Happy (Belated) Independence Day

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6949761123/in/photostream

Texas Capitol at Night 65mm, f/22, 1/8s, ISO 400

When we told my sister-in-law — twenty-two-ish years ago — that we were moving to Texas the first thing out of her mouth was, “Oh great, now your kids are going to have big heads!”.  Turns out she was right as most of us pretty much love living in Texas.  Truth be told, we would be happy living anywhere since life is more about the people around you than the place itself.  In fact, not many years ago we passed on an opportunity to move the family to a place my wife had always dreamed of living.  Her words: “This [Austin] is home now.”  The pride of Texans is manifest in many ways.  First, I’ve never been to a state where the state flag flies as much as it does here.  People sport “Native Texan” tattoos and bumper stickers.  Some transplants (not me) display bumper stickers which say “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could”.

So, March 2nd was Texas Independence Day and I really didn’t plan on posting anything.  However, in the wee hours of this morning — wide awake after a 2 am run to Walgreens for chicken pox relief potions for my son — I found some unprocessed pictures like the one above that I had taken on the way back to my truck after a recent photowalk on the University of Texas campus.

Some brief tidbits: Six national flags have flown over Texas (the origin of the “Six Flags” amusement park name).  They were the Spanish, French, Mexican, Republic of Texas, Confederate, and now the US flag.

Texas is a huge state in land area — far larger than California which is the next largest in the lower 48.  My big Texas head is not so large that I don’t get a good laugh at an Alaskan saying, “We were going to divide Alaska into two states but we didn’t want to make Texas the third largest”.  That’s a pretty good put-down for too-proud Texans IMO 🙂

Texas also has very distinct geographical areas.  When we lived in Illinois we constantly saw TV ads which used a slogan along the lines of “Texas — It’s like a whole other country.”  Frankly, it’s true in many ways.  We grew up equating Texas with tumbleweeds but I probably lived in Texas 15 years before I ever saw one.  The regions range from plains in the north to hill country in the middle to plains and river valleys in the south.  There are piney forests in the east to mountains in the west.  The coastal plains with their fertile black soil are pretty much like the fields in Illinois.

I think we’ll stay a while.

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4 responses

  1. Great night exposure. Love than sheen in the foreground…is that a dashboard? I’m living in Shreveport, La right now, but am from the deep south of Louisiana. Shreveport is more Texas than Louisiana and it seems that 1 out of every 2 people I’ve met are from Texas or their family is from Texas and are all usually proud of their heritage (don’t mean that in a bad way). So YES, I have heard ALL about the Texas Independence Day 🙂

    March 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

  2. Nice one Michael! I have not seen any shots from this vantage point

    March 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  3. Brandon, isn’t that the way it is? I find it kind of fun really. My son lives just down the road from you near Longview, TX. That sheen is some sort of polished metal box on the ground — probably 3 feet by 10 feet if I remember correctly. It doesn’t seem like an electrical box…not sure what it actually is 🙂

    Mike, with the photo friends you have in Austin you’ve probably seen your share of Capitol shots. You’re right, you don’t often see it from this side except in closeups which eliminate the street here. Also in this spot is the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (in the shadows in the right side of the frame). Here’s a shot of that: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/4462714352/in/set-72157623071637008.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

  4. Great night shot, I have been yearning to head out to capture some night shots…thank you for the motivation!

    March 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

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