Galveston Saturday Night

Panoramic view of Galveston, Texas ~ Saturday evening, February 20
Photo by Galveston Chaser (Click to enlarge)

 

A week and a few days ago, winter came to the Texas coast.
Tonight, the snow is gone, the lights are on,
and from a distance Galveston seems to be shining in her accustomed way.
Days and weeks of work will be required to repair the damage,
but, tonight, glasses were raised in tribute to the smaller victories.
It’s the Texas Way.

Comments always are welcome.

Winter Storm Bingo

Well, it’s been quite an experience. As a neighbor said yesterday, “I’m tired of living through a historical event.” But power is coming back, and boiling water is a small price to pay for having water. Yesterday, I found clear and dry roads: a far cry from what Texas experienced for days.

Austin, Texas

To say that Texas cities aren’t equipped for snow removal is an understatement. On the other hand, at least one Texan has a sense of humor.

Out in the country, substituting tractor tires (or hay bales) and chains for snow plows helps to clear the roads.

Bandera County

Of course, not everyone was able to travel.

Galveston Island

Some decided that walking was the better option.

Austin

Between checking the temperature and charging their cell phones in the car, a lot of people played Winter Storm Bingo — but you had to cross off every square to win.

Eventually, some areas began to thaw, roads cleared, and the lines at generator-powered fast food restaurants stretched for blocks.

Despite it all, the beauty was memorable. These photos, taken by Will Leverett at or near Stillwaters Ranch in Llano County, tell the tale. Located near the Willow City Loop and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, they celebrate a rarely seen view of the Texas landscape.

This is not a Longhorn. It’s a modern American breed: Ankole-Watusi

I’d like to see such sights in person one day, although, to be honest, I’d prefer seeing them with a functioning power grid to keep things a little more comfortable at home.

Comments always are welcome.
Photos other than Will Leverett’s were being widely shared online, without attribution.

Hill Country Rivers ~ The Guadalupe

South Fork of the Guadalupe

After rising in western Kerr county, the North Fork of the Guadalupe River runs east, joining with the South Fork near the community of Hunt. After the branches converge, the river flows southeast for 230 miles over a limestone bed lined with cypress, pecan, sycamore, elm, and live oak before terminating at San Antonio Bay.

The upper Guadalupe flows across part of the Edwards Plateau, where high limestone bluffs support bald cypress, mesquite, and grasses. After crossing the Balcones fault line near New Braunfels, the river enters coastal plains and becomes a slower, more placid river.

South Fork detail

Named by Alonso De León, the river has been known the Guadalupe, or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, since 1689.  Early explorers encountered Tonkawa, Waco, Lipan Apache, and Karankawa Indians along its banks: descendents of even earlier inhabitants of the area.

The Guadalupe River after the joining of the North and South Forks

Longer, deeper, and more amenable to navigation than the Sabinal, the Guadalupe quickly drew settlers to its banks. Europeans arrived as early as the 1720s, when the Spanish established several missions on the upper Guadalupe. Early settlements included Victoria, San Marcos (home of Texas State University and a prime destination for river tubers), and Gonzales, where the first shot in the battle for Texas independence was fired.

Other communities eventually emerged and thrived, including Seguin, New Braunfels, and Kerrville. The small river town ofComfort was the site of one of the Guadalupes’s greatest tragedies; ten children returning from a week at camp perished in the worst flash flooding since 1932.

A river ran through here ~ Cypress and limestone

While the reputation of the Guadalupe as a haven for summertime swimmers and tubers is well deserved, the equal pleasures of a stroll along its banks are available year-round. River-tumbled rocks, late flowers in bloom or not, rusty cypress needles, and water-stirred grasses never lose their appeal.



A hidden North Fork pool

 

Comments always are welcome.
As always, you can enlarge the images for greater detail. For a more detailed history of the river, this Texas State Historical Association article is useful.