Except as noted, all images copyrighted by and should be attributed to E. Bourland Hawley.
I had become many eons ago a traveling literary gnome, inquisitive about places I had and had not visited,
walking the same paths of peoples from the past, through places once grand and still grand,
photographing images that now show me the places about which I still dream . . .

Monday, October 31, 2011

One Hundred Year Old Barn

        My friend, Julie, encouraged me to photograph a one hundred year old barn that sits near her house. So this afternoon I traipsed over there and found my way to the barn. Driving my Lariat through a tight winding gravel road I came upon a dilapidated barn that seemed to have a recent and thick coat of red paint.
         Unfurling some wire that held the gate shut, I spooked some horses who noshed on the grass nearby, and in turn, they spooked me with their reaction. Amiable creatures as we were all, we established in this way a friendly relationship.

This is the old barn. Note the beams that attempt to halt its eventual collapse.

A wire held the gate shut.

A tree grew unattended through the fence near the gate.

To my new equine friends who seemed so interested in my lens, I promised to return for a few lessons in photography.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Introduced Hoggard, a Magical Poet

        A couple of months ago the chair of the Speakers and Issues Series, Dr. Montoya, asked me to introduce James Hoggard at his next reading. I thanked her for the honor, and set to work on my words. I felt deeply honored and delighted to give my observations about his work as I introduced him.

       Here are some excerpts from my speech.

       James Hoggard served as Poet Laureate of Texas for the year 2000 and has won numerous awards for his writing, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and recognition for his translations, short stories, and poetry books, and most notable to me, a Lon Tinkle Award for Excellence Sustained throughout a Career. He's written very well for a long time.

        Most of the public know about his long list of awards, so rather than list them, I wanted to emphasize his longevity as a poet, one of the grandest things about Hoggard. Also, he has worked as professor at MSU for a couple of decades, and I wished to point out another grand thing about him, and that is the effect he has on his community and students.

        His work, his awards, and his devotion to MSU and the community have raised the quality of education in the city, indeed the world, for students from all around the world attend MSU and return to their countries taking with them everything they've learned from him.

        At first I thought it sounded excessive, until I recognized its truth.

        My late first husband, David, a Harvard grad, mathematician, and professor of linguistics, would read aloud to me Hoggard's work. With few exceptions, David would not read aloud, so I knew that when he read something great emerged from his lips. I've known that . . .  a poet has some influence on his readers. I paraphrase Mr. John Hirschi when he said that Hoggard weaves magic with his words.

         And here I begin to explain my observations about his work, his remarkable work over the years.

        Carefully considered words by Hoggard are the magic through which he expresses his insights into the parts of life that we may not see otherwise. His book Elevator Man, and his latest novel, The Mayor's Daughter, in addition to countless poems, all show these beautifully written ways of expressing things, those things that seem equally as intelligent as his choice of language.

        I added that In Eyesigns he wittily compels the reader with imagery, words, and numbers. This book is difficult to find now, but do try to acquire your own copy because it is a treat to visit every once in a while.

        For The Mayor's Daughter, my intention was to comprehend more the depth of Hoggard's insight, so I spent a few hours at the archives downtown reading the court documents and articles about the tragedy.

        The knowledge I gained about the tragedy shocked me. The culprits and the people who continued to support them made me feel such disdain that I did not feel sure I wanted to read the book at all!

        The story, though, brings redemption to the victims, and to a town, and said that it shows the struggle of a townsfolk experiencing increasing wealth, and then attempting to maintain the commensurate levels of culture rising in their lives. Indeed, Hoggard beautifully righted a wrong.

         My second honor that evening was to present him with a plaque to commemorate his twentieth book. The chair, unable to attend the reading, gave me that wonderful task.

         And so it was another poetic evening in Wichita Falls. This time, though, I had the honor to contribute my part, an honor that I will have present in my mind for a long time.

         See an article about Hoggard's recent awards published a couple of days later in the Times Record News, written by Ted Buss.

CWC Above Clouds to DTO

At sunrise, MyMrMallory and I hopped in the plane at Kickapoo and left for Denton. 

Taking off on runway 35.

The sun, Lake Arrowhead, and the propeller of a King Air. 

Flying above the clouds.

That is one tall antenna we fly around at 4,000 feet.

On final for Denton's runway. Two planes hold while we land. 
Denton has an aviation school, so the airport stays busy all week. 

The tower with friendly and helpful controllers in Denton.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hoggard Reads

Speakers and Issues Series
James Hoggard – The Mayor’s Daughter
Museum of Art at MSU
Thursday, October 27, 2011, at 7 p.m.

       Professor James Hoggard reads from his twentieth book, The Mayor’s Daughter. In this novel the author creates a place like Wichita Falls in the mid-1920s where, as prominent novelist Sarah Bird has said, he gives us “an extraordinarily powerful family drama.” The potent forces detailed in this novel include both lyrical and raw turns in a world where a figure of courage rises in the midst of breath-taking cruelty into a hard-earned sense of justice and hope.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lomography: Driving Around

         There seems no end to the subject matter one can photograph with a simple, plastic, Diana F+, 120 film, and a fisheye lens.

Two cars parked in front of a hangar.

Driving along Iowa Park Road.

Storage building for grain.

Trees at a corner.

Sunlight through the trees.

Carol presides at meetings held at the Kemp Center for the Arts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Not Here to Stay

       Jeff Masters, whose blog I frequently visit, confirms that Texas will remain dry and warmer than usual through winter and spring. Argh. Here are a couple of outlook maps I snagged from his blog:

      La Nina is not here to stay, thank Goodness for that; but, unfortunately, neither are our trees, and so we may witness many more die.

Spotting Panhandle Birds

      Great birding, for a gnome who had no plans to birdwatch. Spotted four Golden Eagles -- or the same one several times -- and a huge flock of Sandhill Cranes south of Pampa. I felt amazed to see the images below after downloading them on my computer. I took them from the back seat of a truck as we bounced along country roads. I am encouraged to think how much better I could have experienced my photography if I would have used a tripod and stood still. I spotted many other birds but did not identify them as we sped past them.

Sandhill Cranes.

Mottled Duck in flight.

Mottled Duck all by herself.

Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Rump shot of a male Yellow-shafter Flicker.

I like this image because it shows a bit of the habitat of the Lark Sparrow. He sits on one of the t-posts.

Panhandle Plains Backdrop

At left, batteries that hold oil, and in the distance, silos that store grain serve as the background for the Sandhill Cranes.
Oil pumps work away in the background as Sandhill Cranes feast on insects in a cut wheat field.
     Driving around the countryside on business we spotted a huge flock of Sandhill Cranes noshing on Charles' wheat and corn. The fellow driving the truck MyMrMallory and I were in would annoyingly not stop for me to take pictures -- and I really did not want to slow down his business by stopping every few hundred feet to take a picture of a bird, no matter what kind of bird, an awesome Golden Eagle an awesome flock of thousands of Sandhill Cranes. This led me to exercise my skill at grabbing shots from a moving vehicle as we bumped along country roads. His job: Count water mills on a ranch; my job: grab shots. 
     Having grabbed a couple hundred shots, I had to delete too many to count because they were blurry. Not easy taking sharp pics from a bouncy truck. But what I did have in the end were some interesting views of the Panhandle Plains of Texas. Behind the cranes one can see some of the background that shows how many people earn a living from farming, ranching, and drilling. 

Sandhill Cranes fly over a wheat and corn fields. Below them in the picture, water accumulated in the wheat field deeply enough to provide a resting area for a large number of teals. 
The teals fly off as our truck approached the water. In the background part of the flock of cranes grazes Charles' wheat.
At the bottom of the picture one can see the pivot that provides water to the corn. Those are teals flying above it. 
The Sandhill Cranes stood on a nearby cut wheat field to nosh on insects. Note the vast farmland in the distance.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Towers that Carry Energy

The size of the trucks give one an idea of the size of the towers. The area around the towers shows the commensurate destroyed foliage that leads to decreased wild life habitat.

On the ground, where they belong, rather than in the air, holding wind-blown lines that cause sparks. We have so many millions of miles of roads: Why not follow them instead of destroying more habitat? 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Swainson's Heading South

        Happily I watched several dozen Swainson's Hawks joined in a kettle of Turkey Vultures as they headed south during their fall migration. Some of them will reach as far as the pampas in Argentina, while some may winter in Florida. Their journey encompasses the landmass between New Jersey and Argentina. One can spot thousands, particularly in the narrow part of the American continent at Panama.
        Swainson's will eat mice and other small animals, but they will predominantly eat insects. For more details about their habits and other information, see Hawks in Flight, by Pete Dunn, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton, ISBN 0-395-42388-0.
       I spotted this large group of perhaps two or three hundred (including Vultures) hovering southward over Hico.

Let Lovely Turn of Phrase Begin

Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On

Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods.
Let us go then, you and I
like two etherized patients floating
through life, together feeling prufrockian.
DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up.
One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers.
I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain.
Throw chinese coins for the I Ching.
Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil.
Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns.
Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya.
Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.