Friday, July 07, 2006

Texas: West to East

marjorie says...

Is West Texas really the barren ugly wasteland you always hear about? Being from the lush
green forests of East Texas, I'll often just kind of half heartedly agree when I hear people characterize the western half of my state like that. But, really...I know better. There's beauty in that wide open land, and in my recent drive through there on the way home I thought I'd take a few shots to show y'all what I mean. My route took me to Amarillo on I-4o, and from there I snaked down HWY 287 through Childress, Wichita Falls, and Denton, skirting around DFW to the small towns of East Texas.



The first thing to note about West Texas is the SKY. Driving through an endless expanse of farm and range land, when there isn't much standing between yourself and the sky, you notice it. Between the sky and the land, structures and trees really stand out. Invariably those things go together. Humans build their homes and plant trees around them...creating little green ponds in the middle of nowhere.



There are lots of windmills in West Texas...most of which are standing. They often have cows clustered around them. In fact, there are lots of cows in Texas period. I didn't take a picture of the stockyards I passed because I just wanted to pass that obnoxious smell as quickly as I could.



The cool thing about West Texas was the herd of camels I passed on the highway. Yes, I said camels. The other animal I noticed plenty was the horse. While I didn't take any pictures of horses, I did get a shot of the local horse motel...

There's an art installation in West Texas that I've always wanted to get a close look at...buried upright cars wave at you from way out in a field as you zoom by. This trip I actually took the time to walk out there and check them out...



Then there are all the many human things...

ubiquitous Don't Mess With Texas


friendly small town welcome signs...couldn't help but take this photo

diners, diners, everywhere


small town squares


then there is fruit...from west to east, its everywhere. on this trip in particular it was all about the peaches. which brings me to East Texas...


see the difference?here is my mom picking peaches...she grew up in Kelsey, which you can see in the background

this is the highway leading out of Pine Mills, home of a pottery of the same name...which makes really beautiful things out of East Texas clay

and here you see the burgeoning junk yard that used to be my grandfather's garden. :-) yes, that's what i said. it's all good!


Being from East Texas, I have a natural affinity for its rolling green hills. At the same time I appreciate the wide open spaces of West Texas. In one place I feel cosy, in the other stark...and both feelings speak to different aspects of my personality. Its similar to the difference between the Northwest, where I lived 5 years, and Albuquerque...

Speaking of Albuquerque, as much as I love Texas, it feels good to be back. These days I'm digging New Mexico. Here is the rain storm I drove right into as I rolled back into town...



5 Comments:

Blogger Maggie said...

I just love this, Marjorie. A true look at West Texas' cultural landscape... which you're correct in saying people assume doesn't exist at all. Thanks for sharing. Your photos are absolutely beautiful.

5:19 PM  
Blogger mjae said...

Those shots of the sky and clouds are AMAZING.

Thanks for sharing such a personally revelatory trip!

I really do think we need to plan visits to each other's homes. I'll make mine Chicago just so y'all can travel...

9:01 AM  
Anonymous susan said...

Just looking at these photos makes me want to make a long road trip! It was great seeing you in East Texas!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Marketing Guy said...

What kind of camera did you use here? Those are some great colors.

mnavrot

3:08 PM  
Blogger marjorie said...

Thanks guys for all the love! :-) Susan...it was great to see you too.

Believe it or not, i used a disposable camera for the pictures here with the great sky. Why? Because once again I have destroyed my camera and have yet to replace it. Frankly, I almost always find that throw away cameras make really good pictures. Once in east texas I used my folks camera...which is a simple canon digital camera.

1:39 PM  

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