Thursday, March 13, 2014

I wasn't born in Texas, but I got there as fast as I could.

*Props to my friend Candace for slapping that sticker (the title of this post) on my bumper a few years ago without me realizing it for weeks...*A little nostalgia, my friends, just a little.  I've worked with golden-cheeked warblers and black capped-vireos for six seasons. My base and most of the field sites were at one of my most happy places (a gigantic, beautiful ranch in the Hill Country).  I won't be there this season, and it's a little bittersweet. I first moved to Texas in 2007 and initially was a little worried about my decision. My friends made fun of me for booking it to Texas and I thought I'd be there for the spring and summer and then get outta town.  (Below:Johnny Nutcase at part of the headwaters to the Frio River)
Hilarious! I kept coming back for more. And more, and then some more.  Texas won me over. Err, not all of it- just the Hill Country and West Texas, really. And some scattered parts in between. But the point is I started feeling like Leakey (population 422) was home. I've met some of my favorite people in that town and even those whose names I never learned, I'll never forget. Everyone is so damn nice there. I can hardly handle it.  I'm partial to tiny towns, but Leakey rocks it. (below: endangered fishook cactus; Frio River; me at the entrance to a badass cave)
I got to explore so much of the Hill Country - most of our field sites were on huge (undeveloped) private ranches or state parks and I got to see so much great stuff. Really great stuff! Ya don't even know!  Last weekend I bid farewell to the ranch and to Leakey (I know I'll be back, but not sure when...). Bittersweet.  


Mary Cromer said...

Sounds like it was indeed bittersweet, and it does look like a lovely place to explore and photograph...where to now...

Pam said...

Some places feel like home the first time you go there. For me "home" doesn't suit me whatsoever and I can't wait to find a place that does like you've done. Nice pics!