Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bluebonnets, Cattle, and Oil

Bob and I were in College Station, Texas this weekend for AggieCon. Not only was it nice to go to the con, but it was nice to drive a little across Texas. We don't have much experience with Texas. I've driven through some of Hill Country and to San Antonio, but Bob hasn't yet been anywhere but Killeen. (Fort Hood.) So off we went, through tiny towns like Taylor, which has seen better days but has a place where there are two churches side by side and one across the street. Or past Dime Box, beyond which we saw a sign for Old Dime Box.

In some ways, the country is like it is in Ohio, especially at this time of year when Texas is so green. Small towns, pick up trucks, some places that are neat and tidy, some falling down. We passed a Farm Extension office and a lot of gas stations that were also the nearest place for a six pack and a lottery ticket. Here, of course, the farms are ranches, although a cattle ranch outside Lincoln looks a lot like a cattle farm in Ohio. The cows are different. We saw longhorn cattle. We saw cattle that obviously had a lot of brahma in them--humped and wattled cows with long ears. And not far west of College Station, we went through an area where almost every farm had an oil pump, some of them working, dipping and raising, some of them still. Back east, I saw oil wells. The first big oil boom was actually in Pennsylvania. But these were bigger and for awhile, there were a lot more of them.

The we had apprently driven out of the oil field and we didn't see any more of them.

The best difference though was the wildflowers. It's bluebonnet time in Texas, and along with bluebonnets were pale yellow flowers, bright yellow flowers, pale pink flowers and some almost florescent orange. The flowers of this part of Texas are spectacular.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The florescent orange flowers are Indian Paintbrush.

I went to a presentation on the tall grass prarie and the presenter described a passage from an early settler sitting on his porch. His vista was a carpet of flowers as far as the eye could see.

The land east of Manor where we are building our house was tall grass prarie before the settlers came.

The bluebonnet crop is heavy this year. Remember how beautiful this spring was when it is August and 105 degrees and parched.


March 30, 2007 4:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gack! prairie not prarie I always see the mistake after I post.

March 30, 2007 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Turzillo here.

Ohio has Texas bluebonnets, too. In about a month, the metroparks will be carpeted with them. We didn't have them in Warren, though, so I don't know what gives.

Your pictures of Shelley are so cute I want to go out and adopt a dachshund --

Geoff and I miss you.

March 31, 2007 7:35 PM  

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