Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 49 - Stephen F Austin State Park

Morning. It is 64 degrees with 96% humidity and the dew point is 64 degrees. I am sitting outside at the picnic table enjoying the peace and quiet. I don't count the birdsong as noise. I believe that a lot of species of birds pass through Texas during migration and I am getting to enjoy some of that. Deep breath. The air smells wonderful! It is that damp, earthy scent so evocative of the South.
Last night I heard Brett opening a window and then turning on a fan. Suddenly there was that smell. Like
rolling over and snoozing in the earth. (no, NOT a dirt nap)
Who knew that I would miss humidity?

I like coffee. Every morning when I grind fresh beans I remember a scene in the movie City Slickers. Grinding beans in Texas this morning as I look out the door to check for cattle stampedes. Nope.

We decided to go for a walk around the campground before it got meltingly hot. It is still pleasant in the shade. We saw zero humans on our stroll and one vulture. Hmmm. We needed to go check out the group camping area. They have the best grill set up I have seen at a campground. I think you could smoke a whole cow in there!

As far as I know, I have never heard of or seen an Osage Orange (Bois d'Arc) tree until today. Their fruit is all over the ground now. It is softball sized , bumpy and yellow-greenish. I think it looks like a little round brain. The fruit contains a sticky white latex sap that is starting to be used in some insect repellant. The wood burns hotter than any other native North American tree.

My small lesson in Texas history:

We are in the town of San Felipe on the Brazos River which was the capital of Stephen Austin's first colony (the fabled cradle of Texas liberty) and the founding place of the Texas Rangers. Here Stephen F. Austin, named the Father of Texas, brought the Old Three Hundred the first 297 families to colonize Texas under a contract with the Mexican Government. Being a descendant of one of the Old Three Hundred is a big deal in Texas; like having a Mayflower connection.

In 1836 during the Texas Revolution General Sam Houston ordered all supplies removed from the town and burned it to the ground to keep it out of Mexican hands. The town was restored after the Texan victory at San Jacinto ended the war but never regained its former stature.

My art in the wild for today is a kind of wild fingerpainting. It appears as though curious (or vandalous) raccoons noticed when the pavement went down. Their meanderings have been forever captured.

Another thing I have learned on the trip: no matter how you pose them, refried beans are not photogenic.

Tomorrow we head a bit further east.
That is all.

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