I don’t lead a terribly exciting life. Yes, I write exciting, sexy stories – from my recliner! I was teasing a member of my family who’s about to fly to visit relatives in Nebraska. They are worried about safety and crashing and dying in some obscure Kansas wheat field, especially after witnessing the German/French alp crash on TV, sad sad situation. Anyway, I told him the regular stuff – everything from ‘oh, you’ll be fine’ to ‘well, don’t go’. Finally to console him, I told him that he would probably be safer in the plane than I would be writing in the recliner. I joked and said there were probably many horrific recliner-related accidents a year.
I was kidding.
Apparently – though – SHRIEK! – I was on to something.
I couldn’t believe it! How shall I prepare? Should I wear a seat belt while reclining and writing or a helmet? There were an ASTOUNDING 88 recliner related deaths in 2010!
This just proves – NO WHERE IS SAFE – NOWHERE!!
Well, to protect myself from that scary damn chair, I’ve ventured out a bit this week. I researched online to get the best information, I gravitate to the Texas Wildflower report – yes, there is one. Here’s the link.
Consulting this source, I decided to drive down south of San Antonio to see a stretch of roadway from Somerset to Poteet. I was excited. I haven’t been to San Antonio in a while. Truly, it is one of my favorite places on earth. Like, New Orleans – San Antonio is just different. They aren’t your typical Southern cities. San Antonio doesn’t just have the Alamo, it has the beautiful river walk and a collection of missions that are awe-inspiring. San Antonio is also a very military town with several active bases and forts – Lackland, Randolph Field and Fort Sam Houston. I remember visiting all of those places. But until yesterday, I’d forgotten about visiting the Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston when I was a child. The Quadrangle is the original fort and the oldest building. It has served many purposes from a quartermaster’s depot to an arsenal, but in 1886 it housed infamous Native American chief Geronimo. My father used to tease me and tell me he and I were descended from Geronimo. I presume he was teasing, I’ve never found any evidence of it, but his words made me always aware and sympathetic to anything I found out about Geronimo.
My recollection of visiting the Quadrangle with my family is a neat memory. They were there to see the military aspects. I was bored…until I heard the tour director explain about Geronimo and that the soldiers there at the time brought animals into the fort to make Geronimo and his tribe feel more at home. Deer, turkey and rabbits. The soldier tour-guide director waved his hand and said…and they are still here!
You all know me. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the small herd of deer and the rabbits. They are so used to people that they don’t run, they will actually come to you to be petted.
Well, that was the end of the tour for me.
I laid down in the grass with the rabbits and refused to proceed. The tour went on without me and picked me up on the way back while I lounged in the spring green grass and stole as much rabbit sugar as I could possibly get. I remember one of the big burly soldiers asking me if I wanted to spend time with Thumper.
Here are some photos of San Antonio –
Traveling on south of San Antonio, I want to show you the wildflowers I saw. In the early spring, Texas is like a natural canvas where a masterpiece is painted. Splashed across the countryside is an array of beauty. Bright splendiferous colors are meshed in the green grasses of the fields. No florist display can come close. It’s as if a grand designer has placed each stem in exactly the right place to assimilate the most amazing bouquet imaginable.
While on the trip, I ran into other explores, all prospecting to find the exactly perfect shot. The colors span the spectrum, although the bluebonnet takes center stage. What really got me was that there were places where the bluebonnets were so thick and flowed so lushly between the trees and drifted back so that they took on the appearance of a lake that stretched as far as the eye could see.
As much as I’d like to imagine, not all of this is just happenstance. Some of it is. Some of these stretches are Mother Nature doing her best work, but the Texas Highway Department also gets in on the act. They scatter seed and many residents also do the same. I passed one sacrilegious moment when a man was out MOWING DOWN HIS BLUEBONNETS. I fully expected swat teams of Texas Rangers to swarm down on him, what he was doing surely must be against the law – in Texas.
And if one person in the world had to receive most of the credit for the wildflowers of Texas, no one would argue who that one person should be. Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady, wife of LBJ worked tirelessly to preserve and restore the biological bounty of the US, especially her home state of Texas. I’ve traveled to her birth place in Karnak near the town of Uncertain, TX which featured in BURNING LOVE. Here is a photo –
In Washington, Lady Bird was instrumental in the planting of tens of thousands of tulips. She aided in the passing of the Highway Beautification Act and she also founded a research center for the study of wildflowers in Austin. All of that sounds small, but the result of her efforts is nothing one could argue with – just look. And this is just one small corner of the world.
I’m not going to harass you with an excerpt this week, but I will show you the cover – ONE MAN’S TREASURE will release before the first. Above are flowers and below is Jet – which form of ‘beauty’ do you prefer?