Monday, November 24, 2008

Finally those shots from Lost Maples.

First off, I want to thank everyone for the nice words and advise after the last few posts. It really means a lot, having such nice folks in my corner. I had a weak moment there, when a lot of self doubt, regret and fear bubbled up out of me. I happens now and then, when I think of all the years that I've wasted trying to be someone else's' idea of a good boy, or just letting the fears of others keep me from doing what everyone else was doing.

I guess I'm wired from my raising to experience a ridiculous level of self doubt, but I'm tryin' to learn to trust myself and not listen to those voices any more than I need to. It's hard to fight against almost 50 years of trainin' sometimes, but it helps to have friends who can snap me out of it when I succumb. So thanks again. It really means a lot.

Anyway, you guys remember me sayin', about two weeks ago, that Denise and I were gonna take a friend of hers to Lost Maples State Natural Area over the weekend? Well, finally, after two weeks, I've managed to find the time, one or two shots here and there, to get these pictures fixed and posted.

As usual, I've chosen a few to show you here, but you can just go over to FlickR and see all of them there. There's about 40 there in all. I hope you enjoy them.

It turned out that the weekend we headed down there was the peak weekend for the color, but the lack of rain this year has supposedly reduced the total amount of color, so the trip to Lost Maples turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic. It turned out that the drive to the park was just as beautiful as the park itself.

On the way to the park, driving West from Kerville, we ran across this huge ranch, with Buffalo and Longhorns grazing in separate fields. Buffalo are something of a strange sight around here, though Texas used to be running over with them. You see them, a few at a time, here and there, but these folks have apparently started their own herd.

Longhorns are less rare, but they're still a special sight to behold. Notice the sprinkling of color in the hills behind the ranch. Beautiful, and very illustrative of the larger picture around here. Lots of green Ceder and Live Oaks, with a few other trees mixed in to provide the color. This is the kind of picture you see driving up any of the western, North/South arteries, like 183 and 281.

To me, and many other Texans, there's nothing else that speaks to the rich, cinematic history of our State like these critters do. Supposedly a mix of early long horned Spanish cattle and English cows that were brought into the state by Anglo settlers in the 1820s, the Texas Longhorn not only symbolizes the rich history of the cattle business in Texas (which began in the 1700s), but also the rich, mixed ethnic heritage of the land as well.

Once we got into the park, which took forever, I ran off with the camera to try to get some good shots before the sun went down behind the hills. I ran off along the trail that takes you up the Sabinal River. It's a beautiful trail, and makes me want to come back some time and camp, so I can take my time to explore the place.

There's a river trail to follow, as well as other trails that campers and hikers use to wander all over the park. We didn't have that sort of time though, so I went off on my own and tried to get whatever shots I could.

These beautiful sights are to be found along the river bed, where the trees get tall and bloom into a mix of wonderful colors. there are cliffs there, and the river is very shallow. You can imagine the early Indians living here, growing corn, fishing in the river and hinting deer and Buffalo as they came in to get water.

If this place is like Enchanted Rock, then there are lots of remains of early people around here, like places where that ground their corn, but the park service keeps the information about those locations secret to prevent desecration.

After I took a bunch of pictures and we'd basically seen what we'd come to see, we drove off, back up North/East towards Kerville, stopping at a big Mexican food joint there in town for dinner. It Was good food.

We got back to Killeen late, and everyone was tired. I'm pretty sure that if I'd told Denise how long a drive it would be before we set off we never would have made the trip. We would have gone to some place like Fredericksburg in stead. Still, I think she enjoyed it. Next time we'll get a camp sight and spend a few nights there. That'll make the whole thing seem less tiring. And I'll get more cool pictures, from more angles.

Well, the library here is gonna close on me pretty soon. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Mom and Denise are both cooking, so you know I'll be having a great time. Mom will celebrate her 81st birthday Wednesday, so we'll take her out to eat somewhere and unload a bunch of presents on her. I'll have most of the week off, so chances are I'll have time to get the pictures done from this past weekend at Pedernales Falls. No guarantees though. Anyway, you guys take care. Cheers!


pat houseworth said...

Those shots make me feel pretty damn relaxed brother.....sometimes you just wish you could finish out your life with a good cigar, good booze, and good company.

But, like doesn't always work like that...and that's is a shame.

Walrilla said...

Damn good pics. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, but looks like you're livin' a pretty damn good one, too, brother.

You hang in there, and know you ARE loved.


BRUNO said...

Hell, boy---if you ever took time to sit down, and REST---you'd NEVER get back up!!!

Enjoy it while ya' can, dude...!

pat houseworth said...

Happy Turkey Day JW, Denise, and your families!


kerrcarto said...

You are so getting it next blogmeet. You were in Kerrville and did not let me or Supergurl drink a beer or two with you and Denise?! FOR SHAME!!

I'm glad the trip went nice though. The colors are kinda crummy this year.