July Town Scenes in Taylor

When allergy/sinus issues rear their nasty heads, I try to stay close to home.   These are recent photos taken in my town, Taylor, Texas, in our quaint downtown corridor.    City limits signs place our population at a little over 15,000, but recent census figures have us topping out around 17K.   Compared to metro-Atlanta (Georgia), however, it’s still a small town.  A recent controversy here is related to an alley between 2nd and 3rd Streets.   Beginning in early-June, area artists began adding their own touches the art wall.  Six weeks into the project, however, the city slowed things down.  Any downtown art is expected to get a permit, at no charge,  from local government.   I understand this, but do hope city fathers will allow this artistic expression to continue.   

Grain Elevators … and the Moon

These are some photos taken this evening on the farm of friends in Norman’s Crossing, Texas.   Grain elevators once again got my attention.   It was a pleasant night, the day’s heat diminishing, at least a little.  And then there was the moon, a full moon, sometimes called a Blood Moon at this stage.   The last photo, taken about 9:30, is courtesy of our lunar friend.  

A Cemetery at Road’s End

A friend, riding on a tractor with a nephew during corn harvest, texted me a new find, a cemetery sitting on a hill above a pasture in East Williamson County.   Growing up in this area, she remembered seeing it before, but not for quite a while.   The other evening, I drove out there to take a look.    Looking carefully, taking it slow on this dusty dirt road, I was keeping an eye out, expecting to see something tiny.   You know, one of those family plots in the middle of a pasture.   But this was no small plot.  Looking to my left, and up, there it was, a Waxing Gibbous moon beginning to shine.  The road wound around, coming to its end at what I now know to be the Shiloh-McCutcheon Cemetery.   In the 1840s, according to the Texas State historical marker, this was the Shiloh community, not far from Brushy Creek, near Wilbarger Crossing, later called Shiloh Crossing and Rogan Crossing, the village had a school, church and two stores.   The first burial here was in 1853, but it was not officially deeded as a burial site until 1890.  Interred here are veterans of the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, and both World Wars.  There are a few recent burials, but only ashes of descendants are permitted now.   I remained there until the day’s light began to fade.  With no street lights on that old road,  getting home was a good idea.   Cemeteries, large or small, continue to fascinate.    In Texas, we have an abundance of history, much of it found in these tucked-away places of repose.  

Up and Away

Maybe you recall a recent post where I shared a photo of myself near the top of a grain elevator in Norman’s Crossing, Texas.   Last night I was near that big thing again while working on a story.   Getting ready to head toward home, looking up, there were two friends perched on the top!    Note that I didn’t quite travel that far, stopping nearby, where something to grasp presented itself.  But here were these two young ladies, taking in the view under a Waxing Gibbous moon.  That hand sign in one photo is (I think) a Texas Tech thing.    I managed to get up enough fortitude to climb, but just enough to say howdy and take a few photos.   It is quite a nice view.

Along a Country Road

They’re all country roads, aren’t they?  Not really, but we do have a few left to enjoy here on the Blackland Prairie.   Tonight’s photos were taken while working on something else last evening, but with stacks of hay and the warmth of dirt roads, I don’t think they’re a bad way to go.

Along Brushy Creek

Brushy Creek is just that … a creek.  Although not a river, it meanders widely through Central Texas.   One area you’ll find it is in East Willamson County, Texas, in the community of Norman’s Crossing.   Recently, a friend there invited me to take a look at the stream that flows through her family land.   There’s a spring  she wanted me to see.  Alas, drought conditions are taking their toll.  The spring was just a trickle as it made its way to the creek’s edge.  Once there, however, we stayed awhile near the creek’s banks.  There’s a tattered and frayed old rope swing.   When not so dry, it’s been a place to cool off.   For now, the water’s shallow.  But that swing?  It got my attention.   And the tree roots snuggling next to the stream?  Yes, they were arresting, too. And that lush vegetation?  Quite nice.  As we approached the creek, I was reminded of things that could harm … poison ivy, poison oak, snakes.  We didn’t encounter any snakes, but they were there, watching us.    Thanks to my friend  for allowing access to her family land.   While I didn’t engage with the stream, it was good. 

From Dusk to Dawn … Solar Passages

Some simple things from my prairie roost tonight.    Observing the passage of time.    While most of us rely on clocks, watches or mobile devices to give us the time, our sun has been doing that forever.   All we need to do is pay attention to its wanderings.   Last night, for instance, it was a simple thing to observe its place in the western sky and know it was just after 8:30.   This morning, driving through Jonah, I made a brief stop to observe the sun’s return, a whisper of a breath before 7.   That setting is what’s now the Jonah Community Center, originally the Jonah Community School, built in 1922.   The final image, hopefully, gives you the context.   What might be mistaken for cloud cover is courtesy of dust from the continent of Africa, traveling to our Blackland Prairie.    Watch the passages, friends. 

The Rodeo Comes to Taylor

On a warm Friday evening in Taylor, I moseyed up the road a little to the Williamson County Expo Center, where I attended  the first night of the 69th Annual Taylor Rodeo, held each year by the Taylor Rodeo Association.    It’s mighty hot in Texas right now, with temperatures well past a hundred.  Thankfully, the Expo Center is covered on top, blocking out much of the. sun’s rays.  And they have gigantic ceiling fans to boot. Anyway, a collection of photos from last night.   It bears repeating:  while action photos are fine, and I’m happy to get a good one now and then, it’s the culture and atmosphere of these events that make it good.  Included in the “action” are steer-saddling  and mutton bustin’, for the little folks.  And of course, one photo from steer wrestling, created by Taylor’s own Bill Pickett.  The road running behind the Expo Center is named for him.   The opening photo shows two friends, both 8, removing their cowboy hats while a riderless horse circles the arena.  That horse is a nod to members of the rodeo family who have died over the past year.   And there’s cowboys, taping up, getting ready, psyching themselves for their event.   I particularly like the young lady, obviously head-over-heels in love with her cowboy boyfriend.  I asked if it was okay to say “boyfriend” in my captions.   With smiles, they said okay.  The post ends with boots, worn to a frazzle, taped up for their last rodeo according to their owner.  It’s presented in both color and black-and-white, mainly because I couldn’t decide which I liked.   These photos were taken for my friends at the Williamson County Sun.

On the Road to Beyersville

This is a photo taken along a relaxing country road recently.  Evening was making its presence known as I traveled from Coupland to Beyersville.  This farmland scene merited a brief stop.   While we don’t live in the Texas Hill Country, our home on the prairie has some wonderfully-peaceful rolling hills.  And need I say it?  Our skies?  No adequate words right now.