Category: Exploring Texas

Over Houston

houston flight 4

 

houston flight passengers

 

houston flight 1

 

houston flight 2

 

houston flight 7

 

houston flight 6

 

houston flight 5

Advertisements

Possibilities!

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

-Longfellow

Possibilities, Ft. Davis, TX Possibilities, Ft. Davis, Texas

I'm leaving my old blog behind, and starting fresh here on Typepad. After being in a blogging rut - if I find my blog dull what must my few readers think? – I figured I'd write a farewell post and call it quits. But I started thinking about all the nice little unexpected surprises that blogging has brought my way. An example…I took the photo below of a shop called Possibilities in Ft. Davis, Texas (a must-visit town if you are ever in west Texas) and posted it on my blog along with a bunch of other Texas photos. I was so pleased a few months later to get an email from the owner of Possibilities, complimenting the photo. And then just a couple weeks ago, I got a message from Alyce Santoro, who also found my photo. She wrote to say she loved the picture and happened to live right across the street from Possibilities. And what a coincidence that I had previously found her shop on Supermarket.com and thought about buying my husband one of her "philosoprops." Which I may actually do now because his birthday is very soon. 

So because I love these small coincidences, I will give blogging a second try.

But in a new spot, with a new look. Sometimes it's just better to start from scratch. Like getting a really short haircut, or deep cleaning your closet.

PossibilitesCropFtDavis
 

Watch for snakes

Rattlesnake season has just begun and already I’ve seen more snakes than I thought I ever would. This is because I went to the Rattlesnake Roundup – an event I won’t soon forget – a couple of weeks ago.  It’s an annual thing in Sweetwater, Texas, which is about 80 miles north of us. Here’s a good YouTube video that sums it up pretty well:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkiA4Hhrjuo. Our time in Texas is getting short and we were curious… I’ll just say that hopefully I’ll leave Texas without seeing any more snakes. It was a very strange couple of hours. Watching other visitors reactions to the snakes was really interesting – look at the expressions of delight and disgust on the faces in the background in some of these pictures.

Souveniers I passed on –
Jars

The main attraction –  snakes were pulled out of their burlap sacks, handled, and measured to find the longest…

View of arena

Snake Handling

Snake in Light

A rattlesnake is on the table between these men and they are stretching it out along a measuring tape. The longest measurement I heard was 68 inches. Yikes!

Measuring

The little boy in the middle seemed really happy about having the snake in front of him. The little girl is thinking crazy little kid

Smiling kid

A snake gets “milked” for its venom…

Venom

More snakes and happy little boys…

Kids and snakes 2

Kids and snakes 1

An especially creepy sight…

Creepy Rattlesnake crawl

Bronte

Beautiful warm weather returned on Sunday and we took a drive north to Sweetwater. On the way we passed through Tennyson, where there is nothing to be found, and then Bronte, which seems like a nice little town…I especially liked Superman here, painted by a high school art class.

Superman Mural in Bronte, Texas

Old Car Through Fence, Bronte, Texas

House and Dirt Road

Warm Weather Pictures

Two new photographs made yesterday afternoon, when it was 40 degrees warmer. Yes, the temperature dropped 40 degrees last night here in San Angelo, Texas!

Game of Life

Game of Life

Cleats

Cleats

Also, thanks to Gina at gidudesign for choosing one of my photographs of England for her Green St. Patrick’s Day theme. Have a look at her blog here.

San Antonio Missions

When we were in San Antonio last weekend we discovered that in addition to the Alamo, there are four other 18th century Spanish missions in the area. These places are windows into Texas and US history, and also just beautiful places to wander around in…If you visit San Antonio, don’t miss them!

 

Mission Concepcion

Mission Concepcion

Mission Concepcion No. 2

Mission Concepcion No. 2

 

Side View of Mission Concepcion

Side View of Mission Concepcion

 

Wooden Door, Mission Concepcion

Wooden Door, Mission Concepcion

Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose

 

Prayer Candles, Mission San Jose

Prayer Candles, Mission San Jose

 

Mission San Juan

Mission San Juan

Inside Mission San Juan

Inside Mission San Juan

On the road again in Texas

We were on the road again last weekend, this time to San Antonio. We meandered along small roads and stopped quite a bit as usual. If only the sun could have peeked out! I took lots of photos but the white sky gave off only dull washed-out light. How frustrating! Many of the places I stop and photograph are pretty faded already – just a bit of sunlight can bring them to life, turning a spot that looks hopeless into hopeful.

 

Side of a church in Brady

Side of a church in Brady

 

Blue Wagon, Fort Martin Scott near Fredericksburg

Blue Wagon, Fort Martin Scott near Fredericksburg

 

Ranch.com

Ranch.com

Luckenbach

Luckenbach

 

Porch Piano, London

Porch Piano, London

Cemetery and Red Dirt Road, Kimble County

Cemetery and Red Dirt Road, Kimble County

 

C.O. Coffy, Menard

C.O. Coffy, Menard

Alcapulco Drive In, San Antonio

Alcapulco Drive In, San Antonio

Liberty Bar, San Antonio

Liberty Bar, San Antonio

 

The Alamo, minus the crowd

The Alamo, minus the crowd

 

The Alamo, plus crowd

The Alamo, plus crowd

Some Lovely and Lonesome Places

Here’s another batch of photos from my trip through the Big Bend of Texas. I grouped these together because they are all particularly lonesome places…

Below is a pioneer cemetery in the town of Fort Davis. What an unusual spot. A narrow path from the highway leads you in between two houses, as if you are going into someone’s backyard, and opens up into an overgrown field where the cemetery sits in a corner. Despite being surrounded by homes (and barking yard dogs) the graves and grounds are neglected and even charred by fire. The stones were so scattered that I don’t think my pictures do this strange place justice, but here’s a glimpse…

Pioneer Cemetery

 

 

 

Pioneer Cemetery Wavy Tree

 

Pioneer Cemetery Red Broken Grave

Consepcion Bentley
Pioneer Cemetery Long Grave

We passed this metal barn on the path to the cemetery. Pieces of it looked ready to fly away in the wind.

Metal Barn, Fort Davis

The next few photos are from another frontier fort northeast of Fort Davis called Fort Stockton.

Inside the officer’s quarters –

Cracked wall, Fort Stockton Officer's Quarters                                                          

Inside the Buffalo Soldier’s Barracks-

Buffalo Soldier's Barracks Window to officer’s quarters-      

treewindowftstockton1

An Episcopal church near Fort Stockton –

Episcopal Church, Fort Stockton

I brought along my large format camera and put it to use when I saw the clouds cutting across the sky like this just outside of Fort Davis. This scene was more lovely than lonesome.

Split Sky and Camera

Fort Davis

I took many, many photos of this impressive frontier fort named for Jefferson Davis. It stretches back into a canyon and has rocky hills towering over it. We hiked up into the hills to view Fort Davis from above, as Apache Indians would have done in 1854 – the year the fort was built. Until the start of the Civil War U.S. Infantry troops posted at Fort Davis protected settlers, travelers, and mail coaches en route between San Antonio and El Paso. That first road – a rutted dirt path – is still visible at the fort…

After Texas’s secession from the Union Fort Davis was abandoned. In 1862 it was occupied briefly by the Confederates, and then again abandoned. When the war ended Fort Davis took up its original role again – safeguarding against Comanches and Apaches – until 1891 when it was deserted a final time. 

We took our time roaming through the dusty, silent buildings. Every now and then bugle calls rang out over a loudspeaker in spurts of eerie liveliness…

 

Road to the Barracks

Road to the Barracks

Officer's Quarters

Officer's Quarters

 

Officer's Quarters, Rear Window

Officer's Quarters, Rear Window

 

Inside an Officer's House

Children's Room Inside an Officer's House

 

Clothesline

Clothesline

 

Chapel and Junior Officer's Quarters

Chapel and Junior Officer's Quarters

Chapel Ruins

Chapel Ruins

 

Ira Durham, Graffiti Inside Hospital

Ira Durham, Graffiti Inside Hospital

J.W. + Debbie, Graffiti on Hospital Room Wall

J.W. + Debbie, Graffiti on Hospital Room Wall

 

Junior Officer's House and Cactus

Junior Officer's House and Cactus

Barracks from Above

Barracks from Above

 

Ruins from Above

Ruins from Above

 

Junior Officer's Quarters From Above

Junior Officer's Quarters From Above

West, toward Possibilities

Last weekend we drove deeper into West Texas and then south into what’s called the Big Bend area. We dipped down pretty close to Mexico and passed through the Chihuahua Desert.  There’s group of colorful little towns – Fort Stockton, Alpine, Marfa, Marathon, Fort Davis – we crisscrossed back and forth between them and stopped in for pictures. Here’s some of what caught my eye..

A great store front in Fort Davis –

Possibilities No. 1

Possibilities No. 1, Fort Davis

Possibilities again, against that wonderful rocky backdrop-

Possibilities No. 2

We pull over at every historical marker. Most of them are interesting, and most of them have bullet holes in them. I can’t remember what happened at Horsehead Crossing, but after seeing so many markers that have been shot up like this one I had to get a photo. ( I’m actually starting to like the way the bullet holes rip through the words.)

Bullet Holes, Horsehead Crossing

Bullet Holes, Horsehead Crossing

So many old west themed motels! We stayed at a great one in Alpine called The Maverick but sadly I didn’t get a good photo of it. Instead, here’s the Comanche in Fort Stockton.

 

Comanche Motel, Fort Stockton

Comanche Motel, Fort Stockton

 Note the tumbleweed below on the right – it wasn’t very windy so it just sort of limped into the picture…

 

Swimming Pool at Comanche Motel

Swimming Pool at Comanche Motel

Downtown Fort Stockton…

 

James and Judy, Fort Stockton

James and Judy, Fort Stockton

 

Reinas Fashion, Fort Stockton

Reinas Fashion, Fort Stockton

“Arlington Southwest” on Highway 90 west of Alpine –

 

Arlington Southwest

Arlington Southwest

 Just south of Fort Stockton little hills like these start to appear on the landscape…

 

Windmill, Highway 67

Windmill, Highway 67

 My husband took this picture of Buffy, Bee and Bandit on Highway 118 between Fort Davis and Alpine…

 

Buffy, Bee, Bandit

Buffy, Bee, Bandit

 A cheerful green bench in downtown Alpine…

Green Bench, Alpine

Green Bench, Alpine

The frontier fort in Fort Davis merits its own post, which I’ll do tomorrow:)