My first foray into the South Texas Brushlands was amazing. It reminded me of the bush country of South Africa. I almost expected a herd of zebra to come tearing across the desert sands as we drove down the two lane highway.
The first morning of my stay was greeted with a beautiful sunrise. Some might look disparagingly at the desert landscape and reject any notion of aesthetic quality, but I saw something very attractive. The morning was refreshing and invigorating.
Friends in the Midwest are huddled in their homes and bundling up when they leave for the day. The temperatures are consistent with February and the snow on the ground. I have the joy of being in South Texas with short sleeves and wiping the perspiration from my brow during the same month. The morning sky welcomes me to bask in the warmth of the rising sun’s rays. I am blessed.
The midday skies are laced with a light cloud cover. It gave us a little shade from the very warm sun. At the same time it highlighted the mesquite and scrub brush that dominated the grounds.
There is a drought here in Texas. It was severe last year. This year there is a respite but still not enough water to revive the land.
Grasses are parched. Bushes are dormant, trying to survive until the land is replenished with life-giving water. It looks and feels like a desert.
Nevertheless, there is a beauty in the arid land, especially when you take in the vast skies. Light plays across the heavens in an ever-changing panorama. It is fun.
Then, it was dusk. Brightness dims all around. Shadows grow long. Cooler temperatures shroud the air and give me relief.
The desert floor begins to fade and the sky commands attention with the contrasts of shape, shades and highlights. I found myself gazing overhead for long moments. No one charged for admission to the show.
Cloud formations shifted like an army on maneuvers. Variations in shades are expanded and enhanced. Everything on earth grows dark and all eyes naturally shift upwards.
The day is coming to a close. Up in the skies, the main event was still forthcoming. Sunset was spectacular. South Texas skies are amazing!
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography