Clouds and Water

I thought it was snowing on the way to Rockport, Texas. That was very unlikely given the 100 F temperature. To my intense excitement, it was little bits of cotton in the air. The fields were full of cotton crop or wrapped bales. The pink wrapper is in honor of a cotton farmer’s wife who died of breast cancer.

This is the sky at sunrise over the bay. The dark clouds just disappeared even though they briefly promised water in a drought…

An almost empty beach at Mustang Island State Park. Even though it was early in the morning, it was too hot, with warnings to stay inside because of the high UV.

Sunrise sparkling on the dock in Fulton. The sentinels are brown pelicans, getting in some early fishing before the dolphins arrived.

A fishing chair outside our hotel at Port Lavaca, looking onto Matagorda Bay. I lived dangerously and went beyond the sign – nothing happened. When I looked at the sign later, I noted the last sentence. Alligators, methinks! There was also an oyster bed to the left of the chair.

Happy memories of summer although it is still 98 F here – longing for a real Fall.

Country Matters

This is the last post from the involuntary vacation series. Our final coffee stop was at a pretty little hill country town named La Grange, settled by Czech immigrants in 1850. We were so enamored with its charming town square that we made a second trip two months later. One this first visit, I nosed around the town square looking at the historical markers and town public notices. This notice, below, about intended treatment of Boll weevil insect in the cotton fields fascinated me. By chance, I had been reading about the recent Texas wines in the Panhandle region.  One of the wine growers’ major problems is that chemicals used to treat the cotton can drift and kill the vines.

I recently read this review, in red, by the Chalk Report of a winery in Loop, a remote area in north west Texas.  ‘Texas Wine wins Double Gold at San Francisco International Wine Competition’ Climate change is affecting wine growing here, as it is in the rest of the world.  There are some wineries just north of us but now the Panhandle area is producing some of the best medal winners.  Cool nights, hot days and low humidity create a good environment for growth.  Tempranillo and Bordeaux seem to suit this climate region. On a nostalgic segue, in Scotland we eagerly awaited the new Beaujolais Bordeaux every year – a bright, vibrant new pressing.  Bordeaux is called Claret.  I know you think that Scots just drink whisky and eat haggis but our wine drinking is an elegant legacy of the “Auld Alliance” between Scotland and France. 

Courtesy of Zeesstof on Flickr

My husband took this fabulous photo of a Red Brangus bull with egret friend in Port Aransas.  If you read the lost cattle notice beneath it, you can see someone has lost a Red Brangus bull.  How??  It’s not like losing your tabby cat.  They weigh up to 3000 lbs. and are worth between $7000 and $16,000.  When we lived on a farm in Scotland, the drunk neighbor did not adequately fence in his bullocks.  They all ran straight down our drive and galloped through the open door into the glass sunporch – talk about bulls in a China shop!  I know it’s not PC but I had to smack their bottoms with a broom to get them out of the house – I swear they laughed at me.  Then I chased them back home and woke up the sozzled farmer (perhaps he had found some Beaujolais Bordeaux?).  I had a few choice words for him…

Ah, I miss some aspects of living a truly rural life.