Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Hill Country -- heartland of Texas

The Texas Hill Country. It’s more than a place. The Hill Country is a living, breathing, river-flowing dream where the land rises up to meet the sky and the people rise to meet every day straight on.

Hard work and whimsy combine.

Walk to the river bank. Stand still. Before you are aware of it, the limestone river bottom takes on all kinds of life. Little things that move fast. You can rent inner-tubes and join the fun. On the Frio and the Guadalupe.

Listen. The birds seem to celebrate the river with you. The leaves welcome the cool Texas breeze. In the distance, a dog barks sometimes.

And a kid laughs.

It’s good to get out of the city. We returned recently from our spiritual renewal out near Hunt, and Ingram, and Leakey and Vanderpool. Utopia, just a few miles more.

Sleep with the windows open. Remember those night sounds? Are those critters friendly? You hope so as you drift toward morning.

Only one downbeat during the trip: There’s a wine and cheese bar in Bandera now.


JohnSBoles said...

Hmmm...time to see a play at The Point and help out around Mo Ranch.
Hooray summer.

The South Plainsman said...

Wine and cheese? In Bandera?

That's almost as bad as serving it at the Dixie Chicken in College Station!

I remember growing up in Austin. My bedroom was on the second floor of our house and overlooked Shoal Creek from the top of the cliffs just south of 29th Street. Lamar was a two lane street when we moved there, but they widened it before we left.

Just outside my bedroom was a screened in porch. I slept there except when it was too cold. We had no airconditioning ( it was the 1940s), so the porch was the coolest place to sleep in the summer. And it was mine!

I heard all the sounds of the Hill Country every night, including the feral cats fighting in the big oak trees.

My, the breezes were sweet.

sph said...

Thank you for the reminder of the paradise we call home here in Central Texas - every lovely thing you mentioned in your post is mine everyday.

The neighbors here vie for the title of 'my favorite' - one gives me daily bird reports or abandoned duck eggs and another, like today, called me to come and relocate a hognose snakey.

Truly, this is paradise!

George Phenix said...

The countryside was so pretty that I almost forgot to mention that there are almost no wildflowers. The drought continues.

Lillah said...

The drought is still on here as well. Grass? What grass we have big brown clumps, but true to form I do have a few flowers and lots of *gasp* weeds. Anything and everything I care about is in pots now. Gah.

sph said...

Yeah, Lillah - I just put some of the butterfly plants (that I keep going in pots for the winter)out in the garden. Alas, even fewer butterflys this year. And wildflowers - pshaw - what flowers?

No bees either. My green thumbed spouse has been dabbing q-tips into various vegetable blossums and fruit trees,too, trying to garuntee pollination/fertilization.

If not fatal, the world without insects AND water will be interesting......

But the hummys and swallows are back.....wood ducks in the nest box and owl in the shack. Not too bad.

Lillah said...


I wish I could post a picture. My yard is a hodge podge of maybe 70 or 80 pots, lol. This past weekend there was a gardeners sale at the local botanical gardens. Oh the sights. Of course they have no water restrictions and LOTS of green green grass. Oh how I wish. I did happen to pick up a few nice plants though and 2 more plumeria sticks. They should be nice next year, lol.

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