.    Happy Memorial Day, sir.

Another Week With the Phone

Here’s this week’s collection of mobile phone photos  made with my Motorola Moto, total cost $125.    One day this week my daily walk was undertaken in Georgetown, thus a few images from that fair city to my west.   For those new to these posts,  I’ve been using a smartphone to make photos during daily two-plus hour strolls.   Phones, regardless of their costs, have limitations, but they are certainly light!

Almost Ready To Harvest

Wheat was visited a while back, when it was beginning to spread its wispy wings across the landscape, but not ready for harvest.   In recent days, however, I’m beginning to see flattened fields where this resilient crop has already been scooped up by combines.   These fields are a couple I saw earlier this week, the warm evening light fanning across their fullness.  A series of rain showers had moved through on this day, adding a nice layer of texture to an already-pleasant thing.  Farmers make this look so easy, but some of us know better.   The arduous labor and long hours our agrarians contribute to earth’s citizens is taken for granted, but not by me.   Never by me. 

An Old Family Cemetery in a Field

While these old family burial sites are by no means exclusive to Texas,  they seem to have made their way to my mental radar more often since we moved home.   Without doing a lot of research, my sense is these plots were common in farming or ranching country.   At any rate, I find them intriguing.   The one presented here, anchoring this field in the Norman’s Crossing area, is the burial site of members of one of Williamson County’s founding families, the Kimbros.   Daniel Kimbro was born in North Carolina in 1808.  No birth year is given for his wife, Mary Polly Gilbert Kimbro, but she was brought into this world in Tennessee.   They married in 1832, moving to Texas in 1836.   If the gravestones are accurate, they owned slaves.    It was a different time, well before the Civil War. Spelling, however, was apparently not a strength.  One thing I’ll look for when spring/summer growth has gone away, is the site of an ancient barn in the background.  It’s kind of hard to see right now.  These burial sites are witnesses to our histories.   They are fascinating. 

Storm Clouds

Those dang Texas storm clouds are deceptive.   They form into deeply-dark pockets of dark gray and black in our skies, but sometimes that’s all you get.   Earlier this evening was a good example.  A mass of scary-looking clouds took hold above Taylor’s St. James Episcopal Church.   A few minutes, and a couple of blocks later, there was a fellow doing some roofing work on our famous barbecue establishment, Louie Mueller BBQ.   Shortly, very shortly, after this photo was taken, the young fellow hurried on down.   While I’d hoped for some lightning streaks, or a fine rainbow, those didn’t happen, but these are okay, aren’t they?

Horses and their Humans

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about horses, but there’s this:  they are beautiful beings that beg to be photographed.  And I do, as often as possible.   Much of my Saturday was spent at the Williamson County Expo Center, covering the Trinity Hill Central Texas Hunter Jumper Horse Show.   While you’ll find a few “action” photos here, what makes it special are human/horse relationships.   Hopefully, some of that is presented here.   I’m particularly happy with the opening photo, where Tyler, an 18-year-old equestrian from Austin, plants a kiss on her friend called Oso.  Tyler explains that Oso is Spanish for bear!   That last photo?  That’s Jaycee, a lively 8-year-old whose mom is a trainer at a facility in Salado.   Jaycee is a rider, too, but on this day, she played and just had fun.  By mid-afternoon, she was ready for a nap.   These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.

Spring Rain

Here in Texas, we’ll be yearning for these fast-moving showers pretty soon.  Our summers, generally speaking, are not known for an abundance of rain.   This one’s from our back porch just a few minutes ago.  It’s already moseyed on.