Thursday, April 22, 2010

James River Road

I love finding new places to explore. I had heard about the James River Road from several sources. I left early church retreat to try to capture some more Texas wildflower images. I headed first to Llano. Lunch was at Coopers Old Time Pit Bar-b-que! You go straight to the pits outside to get your meat and then inside to get the "fixins." The atmosphere inside is very informal with long benches that you share with the other folk around you. I don't remember eating there before, but I'll be back!

Since I hadn't done the James River Road, that was where I headed next using information from San Angelo Standard Times which gave not only great directions to the James River Road but also mentioned some additional wildflower loops around Mason, Texas.

I'm sure that Henry and I have never been here before. You take 87 south out of Mason and make two turns onto Farm to Market Roads before you finally reach this road. I was enchanted from the word go. The first place I got out to photograph flowers was extraordinarily fragrant from the thousands of bluebonnets surrounding me. The gentle breeze was wafting the scent into the air around me and I breathed in all the peace and serenity from such a wonderful fragrance.



The gravel road twists and curves through the hills with quite a few stream crossings as well cliffs and small waterfalls.



This public road crosses private land with the inevitable cattle guards and traffic impediments. I was the first of three cars going through this batch of cows. They stubbornly held their ground. I got within inches of them before they moved. But . . . the cars behind me had a clear path.



When I got to this stream crossing, there was a couple surveying it before crossing. The gentleman was out of the car trying to gauge how deep the water was and where the crossing was safest. I knew that two other cars had gone on ahead and had to have crossed safely. So after looking at it and the fence posts that seemed to be the guideline, I headed across. I knew that I must keep my forward momentum going, so I kept my foot steady on the gas pedal and went right straight through. It reminded me of crossing the river every day in Africa to get to one of the game preserves. Only I was the driver this time. Knowing that I had someone watching me probably made me bolder, but later I crossed it again coming back. I continued on my way, but began to get nervous about not waiting until the other couple made it across. What if they tried and got stuck - way out in the middle of nowhere? As I headed back, I passed them and we chatted. They had made it safely, but they had thought about it longer than I did before trying the crossing.



This next crossing is picturesque, but wasn't difficult to cross at all.



At the end of the afternoon, the sun peaked out giving me a chance to get some sunlight and a patch of blue sky on the scene. A neutral density graduated filter helped me keep the details in the sky and a good exposure on the bluebonnets.



I have more to work from the day, but this gives you a sample of how much fun I had exploring a new place!

3 comments:

Royanne's Mom said...

Happy Birthday!
-carol

Mary Ann Melton said...

Thanks, Carol!

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