Quick Pics 18-27 – A Fishing Trip

Welcome to my 4th installment of Quick Pics coming straight to you from the backroads of East Texas. I was headed to go fishing with my family friends, and what I like most about these pictures is how they show that we were truly just enjoying the moment. That feeling of letting the cool breeze hit your face while riding down the beautiful road with people you care about.

Quick Pic 18 – Juxtapose

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I love how the leaves take over the ground and the trees.

 

Camera Setting: Cross Process

I named this photo Juxtapose, because the lines created by the trees, fence, and the frame of the window are running perpendicular to each other, which creates an interesting and balanced image.

Juxtapose: to place (different things) side by side (as to compare them or contrast them or to create an interesting effect)

When I’m taking pictures from inside the car, I like to sometimes include the car to let the viewer know where I’m shooting from. In this case, the car helps :

  • to frame the image
  • to mimic the lines of the fence
  • and to add more horizontal lines, which juxtapose to the vertical lines

Quick Pic 19 – Down Country Roads

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Camera Setting: Normal

I was really wanting to take pictures but there wasn’t anything grabbing my interest. So, I was just playing around with the zoom and snapped this blurry view of the road winding in front of us.

Quick Pic 20 – Memories, Old and New

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Camera Setting: I don’t remember and I can’t tell . . . My guess is Cross Process.

Still playing with the zoom, I managed to capture a bright burst of sunlight over my friend’s shoulder. She was wearing a Blake Shelton concert shirt and telling a story about when she was a kid and her parent’s would take them down these backroads picking buckets and buckets of blackberries.

Quick Pic 21 – Which Way Should We Go?

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Camera Setting: Cross Process

We weren’t catching any fish at Lake Nac, so we got back in the truck and drove around looking for a better spot. When I snapped this pic, we were trying to decide if we should go left or right. I love the way the sun is shining on the ground in the distance.

Quick Pic 22 and 23 – Untitled

Camera Setting: Toy Camera

The wind was too strong here so we just circled the parking lot and left. I liked how the sun was glistening off the water and the ramp.

Quick Pic 24 – A Church

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Camera Setting: Cross Process

We have 100’s of historical churches in this area. We also have 100’s of historical cemeteries . . . many of them were the subjects of photo projects I did in college. At the time, I thought about doing a series on churches, but I guess I never got around to it.

I didn’t like how the image looked when my camera was horizontal so I tilted it quickly and snapped. I think it’s a pretty cool pic.

Quick Pic 25 – Ugh, Teenagers

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Camera Setting: Cross Process

I was mostly taking pictures on the right side, so I shoved my camera in front of my friend on my left, and he thought it’d be a good idea to try and block my lens with his hand.

Quick Pic 26 – Untitled

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Camera Setting: I can’t tell if this is Cross Process, or the Miniature Effect.

I took this while we were crossing a tiny bridge. I really like how the reflection of the trees look, and the blurriness around the edges. I love this picture. It’s my favorite quick pic of the day.

Quick Pic 27 – Fallen Tree

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Camera Setting: Normal

I noticed this scene when we went down this road the first time but the 70 mph speed limit was too fast for me. We headed back down this road, and this time I had my camera ready. I thought I missed it again until I was looking at the pics on my laptop.

I’ve seen a lot of fallen tree scenes like this all over, and I think it would look better if I used a DSLR and got out and got closer. Quick pic didn’t do this scene justice but I was happy that I did capture it, when I thought that I didn’t.

Sooo . . . Did We Catch Any Fish??

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Not a “quick Pic”

Camera Setting: Cross Process

We finally found a good looking spot under a bridge where we caught one large blue catfish and a couple of small fish that we threw back.We laughed so hard trying to walk on the slippery mud.

I had a couple of pictures that are left untitled . . . I just couldn’t think of a good name. Anyone out there good at naming photos? If anyone thinks of something, I’d love to hear your ideas.

I hope you enjoyed these quick pics as much as I enjoyed taking them.

 

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National Kolache Day

“Kolaches have always been the underdog in the pastry world, and National Kolache Day will pave the way for this overlooked pastry to gain its much-deserved recognition.” – Vatsana Souvannavog, the owner of Koala Kolache.

The Houston Mayor declares March 1 National Kolache Day because the owner of Koala Kolache wanted the pastry and the Czech people in Texas to be recognized.

Voyage to Texas in 1852

Texas has a large Czech population. I know this because my dad’s side of my family immigrated from there to the United States and settled in Texas. My granny was a first generation Czech-American.

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My Granny near San Antonio, Tx 1947

She lived on the coast for a while, where a lot of Czech families lived. All of her brothers joined the military and were very proud to serve their country. Then she became a farmer’s wife and moved to East Texas to pursue a career in cosmetology and to raise her son, who also joined the military.

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I guess I’m not the only person in my family who photographs Cows

My Czech Heritage

Being half Czech is pretty cool. I remember going to South Texas and visiting my granny on holidays. The sounds of a thick language I didn’t understand echoing from the kitchen, where there was around the clock cooking. And you never saw the woman sweat! . . . seriously. Her clothes were always perfect, and her hair was always in place. Thanks to Aqua Net.

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I really like this picture. Granny 1949 East Texas

Czech Food

The smell of food was always wafting through the house. I was accustomed to a variety of foreign food because I grew up on a military base and met and ate with people from all over the world. And I wasn’t afraid to try stuff.

But the one thing I wasn’t crazy about was sauerkraut. Always cooked in brown sugar and beef drippings. They put that nasty stuff on their Thanksgiving stuffing, and it’s served with so many meals all year.

I love it now, and crave it. Just last night I had a roast beef sandwich on rye bread with mustard, pickles, and sauerkraut.

The Mouth-Watering Czech Kolache

I was already craving my granny’s food but now . . . thanks to Houston declaring March 1 National Kolache Day, I NEED the original Czech Kolache. The East Texan “pig in a blanket” version just won’t do.

2002

My Granny with her sis, sis-in-law, bro, and nephew- the guy in black was the Kolache Baker, 2002

I remember walking into the kitchen when the uncle who made delicious kolaches showed up, his arms loaded with peach filled, raspberry filled, fruits I couldn’t identify filled. It was heaven.

1968 holiday meal kolache on plate

1968 A plate of Kolaches are on the middle of the table to the right of the candle. Looks like peach flavored. My dad is the kid looking at the camera with the ketchup bottle in front of him. 

I don’t know about you, but my heritage is so important to me. I love knowing where I come from and embracing and learning about it. And I was really happy to hear that the delicious Czech pastry get’s it’s own day.

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The last two Kolache pastries on the plate, to the right of the candle. 

Proud to be an American

So if you haven’t tried them yet, go enjoy a Kolache and help celebrate the true spirit of America. A nation made up of immigrants who all love this country and add to it’s diverse culture.

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My Great Grandparents – My Granny’s Mom, brother, and Dad

Cows Butting Heads at Sunrise

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First cow picture taken

In the early days of my exploration of photography, I was 7, visiting family in Texas where these strange creatures called cows were everywhere. I was living in the Mojave Desert in Southern California at the time where cows weren’t so common, so they definitely had my attention. Everyone was confused and weirded out that I was wasting the film in my disposable camera on boring things like cows. “What is she taking pictures of?” they would all ask in bewilderment.

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Well, I am still taking pictures of boring cows. But, they aren’t that boring. Once they notice that I’m there, they quit what they’re doing and all of a sudden 20 cows are staring at me and walking quickly towards me. Each time this happens, I immediately have a flashback of the time I was fishing with my dad on his family farm for the first time, and I turned around and saw a herd of cows appear out of nowhere and start coming at me. I totally freaked out, while my dad was totally chill. “It’s ok, they’re just looking for food.”

That’s what I was afraid of . . . they’re ready to get back at me for all those delicious cheeseburgers I’ve enjoyed. 

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Lately we’ve been having some psychedelic colored sunrises so I got up bright and early hoping to get something interesting. I stopped at a ranch on the picturesque farm road I drive down daily. I was sorta bummed out that the sunset colors weren’t as cool looking as the previous mornings when I didn’t have time to stop.

As the sun was rising, I noticed cows were grazing in the distance and then I spotted 2 cows butting heads. I love when I get the opportunity to see animals behaving in their environment.

 

 

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If I could have gotten inside the fence and gotten closer I could have included the sunset and gotten some better detail of the cows and the water. I wasn’t about to trespass though, so I had to take the pictures from really far away.

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Being Thankful in Texas

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Well that’s true. Big hair, big stories, big trucks, big land, and big sports fans. I’m a big Dallas Cowboys fan and the football game is the thing I look forward to the most on Thanksgiving. (Yes, even more than the food.)

true meaning thanksgiving

Shoot, Texas is a football state. You might think Pee Wee football is serious stuff but by the time you get to high school. . . . watch out. (Netflix Friday Night Lights, and you’ll see.) I was in high school band and the Dragon’s biggest rival was the Lufkin Panthers. Those games were a little scary too. Their scoreboard had a panther that screamed and the ferocious energy was. . . .well, it was Texas high school football energy.  And guess where Dez Bryant played when he was in high school . . . 

dez lufkin

AT&T Stadium – Art, Education, and Football

The world’s biggest domed structure, AT&T Stadium, is a great example of just how important football is round here. I mean, who else would have an art gallery in a sports stadium? (I’m an artist who loves sports so thumbs up from me.) According to their website, they also offer classes and an educational tour which will be the “experience of a lifetime.” (I love education too!) And that Jumbotron takes my breath away. 

jumbotron

The Food

You’re not just gonna get a ‘lil hot dog and a fountain coke here. On their menu you’re gonna see items like the Jumbo Texas Pretzel, The Big D, and The Legendary Double Burger. During the games they show footage of their grills . . . omg, it’s mouthwatering. Better bring a Texas sized appetite.

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The Cheerleaders

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders set the standard for all cheerleaders. They’re beautiful and incredible athletes and they do a great job cheering our boys. They’re always ready to pose for photos, sign autographs, and volunteer their time to great causes, like the Salvation Army. 

Buccaneers Cowboys Football

Doing The Most Good

One of the biggest and most important contributions made by and through the Dallas Cowboys organization is their longstanding connection with The Salvation Army. All year long, but especially during the holiday season. Each year they serve an early Thanksgiving meal to families and starting in 1997 the Thanksgiving Day halftime performance became a kick off to the Red Kettle Campaign.

zeke kettle

They also encourage youth through the Play 60 program, by choosing 11 youth who are judged based on their performance and on how they demonstrate The Salvation Army’s 5 Core Values:

  • Passion
  • Compassion
  • Bravery
  • Uplifting Spirit
  • Trustworthiness    

You see we not only have big stuff and big Texas attitude. . . we also have big hearts. I remember during Hurricane Harvey all of the reporters on t.v. were just so shocked that we would help strangers. They just kept repeating it over and over again, until finally one guy said, “That’s what Texans do. We don’t care about race or anything else, it’s what we do.” We jump in our big trucks, drive over our big land, and we help our neighbors out. 

Dem Boys aint having a great season, but whether we win or lose I’m really looking forward to the game. I hope you’re having a Happy Thanksgiving . . . even if you aren’t watching the game 🙂 And go make a donation when you go out to do your shopping . . . and don’t forget to grab a bag of Tostitos too and help the Cowboys do some local donating.