20120825_backroadsTX_0012 The Gleaner
I found this parked at the side of a field near Luckenbach Texas. A google later answered my questions as to its function. “Gleaner combines date back to 1923, when the Baldwin Brothers of Kansas, inspired by Jean Francois Millet’s famous 1857 painting, The Gleaners, decided to use the term as the name for their radically redesigned self-propelled harvesting machine. The Baldwin Brothers’ Gleaner incorporated reaping, binding and threshing all into one machine. Gleaning itself is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.” Wikipedia
20120705_backroadsTX_0017 Classic Gas Pump
There are places and stuff that I return to often. I am drawn like a moth to a flame. Seasons change, light shifts, wildflowers bloom…and die…
This is one of two gas pumps at an abandoned collection of farm buildings along Chimney Valley Road in the Texas Hill Country. I want to buy them but can’t find the owner.
Along FM 1623 iPhoneography: captured and processed ‘in camera’
There are many Blanco Rivers (Rio Blanco) in the world. The one in the Texas Hill Country, is fed by underground springs that travel the better part of 100 miles above and below ground to its union with the San Marcos River, and ultimately the Gulf.
The Wayne Smith Dam is one of many dams, or weirs, that create the pools that nurture the local wildlife and conserve the water during droughts. They are also a stepping stone approach to managing flash flooding which is a constant, but often unfulfilled, threat.
Aps used: Camera+ and HDR…. to see more…click… iPhoneography
20120621_backroadsTX_0008 My Kind of Road, Upper Albert is…
One of the great joys of my job as a backroads explorer is suddenly seeing a view that captures my heart. Chili and I travel slowly with windows down, the fresh morning scent of furrowed red loam and newly cut sweet grass fills our senses. I was backtracking from a job interview at Becker Wines in Stonewall, TX.
Upper Albert Road is one of the original farm roads, zigzagging between owners and fields. Although it is paved now, it is barely wide enough for two pickups to pass. There are no lines to constrain you and little traffic to accommodate. I am free to stop at will…on the wrong side of the road…so I can clamber into the back of my truck for a better perspective of the fields, as the breeze makes the long grass dance. I watched the band of sunlight travel down this road as the clouds moved. I shot as it lit up this iconic oak, painting a dark shadow below.
20120601_backroadsTX_0015 Germanic Hex Signs
There is a rich German heritage that is still strong throughout the Texas Hill Country. Driving along Blanco CR 101, also called the Elo Krueger Scenic Loop, is a wonderful glimpse into the past. There is a tidy pride and sense of productive application to the homes and farm building. These hex signs, also seen in early German and Dutch communities in Pennsylvania and other states, often decorate barns and outbuildings.
According to wikipedia…Two schools of thought exist on the meaning of hex signs. One school ascribes a talismanic nature to the signs, the other sees them as purely decorative, or “Chust for nice” in the local dialect. Both schools recognize that there are sometimes superstitions associated with certain hex sign themes, and neither ascribes strong magical power to them.
20120601_backroadsTX_0018 Abandoned Swings in Wildflowers
In the mid 1800’s the Order of the Sons of Hermann was formed to protect German immigrants coming to the United States. The first Texas branch started in 1861 and was a support group open to all Germans in the area with a prerequisite to buy non profit life insurance. Although membership declined with the beginning of the first World War, the organization, now open to non Germans as well, continues to run summer camps and a retirement home in the Comfort area.
20120601_backroadsTX_0007 Sunflowers fill the meadows
The rains at the beginning of the year continue to nourish rich splashes of wildflowers throughout the Texas Hill Country
20120518_backroadsTX_0001 Home Among the Wildflowers
This has been a spectacular May in the Texas Hill Country and the wildflowers are growing like weeds…which a case can be made that they are just pretty weeds. This farmhouse just seems to be in a good place.
20120518_backroadsTX_0008 Working Gates
Although the primary gate may be fancy and the road beyond paved, larger spreads have multiple access gates with unimproved roads disappearing in the distance. They frame a slice of working rural America…a connection with the land worth preserving.
20120505_backroadsTX_0014 Blanco River
I stop on a one way bridge that is in fact a dam with a spillway. The water passing over the roadway races downstream and I can only study the play of light briefly. I like the way the shade merges the many green tones of river and trees.
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