Saturday, May 21, 2005

Harry Canary at the RoughRiders

We went to the Frisco RoughRiders game Thursday night for their 8-4 win over Midland. We had a blast as usual. I can't believe Midland is in 1st place, cause they really stunk up the place.

Harry Canary & the rest of the Zooperstars were there. I saw a Cubs game one time in the 90s while in Chicago for work and did get to hear Harry Caray sing TMOTTBG live & in person. Nothing like it. I think Harry Caray would like Harry Canary... it's just too funny not to laugh.

Harry Canary

The RoughRiders starting pitcher Wilfredo Rodriguez was on fire. Click on this picture to view the large size on He has an intense look on his face.


We have seat behind home plate & were surrounded by baseball scouts. We counted over a dozen of them in several groups. He was throwing 92+ in all 6 innings he pitched. He made one mistake & gave up a home run, but he pitched a good game. Gotta keep an eye on Wilfredo!


The Zooperstars didn't seem to do as much this time, but this little bit with Ken Giraffey was kind of cute. At least Noah liked it.


Nice bungled play in the outfield here...


and it continues... click on the pic to see it full size at flickr.


We also saw the 1st triple play in RR history that night, but sorry... no shots of it. I love minor league.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blackland Prairie

I found this area on google maps while panning around the area near my house. The white area in the center that looks like it was carved by runoff seemed out of place to me... so I decided to investigate. I guess I've been watching too much PBS... or maybe CSI Miami. (warning: CSI Miami will rot your brain!)


I set out Sunday morning around 7:00am and searched for the best place to make my entrance to the field. I parked & hopped the falling down barbwire fence and made my way in. This picture is looking back towards the road and I'm just about 25 yards in. I overexposed it so you could see the grass. I need to mess with this in Gimp and do a 2 layer combine with one over & one underexposed.

A Prairie Beginning

The road of course is adjacent to the ugly powerlines. There are all kinds of wildflowers (weeds if this is your lawn) and many different plants including this lovely cactus. After I saw it, I knew I better pay attention. The grass was almost waist high at times.


The wildflowers just kept getting thicker... this was right on the edge of the "area in question" about 100 yards from the edge of Lookout Road.

Wildflowers on Blackland Prairie

And here's a view of the area in question looking back towards the creek. Yes, there is a small creek back in those trees. Lookout Road is to the right.I believe that this is one of the "chalk" layers that blanket this area. We like to say Austin chalk, but I have no clue what it is. I need to do some real looking at the composition next time.

Area in Question

Another one along the side farthest away from Lookout Road looking towards the creek. If you look closely, you'll see the new "Baylor" building...


The trees you see in the white area are responsible for the dark areas in the satellite shot. I am planning another trip with a lawn chair next time and hope to get a few shots of the birds in this area. I saw several different kinds, but only identified a male Cardinal. (I'm not good at bird ID) I spent a few minutes looking around, but wanted to continue to explore the area as I approached the feeder to Highway 190. Just a short walk through the grass and I found a nice old abandoned VW bug. It didn't have any license plates... darn. I have a way to look up VINs... anybody know where the VIN is on an old VW bug?


A few flowers as I approached the wooded area.


There was no trail, so I just had to look for a decent sized opening with solid ground. After a while I found a decent path & made my way towards the creek.This shot was taken facing back towards the VW bug. It's probably 50 - 75 yards away hidden by the trees.


The trees weren't huge, but they were big enough to provide ample shade and it was a downright nice area to spend a few minutes. By this time I was starting to perspire a little from the direct sunlight, so the shade was NICE.


Another 20 yards and I had found the creek... is this too small to be a creek? My choice was to jump this creek or walk the long way back around to my car. The ground turned out to be very solid and it was a piece of cake.


When I climbed up the bank, I got a dose of reality.


My car is on the other side of this building. This was a really fun adventure and I plan to scout out further locations using google maps.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Continuing the Cottonwood Art Festival theme... I watched self-proclaimed pyromaniac Bruce Odell finish one of this Raku vases. He brought a couple of kilns with him... that is dedication my friends.

Look at that kiln glow!


Now he's getting started by removing the vase from the kiln.


Here he is examining the vase just before the coloring process begins. That is sunscreen he is wearing. Even a pyro is afraid of the sun.


Now he's spraying the vase and will soon dunk it in the moist wood chips to cool it down. The liquid type & rate of cooling controls the color, if I understood him correctly. Could be totally wrong... someone correct me.


More spraying. The colors produced during this process were amazing.


This went on for a while & finally he began to bury the vase in the moist wood chips.


And more spraying while partially covered... again to vary the color.


It was still very hot though.


And more covering to cool things off.


Now checking the color and then removal.


And finally a water bath to cool the whole thing off. He said something about special ingredients in the clay that keep the vase from breaking due to the sudden temperature change.


The vase handoff was delayed a few seconds while everyone except the guy in the t-shirt took one step back.

Vase Handoff

He finally got the nerve and admired it for a while. I just knew he was gonna drop it, but he didn't. Missed photo opportunity.

Freshly made Vase

And here's the other vase that was sitting there... not the same one, but similarly beautiful.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

John Gaar Band

We saw the John Gaar Band at Cottonwood Art Festival as planned. All the photos are in a flickr set, but here's one of John Gaar. The music was excellent... I even bought a CD.

John Gaar

Here's a little tour information stolen from the band's website.

Fri May 13 9pm Cindy's Gone Hog Wild
*Near the Austin airport
Cedar Creek, TX
Sat May 14 9-11pm Bixby BBQ-n-Blues Festival
Tulsa, OK
Sat May 21 5:15-6:30pm Wood Street Blues Festival
*Opening for Carolyn Wonderland
Marlin, TX
Sat May 28 5:30pm Mudbug Madness Festival Shreveport, LA
Sun June 5 4:30-6pm 92.5 KZPS Backyard BBQ
*Headliner is Jefferson Starship
Fort Worth, TX
Sat June 11 TBD Uncle Fletch's Backyard BBQ Fest Lake Athens, TX
Tue June 28 11am-1pm Corporate Event Austin, TX
Sat July 2 7:30pm Tentative Buda, TX
Fri July 15 7-10pm Downtown Concert Series
*Featured Act
Rosenberg, TX
Sat July 16 TBD Tentative: Dan Electro's Guitar Bar Houston, TX
Thur July 21 7-9pm Buddy Holly Center Summer Series
*Featured Act
Lubbock, TX
Fri July 22 10pm Railroad Blues Alpine, TX

Monday, May 02, 2005

Spring Creek Nature Preserve

Sunday morning I snuck away for about an hour or so & took pictures at Spring Creek Nature Preserve off Holford at 190 in Garland. It is about 2 miles from my house max. I am still in play-around / test mode with this camera. Many of these I took over & over using different setting trying to figure out how much latitude on exposure I really have. Anyhow, here's a few. I pulled up and saw these right next to my car. All are linked to

Flowers - Spring Creek Preserve

The tiny drops of dew pick up the light nicely. This is from a bench that puts you up in the trees a bit. It's hard to tell from the pictures. I couldn't figure out how to expose this properly. :(

Birding Area - Spring Creek Preserve

It was still pretty dark under the canopy. I could have brightened this up, but it's pretty close to what I remember.

Leaves - Spring Creek Preserve

Finally at the creek and some big old trees await.

Big Tree - Spring Creek Preserve

Here's the canopy reflected in the creek. This was shot handheld.

Spring Creek Preserve

I had just packed up when I saw a flash in the water. Three ducks had come down the creek together. By the time I got my camera back out, they were disappearing fast. I normally don't get too excited about seeing ducks, but this had more of a "wild" feel to it. I used to duck hunt on Spring Creek in Houston growing up... so I got excited. Maybe I should say "poach", but I was only 12 at the time.

3 Ducks - Spring Creek Preserve

I decided to wait a few more minutes to see if anything else happened. I waited about 10 minutes & this guy teased me for a few minutes. I had to go to the upper bank before he would go completely down the creek.

Duck - Spring Creek Preserve


Duck - Spring Creek Preserve

So I climbed back up the the upper bank and he decide to pass through.

Duck - Spring Creek Preserve

There are more pictures in the Spring Creek set on