The View From the Highway (click to enlarge photo)

Very old stone ranch house

My view from the highway is more than what one would expect driving in this rather unimpressive area of Texas.  It sounds boring but I always find something of interest. I drive about 130 miles from where I live for an appointment with a medical specialist. There is not much traffic and the countryside is wide open and rather desolate in some areas. Mostly it is ranch land on each side of the highway with many hills covered with cedar trees- mountain cedar or juniper to be correct. Lots and lots of cedar and not much of anything different to break the monotony. But there are some interesting views about every 10-15 miles or so.

It is Texas hill country and this time of the year there is not much scenery except dead deer that are too numerous to count. To me, it seems that hunting really isn’t needed to control the deer population. Four wheels to the deer are just as deadly as a hunter’s rifle. It still bothers me to see all the deer carcasses which makes me wonder if the deer’s death might not have been as swift as a bullet through the chest.

Game ranches are fairly frequent and are evident by the  8 to 10 foot tall fencing with special wire attached. Here the deer are enclosed and get to graze on oats or wheat, hay and or special deer feed. The game ranches are generally owned by wealthy individuals who make a profit by operating a swank hunting ranch. Some of these ranches have exotic game and the rich and privileged fly in from Dallas, Houston, or where ever to have a “relaxing week-end” of shooting at animals that have been fed and more or less pampered.

This kind of hunt is known as a “canned” hunt, meaning that the hunter really does not have to do much more that take aim and pull the trigger and he will have bagged a white tail stag with a huge rack. The rack refers to the spread of the antlers and how many points are part of the rack. Most hunters want a deer with a large rack which indicates a magnificent trophy.

Mules walking to the fence to check me out

Back to the drive to Marble Falls. I like this drive for several reasons. There are beautiful mules and donkeys to see if they happen to be near the road on my drive to and from Marble Falls.

Back in the summer some mules were fairly close to the highway. I stopped the truck;  gave my best whistle call for horses and mules (learned from my dad) and to my surprise that whistle is either a universal equine call or the mules just wanted to see what I was about. In the past I have attempted to take photos of the donkeys on my drive but they have yet to be near enough to the highway for me to get a decent picture.

My other reason for liking the drive is seeing all the old farm/ranch implements, old houses and barns. The tractors, plows, rakes, etc are rusted but I consider these pure objects of beauty. One small town that I drive through has a shop where cars that are in various stages of  rust and age are restored.

And finally,  my best reason for this post (that has become too long and rambling)  is the old 1800’s ranch house that I was able to get a few shots of when the lighting was not the best.  Writing about my  130 mile trip has given me a greater appreciation of my view from the highway.

Friendly mules that rolled in the mud


Post and photographs: Yvonne

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35 thoughts on “The View From the Highway (click to enlarge photo)

  1. exiledprospero says:

    I have mixed feelings about hunting. After all, animals hunt in the wild–it is part of nature. But a ‘canned’ hunt is beyond the pale. Sustenance is one thing, but hunting for trophies is quite another as lions do not hunt in order to decorate their dens with ego-boosting artifacts.

    • Prospero,

      I totally agree with your sentiments regarding hunting. Oops I just read your comment wrong and had to correct myself. Now I am really showing my stupidity. Hope that you did not read part of this reply already, I just erased it.

    • I totally agree with your views re: hunting. It is one thing to kill for food for survival and another to kill for the sheer sport of it or to boost ones ego or to decorate the den in one’s house. It is disgusting to say the least.

  2. really interesting post – not long and rambling at all
    my sensibilities finding any kind of hunting (unless it is needed for food) a very sad and unncessary thing
    loved the shots of the donkeys

    • Thank you for visiting and reading my little ole blog spot. I did not really say yey or nay about my views on hunting but it probably came through- at least I hope readers viewed that post as anti-hunting. I have such a distaste for hunting and I was married not quite 47 years to a “born with a gun in his hand”, man.

      Do not worry about little mispelled words and such. As you wrote above, you intended find and not finding.
      Well we got off to an even start because I generally go back to see what I have just written as a comment on someone’s post. On your blog about Sundays and church, I spelled (belief) as (beleif) and I thought, now she really knows that I can not write.

      Thanks for commenting. WordPress informed me that you are now a follower. I feel quite honored.

      • Your views came through quite clearly–or I would not have made the comment I made,
        I am forever having to go back and change my ie to ei — and I still have to say i before e except after c, but cannot remember the rest of it–oh, well
        Will be a frequent visitor of your site–and I think you are an excellent writer–spelling has nothing to do with good writing–that is my story and I am sticking to it!

        • You are so kind and I am very glad that you are not a snob. The ie and ei thing is difficult for lots of people but I like to think that I get it right most of the time. Most of my spelling errors are because I am careless, proof read in a hurry and I am a poor typist. My sentence structure is not good and I tend to go off the deep end but if you say I write okay then I will accept that and attempt to improve.

          Getting back to the (ie) and the (ei) thing. My english teacher (I have yet to learn when to capitalize english) taught a very simple rule about ie and ei. This is how it goes. For example: if you are spelling a word that either has an (l), (c), (t) and so on the i almost always follows a (l) or a (t) becasue it most closely resembles the (i) or the(t). If the letter is a (c) then the (e) looks more like the (c). If it is a (t) you would follow that with an(i) as well Example: conceit- the (e) is put next to the (c) because it looks more like the (c) that preceeded it. Belief- the (i) follows the (l) because it looks more like the (l) that preceeded it.

          This looks confusing but it really works. There are some rare examples where this simple rule does not apply but I can not think of any.

          I susbscribe to a young writer and blogger named Christian Mihai. He wrote, “write in your own voice.” On this blog. I am not really trying to be a writer. It is just that I like to educate and it is about birds, pets, butterflies, etc. ( I do like to photograph) I use all kinds of punctuation in the wrong places and I am sure that I have an excessive use of comas. And a whole bunch of other wrongs. The bottom line here is: if you see gross errors or even subtle ones- please point them out to me and I promise you, I will not take offense.

          Thank you again for giving me your stamp of approval.

          One last thing. I have a problem with brevity!


        • Just lost my reply-makes me so mad–but I think I said I will use your hint and that the best advice you can possibly get it “write in your own voice”–if you do that you have got it down pat–now hopefully I will not lose this one–the first reply was so much better–I think I also said you did not have to be brief-I like long comments

        • Thanks again. I am much like you. I often lose my replies as well. The first reply generally is the best one and then the second time around we become frustrated and make the next reply much shorter. One last thing. I am not organized either. My house is neat (not clean) just because I have stashed things away in drawers and closets and then I can not find anything.

        • hmm- am having trouble with my replies today– we are soulmates in that organizational dept

        • Trying to confront one of my worst habits is much like attempting to redirect an elephant out of my house. (the organization thing). So since I am, much older than you I should have by now gotten the upper hand on this one very bad habit. However, I have taken a few teeny steps to get better. I feel it is an affliction. No joke! I am off to a bad start as well today. Typing and retyping the same word 3-4 times.

        • so what have you done –what are your teeny steps–I would like to learn from you wisdom

          must be clumpsy typing day

        • You give me too much credit re: wisdom. This is what I have done and it is probably something that you already do. 1. Vehicle keys- this might not be a problem for you. But, I always hang them in the same place. Do not put them down anyhere but on the key holder. (Don’t put off what you can do right at this monemnt unless you need to save a (life) and in that case deviate from what you were going to do. That is meant as a joke.) 2. Put clean undergarments in same drawer as soon as you remove clothing article from dryer or clothesline. Put pjs in same drawer or whatever you slept in back where they came from. 3.If you intend to wash those itmes put in washer with other small items of laundry and turn the machine on. 4. If you eat solo or you and husband eat at same time- hand wash what ever you used for eating. Put those items in drying rack or dry and put back in the cabinet. 5. Hang your purse on a rack in your closet or just inside your door where coats go, etc.

          I am a very sloppy housekeeper and detest it with a passion. So if I keep things put away the house is dirty but not cluttered. The floors are swept. I have hardwood and tile because of my animals. Now if I could organize other aspects of my life I would be flying high. The older I get, it seems that I have more to do.

          The problem with all of that is- I don’t deviate with the key or purse thing. It takes too much time looking for keys and a purse/bag, or tote. It sort of screws up my day because I will get really angry with myself if I waste time looking. The rest of it- well I do not always do what I have just written. But I do those things most of the time.

          Those are things that are not really about being organized. It just makes sense to reduce time spent looking for things. I have found that having too many articles of clothing to choose from just makes me that much nuttier. I change clothes as soon as I get home and hang the clothing back on rack providing the items are still clean.

          I don’t have a set time for working at the computer. I work best after 9pm at night. I keep extra light bulbs and 3 different sizes of batteries. I keep my camera in the same place, always.

          Last but not least. Is there a cure for paying bills on time? I hate doing that- have no idea why. Just do not like having to open envelopes and handling pieces of paper.

          Now I am sure that I have just wasted your time for organization skills are not relevent here. It is just something you do as a daily habit.
          PS: If you see spelling errors, typos, etc. please correct them.


        • I love this – with your permission, I may use this as part of a post–what do you think?

        • Asolutely use what ever dumb thing or good thing you care to use. I will feel quite honored if that is something that you think your readers will find worth while or humorous.

        • thank you – appreciate your help and nothing you said was dumb, though you seem to have a nice sense of humour

        • Okay then! So get with it. I am anxious now to read the new post coming up, at some time or the other.

        • will let you know 🙂

        • Amen!! Oops, I just found another mistake in a reply to you. This is gettig to be absurd. (then I can not found anything) (find not found) It’s in the comment below. By the way- I think you can edit the replies.


        • I will do it for you, if you do it for me

  3. sweetmarie says:

    Love the stone house! So sad that it’s empty.
    You don’t want me to tell you what I’d like to do to the people that go “canned hunting”. Maybe it would be fair if they didn’t have a gun. 🙂
    I LOVE the mules! They’re so cute! I would have to stop and visit them every time I pass by. 🙂
    I like the way you think, it shows your a good man. 🙂
    Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

    • Marie, thanks for commenting but I am laughing and my cats are looking at me in a strange way becasue they seldom hear me speak and rarely do I laugh out loud. Your lovely comments have made me feel a tad better.

      But getting back to why I am laughing. You wrote that I am a “good man” and perahps that is how y’all talk from your neck of the woods. Maybe that is just an expression that is used generally.

      Anyhoo- if not then, I am Yvonne. Now please do not tuck your head if I am wrong and you already knew that I am a female, an old one at that.

      But I am glad that all of you that have commented, feel the way that I do about canned hunting.

      I drive a truck because lots of women expecially those who live on a farm or a ranch or haul stuff around, drive a truck. (again in my neck of the woods) I have a SUV but it needs a tune up badly so currently I am driving what was my husband’s “knock-about truck. “Knock- about” is a Texas country term for anything that you do that does not require “dressed up” clothes.

      Please keep visiting- I really like your comments.


  4. Northern Narratives says:

    Wow, lots of history along your drive. Nice post.

    • Oh, thank you,for saying that the “View From The Highway’ is a nice post. I worked on that dang thing more than 2 hours. Actaully had another long paragraph that I decided just was a little bit to much of an aside to leave it as part of that little story. I hope to get more pics and actually have some photos of an old man and his dog but I feel that I must get some release forms for him to sign (I hope that he does) before I write about him and post the pictures.

  5. TexWisGirl says:

    i like those mud-covered mules. i’m sure it gave them a break from the flies for a bit. that is a wonderful stone home! sad it is no longer occupied or utilized.

    • Thanks for the comments. I also like the mules. My dad farmed with mules until I was about 9-10 years old. The mules in these pics are the first mules that I have seen in many years. They are vey smart animals but I think they are growing in popularity since more people that operate guided tours in the western states are using mules as their pack animals. Mules are more sure-footed than a horse.

      About the old ranch house falling apart. Just putting a roof on the back part would help some. There are instances in which I have wished that I were a millionaire so that I could get a group formed just to save some of the old farm and ranch houses and barns. And of course money for a city operated no- kill shelter. (Those are called pipe dreams!)

  6. Andrew says:

    I find the idea of travelling 130 miles to see a specialist quite strange. You have so much space. I can drive from top to bottom of HK in about an hour or so! Space is so precious to us. But I don’t like the sound of canned hunts. Depressing. Still, the mules look fun and I’d love to restore that building.

    • Thanks for liking and commenting on this post. I have to agree with you about space. Where you live I would imagine homes or apartments are sold/rented according to inches and not feet. Just joking. I can not fathom living in such a dense area but yet I am astonished at the variety of birds that you can photograph.

      Yes, that old ranch house would be something to behold if it were restored. It could become a tourist attraction I think, but the people that own that ranch and live farther back from the road evidently have not given it a thought. I keep hoping that someone will come to rescue that old house.

      At some point I’ll write more about the canned hunts. In my biased opionion there is no sport about it at all. These ranches even hire men to work as a guide. A young man that works as a guide told me that he takes the men to the “spots where the trophy animals” are and sometimes has to show these fellows how to shoot a gun. These people are only interested in getting a trophy to hang on the wall for show and tell.

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