Sometimes Magic Happens

Today Merle Haggard died. I came very late to appreciate what he was as a man and legendary talent. The lesson for me is that you should never let your musical prejudices keep you from discovering excellence wherever it may be.

Seeing live music is always good. It’s easy to discount the work of musicians when an ocean of music is available through a simple web search. The thing is musicians work hard on stage and sometimes magic happens. The magic exists in live performance not recordings. I remember one such performance many years ago by a single musician in a small bar in Nevada City California. I also remember a performance by Paul Cauthen in Luckenbach Texas not that long ago.

Some Saturday afternoons I ride out to Luckenbach to photograph musicians playing on the outdoor stage. That is how I happened to be present when Paul Cauthen took the stage with his new band. I have to admit I didn’t know who he was. Or that he had recently split from his success with Sons of Fathers.

When the band took the stage you could see they were nervous, maybe a little unrehearsed. Hey its Luckenbach how bad can it be? Well they got down to business and made magic right there behind the old post office. They delivered a powerful and emotional performance. Both the band and audience were drained by the end of the set. You could not ask for more.

I look forward to the next time magic happens.

Texas Wildflowers

My favorite place to photograph wildflowers is the Hill Country of central Texas. In the spring this area enjoys cool mornings and evenings with warm afternoons. If there is sufficient rain the wildflowers can be wonderful. It is not uncommon for blooms to stretch uninterrupted for fifty miles or more in some areas. On weekends the back roads can be busy places in the best viewing areas.

Texas is a very large geographical area encompassing multiple climate types and zones. You can find Chihuahuan desert, semi-arid grassland, pine and hardwood forests as well as subtropical marine environments all within the state. That makes for interesting weather forecasts especially in the spring and fall seasons. In spring you can follow the wildflower bloom as it progresses across the state over a period of several weeks. That is assuming no drought conditions exist.

Many Texans make serious efforts to maintain native flora and fauna for all to enjoy. Almost all land in Texas is privately owned. That fact requires that Individuals make a commitment to protect the natural environment for future generations to experience. Fortunately most do. One such Texan was Ladybird Johnson. The wildflower center in Austin which bears her name is a must see for native plant enthusiasts.

Blossom

Ocotillo Blossoms - Big Bend National Park
Ocotillo Blossoms
Big Bend National Park
Spring in the Texas Big Bend can be a colorful experience or just a drab prelude to summer heat. It all depends on rainfall. In the past year extreme drought conditions have eased somewhat which means the possibility of spring flowers. Depending on the altitude, flowers start appearing as early as January and are gone by April. This year I caught the end of the wildflower bloom. Regardless, a trip to Big Bend is always a reward in itself.
Ocotillo and Stars
Ocotillo and Stars
Big Bend National Park