I have done several blog posts since we have been in Texas. But somehow, just documenting our day to day experiences does not capture the sense of what Texas, and the hill country in particular, are all about.
So I went back through my pictures and selected a group of 10 that illustrate what it feels like to be in the hill country, with a little explanation for why I chose each one. Hopefully this, more than other blog posts, will help capture the “soul” of the hill country.
Need a landmark? Find a water tower. They are the guideposts of the hill country, and every town has one. The ubiquitous windmills. These iconic structures are everywhere, from our park to the middle of town to lonesome ranchland. Capturing it at sunrise helps show the atrraction. Sheep and goats and bison, oh my! We expected, and found, herds of cattle. But they were outnumbered by the combined herds of sheep, goats, llamas, bison, and antelope. Welcome to diversity in the wild west! Wanted dead or alive. In 3 weeks, we saw at least 100 dead deer alongside the road (not a typo). It was not unusual for 20 separate sightings of herds in a day, like this one on LBJ ranch. There are more than 20 deer in this picture. Herds include both domestics and imported deer such as the axis, which cross the road in herds. Size matters. In Texas, they want everything to be “Texas-sized.” An exception was the smallest Air Force One jet (shown here), used by LBJ so that he could land on his own ranch. He called it “Air Force One Half.” Funtion over form. Where is THE music venue in the hill country? It is Albert Hall, the building shown in the back. Obviously, it is the music that matters, not the beauty of the facility! Honoring the heritage. This section of the National Museum of the Pacific War honors the fallen sailors of WWII. The plaques are for ships, officers, and simple enlisted men. Everyone is honored, because everyone matters. Note the wall in the distance, which continues around behind me as well. It is a sobering memorial. Faith is foremost. Churches are simple, but often elegant, as this German Lutheran country church across the Pedernales River from LBJ ranch. Haunting trees and moonlight. This country has some of the most beautifully gnarled trees I have ever seen. One is captured here at moonrise. The wild branches embody the complexity and resilience of this land. Rainbows over LBJ ranch. The spots on the picture are raindrops, and my lens was not wide enough to capture the full 180 degree double rainbow, but you can still appreciate the universal picture of promise and hope.