Thursday, October 18, 2012

Texas Road Trip, Day 4: Meadow

I drove this morning to the Armand Bayou Nature Center [map; point A in the map below] outside Clear Lake City, where I went to high school. Back then I used to cut through the woods to get from the school to my subdivision; now that's now possible, because fences have been put up preventing anyone from crossing into the woods. All you can access is the nature preserve, and you have to wait until it opens at 9:00 a.m. But finally I got in, and I took pictures of the other main thing I wanted to see: the pasture.

They call it a "prairie;" the fact is that it's a pasture that hasn't fed cattle for 50 or 60 years. The old guy who owned the ranch refused to sell it to real estate developers, and his heirs donated it to a nature conservancy, so there's a couple of square miles of woods and bayou and "prairie" that is beautifully undeveloped.

I spent a lot of time in these woods and fields when I was a teenager. This was my place of retreat. If not this exact pasture, then very near it.

After that I drove north and found myself near the hamlet of Daisetta (point B below), site of a famous sinkhole which opened up suddenly in 2008. I found a pond which I thought was in the right place, but it wasn't very large -- smaller than I expected it to be. I was too shy to ask anyone. This is pretty much how I've handled the whole trip: I go someplace and see something and am too shy to ask anyone about what I'm seeing, or whether I'm even looking at what I think I'm looking at. (Oil drilling: horizontal or vertical? Fracking or standard procedure? I couldn't tell.)

After that I drove west across the state, trying to avoid Houston, which I did by going through Cleveland, Conroe and Navasota. I'm spending my last night in Texas in La Grange, which is near Austin. I'm going home tomorrow, four days early.

1 comment:

Katia Noyes said...

Lovely picture, prairie. Thank you, Mark.