Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Divine Inspiration?

From a Catholic Cemetery of North Main Street in Houston.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Iquana Al_2

This is Al [Al, because you can't always tell sex in a juvenile!] a female green Iguana we found after she apparently escaped someones flooded home during tropical storm ALison. At the time we found her she was about 17" long and now is over 54" long. Since then we've also added another found reptile to the family - a 27" Savannah Monitor.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gone Fishing

This shot was taken at the Baytown Nature Center last weekend. I took the shot looking ahead to an upcoming BAPC assignment "Summer in Texas". I had tentatively planned on using a shot from our recent North Texas driving vacation, but apparently a computer glitch has resulted in the loss of all (3-400) of those shots! Yikes - lesson here is back-up often I suppose.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon Cave

Another shot from Palo Duro Canyon State Park in North Texas. There are some people in the shot that provide a sense of scale to the scene (see them?)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Windmill At Palo Duro Canyon

This windmill and water tank stand not too far behind the amphitheater where park employees stage their famous outdoor shows at Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside of Canyon Texas.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Caprock Bike Trail at Quitaque

This shot is of the trail head of a ten mile bike, hike, and ride trail which is an extension the Caprock Canyon trail system, part of the National Rail to Trail program. [And another slanted horizon....]

Saturday, June 20, 2009

North Texas Farmhouse

This little farmhouse is on the road somewhere between Childress and Turkey, Texas.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Caprock Canyons Rock Formation

Today's post is a 2fer plus. Two different views of the same peak in Caprock Canyons State Park outside of Quitaque, Texas. The wider shot was taken about 50 to 75 feet above the dry creek bed where the tighter shot was taken. Both are more or less as-shot with some sharpening and exposure correction done in Raw. Which do you like best?
I've also included a shot of the "Welcome to Quitague (Kitty - Quay)" sign that I've noticed a lot since I was there. The sign is in the current issues of Texas Highways and Texas Monthly magazine. Seems to be a popular subject for reporters writing about North Texas or Caprock.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

North Texas Diner

This diner is located on the road between Childress and Turkey Texas. Too bad so many of these types of shots have their nostalgic appeal somewhat compromised by ADA required ramps.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wrong Turn 2

Two more shots from the Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wrong Turn

It's hard to believe that 30 years after a North Texas rancher decided to stick 10 Cadillacs nose down in one of his fields people from all over the world would still be coming to see them. While we were there we saw at least 15 vehicles of 2 - 4 people walk through the freshly planted fields to see the Caddys. I have to admit though that I found this "art" to be quite interesting. One thing that did disturb me was the lack of courtesy I saw on two points. One was that one of the traditions of visiting the site is to apply your own graffiti to the cars. That didn't bother me but I did see what looked like a hundred empty spray paint cans littering the field near the site even though the property owner provides a dumpster at the entrance gate for this purpose. Also, one person there on this semi-muddy day was kicking the top of one of the Caddys and scraping his shoe across it to remove the mud! Oh well, on the good side most of the visitors are well behaved!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Texas was one of our favorite small towns we visited on our recent 2500 mile driving tour of Texas and Eastern New Mexico. It is an old established well preserved town with a real taste what small town Texas used to be like. It’s a time capsule of a bygone era.

As you enter town you will see this welcome sign proclaiming Turkey’s biggest claim to fame – it is the hometown of Country Western Music Hall of Fame singer Bob Will’s. Mr. Will’s and His Texas Playboys biggest hit was “New Spanish Two-Step” released in 1942 [link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8gNuHH-FQs ]. He passed away in 1975.

Typical in small towns you can get most of what you need downtown, no need to run to the mall or nearest Walmart. In the old CH Food Store building you'll find a cafe, general store, auto parts, and the hardware store.

While I was photographing the CH Food building this little bird landed on an iron fence across the street. I snapped a couple of quick shots with my E-3, and the too short lens I had on it, through the windshield of my car. Luckily the bird didn't wasn't too flighty so I had time to get out of the car, open the back hatch, change lenses, and still click of a few more shots.

The Turkey Hotel, built in 1927, is in operation today as a bed and breakfast. We didn't stay here on our trip [we will next time] but we did stop in for breakfast.
If your ever up in North Texas be sure to stop in on this little town.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Caprock Canyons 1_Redo

I agreed with all the comments I received on the foreground of the original version of this shot posted earlier today. Here I have attempted to address the comments by cropping the shot square, moving my fave foreground plant to the lower left side and up in the image, and adjusting the contrast of the remaining foreground with a curves adjustment. I also painted back in some highlights to try and accentuate the canyon edge.

Caprock Canyons State Park 1

Caprock Canyons State Park, located outside of Quitague [pronounce Kitty Quay] Texas 100 mile south of Amarillo, is sort of the little brother to Palo Duro State Park in Canyon, TX. We visited Caprock as an afterthought on our way to Palo Duro and were pleasantly surprised to find that we enjoyed this smaller quieter park as much or more than the big park. Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Balloon Ride at Canton, TX

This entrepreneur set up his hot air balloon in front of the pavilions used for the "First Monday Trading Days" in Canton, TX. I took the shot intending to use it in a near full silhouette but ended up liking this version the best. I used Topaz Adjusts preset "Psychedelic" to pull out some detail.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Santa Rosa, NM Catholic Church

Yet another shot from the small town of Santa Rosa, NM. This one is of their old Catholic Church on the top of the hill.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Santa Rosa, NM Train Trestle

This is a late 1920's era Union Pacific Railroad train trestle in Santa Rosa, NM. It's a handheld three exposure HDR with my Olympus E-3 and 12-60 lens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Turkey Drive-In Theater

Half way between Turkey and Quitaque Texas is this old drive-in theatre. Seems like you only see a few of these scattered around small towns anymore. This one was shut down, although Texas Highways magazine said it was showing first run movies a few months ago. Oh well, such is the fickle fate of small town middle of nowhere living memorabilia!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Santa Rosa, NM Cemetary

Out of town on vacation - just a quick post to keep folks looking. Back tomorrow, gotta go see the bats at Austin's Congress Avenue bridge.....