128 Slices
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Medium 9781603442015

Where the First Raindrop Falls

Ken W Kramer Texas A&M University Press ePub

David K. Langford

BEFORE Lyndon B. Johnson was a politician, he was a child of the land. Growing up in the Texas Hill Country amid grazing sheep, cattle, and sparkling, clear springs, he inherently understood the relationship among sky, land, and water. Like most Texans, LBJ felt a strong kinship to the land because, since the days of the Republic, our lives and our livelihoods have been shaped by the diverse landscape that characterizes our home.

Although the former president was not part of my biological family, he was part of a large extended family of clannish, pioneering souls determined to eke a living from the Hill Country’s rock-strewn terrain. We were not kin by blood, but we were bound by shared experiences.

My biological family is like the ancient live oaks that dot the Texas Hill Country. For as long as there are memories, we have sunk our roots into the shallow soil and battled to survive in a place whose beauty belies its harshness.

Seven generations of my family have called Gillespie County and Kendall County home. From the beginning, my family has had a love affair, for lack of a better phrase, with water. The Hill Country can be unforgiving when you’re trying to coax a living from the soil. Water was the one thing that made the land hospitable—and offered the promise of a future.

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Appendix Selected List of Conservation Organizations Interested in Texas Water Issues

Ken W Kramer Texas A&M University Press ePub

The Bayou Preservation Association (BPA) is a citizens’ group whose mission is to “protect and restore the richness and diversity of our waterways.” BPA facilitates collaborative projects and public awareness about the region’s streams and bayous in order to foster watershed management, conservation, and recreation along Houston’s defining natural resource.

Website: www.bayoupreservation.org

Phone: 713-529-6443

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 131563

Houston, TX 77219-1563

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Texas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of Texas’ marine resources. Founded more than a quarter of a century ago, CCA Texas (then GCCA) has been instrumental in banning gill nets in state waters, establishing redfish and speckled trout as gamefish, building two of the largest red drum hatcheries in the world, and working to ensure that adequate fresh water reaches Texas’ bays and estuaries.

Website: www.ccatexas.org

Phone: 713-626-4222 or 1-800-626-4222

Mailing Address:

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Medium 9780892726301

chapter sixteen GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Silliker, Bill, Jr. Down East Books ePub
Medium 9780892726301

chapter four GENTLE GIANTS

Silliker, Bill, Jr. Down East Books ePub
Medium 9780892728060

Have you motored through this historic mill town?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Without the man this mill town was named for, honest Abe Lincoln would have been minus a vice president. The Civil War-era second in command, Hannibal Hamlin, was the grandson of that early settler, and the veep’s father was the first physician in this riverside community. Hamlin is the most prominent politician associated with the central Maine burgh, but there were many others, from U.S. congressmen to governors. One local family alone produced four Republicans with national profiles. (Of course, the famous folks who once lived here weren’t all politicos — the inaugural graduate of Colby College spent his formative years in town, as did the Civil War hero who lent his name to Howard University in our nation’s capital.) Even the irascible Samuel Adams had something to do with the goings on here — he was governor of Massachusetts in 1795 when the little municipality was incorporated and he gave it his blessing. Like Adams, the first people to put down roots hereabouts were from greater Boston, and they brought with them farming traditions they learned in the Bay State. Apples were once an important crop, and cheese was also a big seller. When the Industrial Revolution hit, the town — like several others on the same river — turned to papermaking, but the mill closed years back. These days, the community is best known for a venerable, open-air museum of sorts — you might even say history lives here. Have you motored through on your way to the western mountains? Turn to page 99 to find out more about it.

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Can you recognize this colorful community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Vermont might like to think of itself as the foliage capital of New England, but it’s lacking one thing only Maine can provide — the glorious contrast of blue-green saltwater. This tidal river in the midcoast, separating two closely entwined communities, is a prime example. It’s one of two major Maine rivers flanking a well-known town that is home to five distinct villages. If early settlers had their way, the place would be called New Dartmouth today, or perhaps County Cornwall. But the town got christened after an English duke during the reign of King George II. The area is renowned for its annual run of alewives, its Glidden Middens — oyster shell heaps — and its Catholic church, which is the oldest continuously operated Catholic sanctuary in all of New England. But this time of year its most famous feature is its hotly glowing hardwoods, radiant above river and bay. Turn to page 98 if you recognize this scene.

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The Bays and Estuaries of Texas An Ephemeral Treasure?

Ken W Kramer Texas A&M University Press ePub

Ben F. Vaughan III

CHARLES KRUVAND’S coastal photographs in The Living Waters of Texas are works of art, but even they are inadequate to portray the riches all Texans have inherited through the public ownership of the bays and estuaries along our Texas coast. My fond hope here is to explain how the health of Texas bays and estuaries and their freshwater inflows are so precious to me, to the fifty thousand Texas members of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and to everyone. So important indeed are these resources that we dedicate ourselves unstintingly to their continued maintenance and future enhancement.

Our interest and our dedication may have stemmed from our personal experiences. Perhaps it started with the toe in the water, a gull’s cry, a whelk’s moan, a perch’s nibble, or a chandelier-like spray before the bow of a boat running into a southeast breeze. Such indelible impressions are memory makers not easily forfeited to the political expediency demanded by the shortcomings of human imagination.

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Medium 9781574412154

Toxicological Myths

Photographs by Tammy Cromer-Campbell. Essays by Phyllis Glazer, Roy Flukinger, Eugene Hargrove, and Marvin Legator University of North Texas Press PDF

Toxicological Myths

Dr. Marvin Legator

In the never-ending battle to clean up our environment and make our world safer for humanity, individuals and organizations that profit from polluting the environment have developed a series of scenarios to obfuscate the human effects of exposure to toxic substances. The underlying assumption of toxic waste facilities, and frequently state and federal agencies, is that they know more about the technical aspects of toxicology than the victims of chemical exposure. This arrogance is often manifested in the unnecessary use of technical jargon and misleading or confusing factual information. Informed residents who are knowledgeable as to the adverse health effects of chemical exposure have repeatedly challenged the toxic waste facilities and frequently persevered in obtaining necessary remedial action. The informed citizens of Winona, Texas, are outstanding examples of how to fight for environmental justice and challenge the questionable assertions of the toxic waste facility as well as state and federal agencies. In 1997, moses (Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins), under the leadership of one of our present-day environmental heroines, Phyllis Glazer, was instrumental in shutting down the major polluting facility in the community of Winona.

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Have you enjoyed spending time at this preserve?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Under the October sun, this stretch of shorefront looks like Anyplace, Maine. The rocks push out into water that might be a river, might be a bay. The trees glow pleasantly against the blue, the air is clear, and the light is bright. This photo could have been taken anywhere. But these 500 acres are actually quite unique, making for a piece of rarefied real estate with so many fine features that not one, not two, but four different state and local agencies banded together in 1989 to preserve it in perpetuity. This is, in fact, a headland on one of the midcoast’s more important (and multisyllabic) rivers, and it attracted the attention of preservationists for a number of reasons. There is more than eight thousand feet of river frontage here, with pocket sand and pebble beaches; there are old-growth trees along with several notable plant communities; there are native shell middens; and the remains of a brickyard that turned out building blocks in the late nineteenth century. These days the local economy runs on oyster farming, commuting (to the larger Route 1 towns), retirement communities, health care, and tourism. The Bureau of Parks and Lands manages this park for “hiking, clamming, worming, skiing, swimming, nature study, habitat management, and forestry demonstration.” Which is a long-winded way of saying that people like to recreate here. On days like the one pictured here, it’s foliage that provides the draw, and there is plenty of it in this former State of Maine Tree Farm of the Year (1978). See page 101 to learn its location.

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chapter fifteen SOME NEWCOMERS

Silliker, Bill, Jr. Down East Books ePub

The typical eastern coyote is larger than its western cousin but every bit as clever and adaptable. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlifte identifies two small subcategories of coyotes in the state. One group has a genetic makeup more similar to that of western coyotes; the other exhibits more wolflike characteristics than do most eastern coyotes.

Talking to moose is a specialized skill. Imitating the vocalization of a cow during the rut requires time spent listening to the real thing and demands a bit of practice. The ability to duplicate it by mouth alone, without the benefit of a manufactured mouth call

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Can you guess the location of this curious cascade?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

No, it’s not Wyman Dam. This little river embankment is not likely to be confused with that monumental waterstop on the Kennebec, but on a fine autumn day, it definitely has a grandeur all its own. If you were a kid in the ’50s, you might have known the pool above this dam as a local swimming hole in a small midcoast city. If you were a duck hunter in the ’60s, you might have known it as a great place for wingshooting. If you live hereabouts these days, on any one of a dozen streets graced with stunning Greek Revival and Victorian Gothic architecture, you might venture down to walk the neat new trail here. The community was established by a colony of Scotch-Irish who emigrated from Londonderry, New Hampshire, in the 1760s. The burg that arose was to be named for that Granite State town, but settlers opted to call it after a city in Ireland. Within the next century it would become famous for shipbuilding, and a century after that for its poultry-processing industry, until in the 1970s the whole area seemed to chicken out. That was about the same time when the surrounding county was subject to a pleasant invasion by back-to-the-landers captivated by the rural countryside and the fine old architecture. (Many of the beautiful buildings downtown went up in the 1870s when the city was putting itself back together after a catastrophic fire.) The dam and this graceful old structure date back to 1888, erected to serve as a reservoir and a pump house, providing the city with its water. It’s maintained for the same purpose today, although it now is a backup to a system of wells that the burg gets its water from. You can’t swim here anymore, nor can you hunt. But you most certainly can enjoy the view. Turn to page 101 to find out where to find it.

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Medium 9780253353627

5: Time ~ Cyclic Light

Henry Plummer Indiana University Press ePub

5

TIME ~ CYCLIC LIGHT

Ministry Hall Meetinghouse Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

SHADOW PLAY ON LIMESTONE

Pleasant Hill's limestone dwellings are extremely responsive to shifting skies. Displayed upon their white volumes are all of the sun's refracted colors, including faint hues often missed by the human eye. With its walls aligned to the cardinal points, each building behaves as a gnomon, registering and showing the flow of shade from plane to plane, as well as at the microscale of masonry texture, produced on the Center dwelling by raised white mortar.

Grazing Sun on East Façade at Noon Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

View from Southeast at Dawn Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

SPECTRAL COLORS

The absolute white of a Shaker meetinghouse, as prescribed by the Millennial Laws, gave each village a spiritual center of maximum purity and radiance. But maximized also on the plain and highly reflective clapboards was a visibility of each passing moment, and each new emanation of sun. Melting the sky into walls are delicate tones of colored light, ranging from the soft grays of overcast weather and starched whites of clear days, to the transparent yellows and violets arriving early and late, and deeper blues and oranges of twilight.

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Medium 9780253019561

6 Civilians during the War

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

An old shepherd leads his sheep out to pasture while GIs watch the show.

Blankenheim, Ger—25 April ’45

T/3 Jack Kitzero had a little after-dinner sport with a German youngster. She and a handful of others were eager to play and got a particular kick out of my helmet and liner. They scrambled for the chance to swing between our arms as we headed back to the billets.

Blankenheim, Ger—25 April ’45

Old duffer sits and puffs contentedly on his pipe. He speaks to us of a brother he has in the States.

Marktleuthen, Ger—28 April ’45

Main street of this city—its only straight stretch. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and the military curfew keeps all civilians off the street. A “Dog’s Life” is not so bad in this case.

Marktleuthen, Ger—29 April ’45

The street has quickly come alive now. Everybody’s busy shopping and visiting while their time lasts. Curfew rules allow them onto the streets only from 8 to 9 in the morning and 4 to 5 in the afternoon.

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Medium 9781574416565

Violence and Religion in Texas

Byrd M. Williams IV University of North Texas Press ePub

Byrd IV, Christmas and birthday 1960

Growing up in Texas

Baudelaire is credited with coining the term modernity (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.

Texas is not unique to America in its unencumbered love of firearms and openly devotional mindset. The best I can tell, these cultural attributes are salient to any of the Southern states, at least in proportion to the Northeast and Northwest. The Byrd Williams archive is rife with photographic evidence of violence and religion throughout. I would be remiss not to address this aspect of our heritage.

Cultures evolve. My family was never very religious but we were armed to the teeth. I always loved cameras, but for the life of me I cannot remember why we had so many guns. I somehow lost that meme, maybe because our societal norms are shifting. My immediate ancestors were not particularly racist, violent, gender biased, homophobic, or fundamentalist about any ideology. By hobby and trade we were “observers” but close examination of the visual and written evidence indicates complicity in many of the above areas. I am chagrined about this. One could pass the buck and say, “Oh well, it was just the way it was in those days,” but my life of anthropological scrutiny prevents this. Photographing people carries with it a hint of exploitation. I offer myself for the same.

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Medium 9780892728060

Have you ever visited this sandy site?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Where’s the water, you ask? It’s an unusual looking beach, to say the least. Maybe it’s not a strand at all. These dunes are indeed in a coastal community, not far from Portland. In fact, it may be Maine’s most-visited seaside town. Difficult as it may be to believe from the look of things now, the site used to be a 300-acre farm producing potatoes, hay, and herds of oxen and sheep. Centuries ago, the hungry animals unearthed the mineral sea beneath the grasses and the farm fell by the wayside. Some geologists think maybe the whole area here used to be an ancient lake. When the winds howl, sandstorms tear across the dunes and there are trees that are half submerged in sand and still alive. In a state famous for its rockbound coast, this vast expanse of sand is something of a geologic anomaly, and wherever there are oddities there are people who’ll pay to look at them. It’s no different here. As they have since the thirties, visitors come in droves, paying the entrance fee and enjoying narrated buggy and walking tours through the sands. Nature trails wander throughout the area, a fifty-site campground is adjacent, and there’s a picnic area and a souvenir shop where you can buy sand paintings, moccasins, and Maine-made crafts of all types. See page 98 to learn more information about this sandy anomaly.

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