Sherwood Forest Faire – McDade, TX – 04/07/2018

The Sherwood Forest Faire is a medieval-themed extravaganza located near McDade. It is located 35 miles east of Austin. It will be open on weekends from March-April. There is a medieval village with shops, stages, and food booths. Fun begins before you even get in the gates.

Atop the castle walls.

A nice shield.

One of the kings.

Another one of the kings.

Queen and Bishop

Once inside the gates we saw this strange bird.

Posted map of the village so you can find the stages.

One of the shops.

Sitting in a big chair.

A costume for sale.

A minstrel performance

Talking to Will Scarlet.

Robin Hood

Play in progress.


Three Rotten Tomatoes for $5.00

The target for the tomatoes if you have a good throwing arm.

Knight in Shining Armor

Another neat costume.

Archery shop.

Cute skeleton.

Falconry area

There is the bird again.

Sheriff of Nottingham.

A Kookaburra



Recalcitrant owl wouldn’t come down.

Another photo cutout

Huge chess game.

Another photo cutout.

Castle gates.

Another castle.

More nice costumes.

Musicians performing.

Draco guarding the wishing well.


Lampasas, TX – 03/14/2018

Lampasas is the county seat of Lampasas County.  It is at the junction of Hwy 183 & Hwy 281.  It is 69 miles NW of Austin on Hwy 183.  We visited to check out there many murals, sculpture garden and historic buildings.

“Patriot Mural” – The mural depicts community pride in active duty military, veterans and first responders who maintain our safety and freedom.

“Stagecoach to Lampasas” on the side of the Country Kitchen Restaurant.

Mural painted on the front windows of Cutters Western Wear.

Small part of the 70′ mural entitled “Small Town…Big Sound”

Door of First Baptist Church.

“Cruisin’ Key” – Mural brings back cherished memories of small town Lampasas.

1902 Queen Anne Style Cottage

“Farmer’s Market” decorates a vacant building.

This mural is dedicated to the land owners, sportsmen and women of Lampasas County who continue to manage, preserve and protect wildlife for future generations.

Building on the end is an Italianate Style building and is home to Blue Star Jewelers.

These four building were built in 1880. They are of equal height and have the same decorative metal cornices.

Afternoon on a Texas Ranch – by Ethel Edwards. This mural is a WPA mural from 1939. It currently adorns City Hall.

Perk’s New World Bakery

Built in 1884 by the First National Bank. This two story limestone and stucco building has rounded windows on the upper story.

The Phillips and Trosper buildings, constructed in 1884, are adjoining, almost identical, two-story limestone buildings.

The Harrison building was built in the 1880s and is one of the oldest structures on the west side of the square.

“May all your weeds be wildflowers!”

“Water is Life” fountain.

“Aspens and Moon” is a kinetic sculpture that moves in the wind.

This building was erected in 1915 as a post office. The post office moved to new location in 1938.

Historic hotel located diagonally across from the old Santa Fe train depot.

1930 Humble Gas Station – currently vacant.

In 1883 – Malone’s Wool Warehouse. In 1885 – Texas Trading Company. By 1913, the Lampasas Automobile Company was selling Ford Cars out of this building. In 1951 – Love Brothers Motor Company. The Ford dealership remained here until 1963. In 1964, the building was remodeled and housed a bowling alley. In 1966 Western Auto moved in with the Lampasas Bowl and the building was renovated once again. The building now houses Lampasas Hardware.

Part of the mural on the side of the hardware store.

After the nearby Gracy (now Keystone) Hotel was completed in 1870, it was decided to use the leftover stone for the construction of a “Little Hotel.”

Part of the “Postcard from Lampasas” mural.

Cowboy on the end of the “Postcard from Lampasas” mural.

#Hangin’ WithMyPeeps is a mural on the restrooms in W.M. Brook Park

Power house in the park has also been decorated.

And the pump house.

Sulphur Creek suspension bridge erected in 1976 to celebrate the American Centennial.

“Patriotic Rose” asks us to buy plants.

85′ of wood fencing at the nursery has multicolored tulips with greenery.

Five larger than life flowers add color to the lawn in front of the Chamber of Commerce.

“Rolling Dancing Moon II” at National United Bank.

The following sculptures are in the Hanna Springs Sculpture garden.

Large steel sculpture dedicated in loving memory to Stephanie Leigh Gradel, daughter of longtime LAFTA supporters Robin and Robert Gradel.

“Current” by Jennifer Cannon

“Portal to the Springs” is another kinetic sculpture.

Stainless Steel and Granite abstract piece by Jim Huntington

“Meadow Dancers” – A free flowing, wind-activated kinetic sculpture.

Tractor and shredder painted artistically by the children of Lampasas.

“High Stakes Dice” by Chris Oldham and Judith McGinty.

“Chameleon” by Pascale Pryor and James Bauer.

“Music to my Ears” created by Terry Jones

One very large catfish made of metal and painted green is overflowing the pickup bed.

Four pillars of limestone dedicated to the Roman goddess of flowers.

Water lily with three pads around it. Below on the pedestal are cattails, fish, frogs, and turtles.

“Bird Totem” – Artist: Terrell Powell – Fabricated by Clark Corbin

“Octagon Alley” by Lampasas 6th Grade Art Students

Chair and couch with a colorful mosaic tile throw.

Mosaic Pegasus created by Carolann Haggard

“El Rey” by Tim Glover

“Matching Pair” by Dan Pogue.

Across the street from the sculpture garden is Cooper Springs Nature Park with walking trails.

Artistic metal gate entrance to Cooper Spring Nature Park.

In the pavement of the patio entrance to Cooper Spring Nature Park is a large butterfly.

Whitehead Memorial Museum – 03/02/2018

A museum complex located on two and a half acres.  It consists of nine buildings. Its thirteen exhibits with period artifacts, many from the 19th century, express the history of Val Verde County, Texas. The museum was established in 1962 and remains the only full time, public museum in Val Verde County. The mission of the museum is to preserve historical and tangible artifacts that reflect the early history, cultures, and economics of Del Rio and Val Verde County.

Hours of Operation:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Adults(18-55): $5.00
Seniors(55+): $4.00
Military(Must Show ID): $4.00
Youth(13-17): $3.00
Child(6-12): $2.00
5 & Under: FREE

We spent about an hour exploring the museum.  It was very interesting, but it needs some improvements in the way it displays its treasures.


Hutto Hippo Hunt – 2/7/2018

I am borrowing the following story of why Hutto has hippos from

One can only guess what the rancher thought when he came upon a hippopotamus submerged in the muddy waters of Cottonwood Creek. After all, hippos don’t normally inhabit Texas. As this event took place in the rural town of Hutto in 1915, the rancher might not have even known what kind of animal he was looking at.

Having escaped from a circus train that had stopped in Hutto for repairs several days earlier, the rouge hippopotamus made its way through farm fields, devouring crops and leveling others, until it reached nearby Cottonwood Creek. There it happily embedded itself into a muddy wallow, content never to leave. Once the animal was finally discovered, then came the almost incredulous task of removing it. This proved no small feat.

The misplaced hippo caused such a stir that, years later, the Hutto school system adopted the hippopotamus as its official mascot.

Well the whole town has gone to decorating with Hippos.  They are everywhere, so we set out to hunt them down.  Here are the ones we found.


Corsicana, TX – 01/24/2018

Once again with camera in hand, we visited another small town in Central Texas.  Corsicana is 58 miles Southeast of Dallas on I-45; or 53 miles North of Waco on TX-31.

Our first stop was at the Navarro College Campus where we found “The Invocation” statue.

We saw this mural and stopped to photograph it.  

We parked at the vistor’s center and walked a 5K around town.  “Historic Corsicana” arch is just across from the Corsicana Visitors Center.

Old upright piano with a cat face design.

Oil Field Worker is a bronze statue on the street corner.

A bronze statue of the late Jim Acree, whose six-season run as Corsicana football coach included a 3A state championship in 1963.

A 1926 eight story Gothic Revival bank building.

A life size bronze statue honoring longtime KAND Radio voice Dick Aldama.

Former “ghost sign” has been renewed.

Former I.O.O.F. lodge is a three story Italianate brick building circa 1900.

Another decorated piano. This one with a fish painting is displayed in front of Roy’s Café.

Lutzen Veldman statue in front of his grandson’s meat market.

1892 Classical Revival home of Wm & Nancy Tatum.

1894 Queen Anne style home.

Victorian built in 1893-94.

Two story Elizabethan style school built in 1924.

1915 brick veneer Classical Revival style home.

Built around 1895 this is a Queen Anne Style home.

Built in 1880 by John Smith, Mayor of Corsicana.

Fire Station No. 2 was built in 1902 and closed in 1926.

Renaissance Revival style school built in 1923.

First Baptist Church circa 1901.

A tree stump has been carved with Magnolia Blossoms and the name Magnolia House.

Former Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast is now vacant.

St John’s Episcopal Church

Victorian House circa 1890

Fire Alarm Bell from 1886 on display in front of fire station.

While the 1904 Carnegie Library building was razed in 1967, it still lives on in the 1998 mural by Brad Smith.

The mural commemorates the military training held at Corsicana Municipal Airport from 1940 to 1944.

City jail built in 1908. It was the community’s first permanent brick jail. It was in continuous use until the 1970s. It is now a private residence.

Collin Street Bakery Baker stands at the location where the Collin Street Bakery originally stood from 1906 to 1965.

Art Deco Terra Cotta Bas Relief on Former Montgomery Ward Company building in Corsicana, TX

1909 Beaux Arts Classic Post Office

Corsicana’s Palace Theatre is a 1921 vaudeville house. It changed to a movie house in the 1930’s. In the mid 1990’s the Theatre was saved from demolition and re-opened in 2002.

Built in 1924 by John Murchison this building was originally a Studebaker Car Dealership.

Romanesque Revival 2 story brick building built in 1898.

Clint Eastwood mural on the side of the pawn shop.

(Former) Trinity & Brazos Valley Train Depot.

First Independent Baptist Church of Corsicana built in 1918.

WPA constructed this road side park along US 287 (now I-45 Business).

1936 County Marker in the WPA roadside park.

“Lefty” Frizzell was born March 31, 1928 near Corsicana.

WWI Memorial in Jester Park.

Riverwalk – Waco, TX – 12/30/2017

The new East Side Section of the Waco Riverwalk has been open since late October.  Today we did the loop from the Suspension Bridge to McLane Stadium and back.  It was 46 degrees with a light misting rain.

We parked in front of the Hilton and walked past the bronze cattle drive to reach the Riverwalk.

We walked toward McLane Stadium on the old West Side section.

Buzzard Billy’s , I-35 bridges and McLane Stadium.

Renovations to the West Side under I-35.

Umphrey Bridge is how we will cross to the new East Side Section.

I-35 bridges from Umphrey Bridge.

New “You are Here” maps on the East Section.

Riverwalk goes to a boardwalk style bridge as we pass Buzzard Billy’s.

The boardwalk section is nice and wide.

Covered section underneath the active RR bridge.

View of downtown.

Suspension Bridge and Washington Street Bridge.

MLK mural on the old stanchion of the inter-urban railroad.

We took the ramp up to the Suspension Bridge and found this nice marker at the east end of the bridge.

Over the suspension bridge and we were back to our cars.  In the summer there won’t be any shade on this route.  I’ve heard rumors that the Suspension Bridge would be closing for repairs but you can go a little further and cross on the Washington Street Bridge.

Decorated Utility Boxes – North Richland Hills, TX – 12/09/2017

We were in town for a volksmarching event that evening to see the Christmas lights. We had all day so we drove around to visit the artwork. According to this North Richland Hills website The signal art was implemented in 2007 to enhance the City’s Art in Public Spaces Program. Every few years they repaint them with something different. Here is what we found.

Dolly Parton

Janis Joplin

Buddy Holly

Ray Charles


Frank Sinatra


Richland Rebels

George Strait

Willie Nelson

Jimi Hendrix

 Stevie Ray Vaughan


Roy Rogers

Ella Fitzgerald

Robert Duvall

The Beatles

Go Hawks!

If you wish to take your own pictures be aware of two things. They change the pictures every few years. What you see here, may not be what you find and these boxes are at high traffic intersections. Find a safe place to park and walk to them to take a picture. Be safe.

I made a map of the locations that you can visit here. If you visit the map and click on it on the bottom below the picture is the GPS location of the box for ease in finding.