Don’t Mess with Texas — Wildflowers

Last week as I was photographing wild flowers. I noticed a pile of trash mixed in with the beautiful flowers. It reminded me of Don’t Mess With Texas anti-littering campaign.



Living in Florida I got very tired of people mentioning that every time something was said about Texas. It seems that non-Texans thought it was funny to throw that phrase out of context. Oh, and most who use it think they are being witty, funny or original. Many actually believed it came from the Alamo. Probably the same people that thought the U.S. won the Battle of the Alamo. Yeah, I know that the US wasn’t fighting and that Mexico won that Battle. They are actually surprised to learn the real origin of the saying.

Texans are very familiar with the Don’t Mess With Texas campaign. The campaign features ads like the one below staring famous Texans.

So while you are out enjoying the wildflowers remember to clean and Don’t Mess With Texas.

Throwback Thursday: Wind Turbines

First posted Jan 16th, 2009.

Energy has been the major industry in west Texas for decades. Until recently it has been primarily oil and gas. One of the most notable sights on our trip west were wind turbines interspersed amongst the pump jacks. Took this shot between Kermit and Odessa, Texas.  It took the first one using black and white settings on my camera.  I adjusted the others using illumination and photo effects in Corel Paintshop Pro.

Origninal using black and white settings on my camera.
Original using black and white settings on my camera.
Used time machine effects: Daguerreotype
Cross Process
Time Machine Effect: Cross Process
Illumination Effect: Sunburst

Throwback Thursday: Cowtown

The Ft.Worth Herd on its afternoon drive through Stockyards.
The Ft.Worth Herd on its afternoon drive through Stockyards.

My hometown Ft. Worth, Texas started as a sleepy outpost on the banks of the Trinity river. It would later grow into a bustling cattle shipping hub earning the nickname Cowtown. Today Fort Worth is one of the largest cities in the country and is part an even larger metropolitan area.  In 2003, we knew that we would be moving so the Big Guy could attend grad school, we decided to spend spring break doing “tourist things”. One of the things we did was hit the Stockyards. The photo is dated 2008 because that was when I posted it on my blog. However it was taken in the spring of 2003.


Football and Life Lessons

Well this has been bouncing around in my head last week while hand was out of commission. One of the hot stories last week was about the Aledo High School’s (Aledo, TX) 91-0 blow out of Western Hills High School (Ft. Worth, TX). An unnamed parent of a Western Hills football player filed a formal bullying complaint against Aledo’s coach Tim Buchanan. It seems that the unnamed parent felt Buchanan was picking on his son because of the score. However the parent didn’t blame the Aledo players just the coach. This wasn’t a case of the coach intentionally running up score. Aledo is just that good. So far this year Aledo is 8-0. Their lowest scoring game was 44-3 against Highland Park (Dallas, TX). 4A powerhouse Stephenville  only manged to score 14 points against Aledo.  Buchanan begin pulling starters in the 1st quarter and from the 3rd quarter on didn’t stop the clock.  Oh, of course Buchanan was cleared of bullying.

I was impressed by the statements of Western Hills Coach John Naylor

“I think the game was handled fine,” Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.” …“We just ran into a buzzsaw, you know,” Naylor said. “[Aledo] just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

Obviously Naylor didn’t agree with the unnamed parent. Naylor also understands that this is Texas  high school football not YMCA soccer. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) only has a mercy rule for 6-man football.  Unlike other states that follow the National Federation of State High School Associations rules UIL follows NCAA rules.

I would like to respond to the unnamed parent’s claim about the game. It seems the poor parent needed direction as to how to handle the situation.

“We all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight,” the complaint reads according to “I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.”

Team sports like football can provide many opportunities to teach teens life lessons. Maybe instead of whining about the game the parent should have used it as a chance to teach a few life lessons. Here are a few

  1. Sometimes in life you get out played. Maybe the other person or team was more talented, better prepared or you just had an off day. Pick yourself up and move-on. Use the experience as a way to figure out how you can improve. Maybe you need to work harder, spend more time or improve your skills.
  2. Life is more like Texas football than little kid soccer. There isn’t always a mercy rule and not everyone gets a trophy.  Sometimes you will get knocked down in life and how you handle adversity speaks a lot about your character. If you did your best then hold your head up and try again tomorrow.
  3. I am reminded of a line from Emily Dickinson poem I learned in high school. “Life is counted sweetest by those who ne’re succeed to comprehend the nectar requires the sorest need.” Many times our failures help us appreciate victories.

Oh and one more piece of advice for the unnamed father. Your kid is playing high school football in Texas. Texas is a football crazy state. There is even 6-man for schools that are too small to play 11 man ball. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football  magazine covers just Texas football (every team from prep school to pro). So maybe you need to toughen up or find another sport for your son. According to Dave Campbell 13 schools have had worse losses. Grandview holds the record for the most points scored against them. In 1969, Valley Mills scored103 and Clifton scored 99.

Sky Watch Friday: Somervell County Courthouse


Somervell County Courthouse
Somervell County Courthouse
Glen Rose, Texas

The statue in the foreground Barnard’s of the Brazos pays homage to Charles and Juana Barnard, founding patriarchs of Glen Rose. The bronze was sculpted by well-known local artist, Robert Summers.



Big Rocks,

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Sky Watch Friday: Stormy Day


Big Rocks Park
Big Rocks Park – Glen Rose, Texas

Took this in July on our summer road trip.   Big Rocks Park is located along the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas. The river was down quite a bit. A much needed rain storm, was looming in the background.



Big Rocks,

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