The Lone Star

From 1835 to 1836, Texas fought to gain independence from Mexico, and the resulting victory meant a new flag for the newly independent Republic of Texas — the lone star, clearly labeled, “Texas” made its first appearance. It became the 28th state of the US in 1845.

Not many National Parks but even more oil rigs, oil processing plants and massive ranches. Lack of side roads means we stay on the interstate and do pictures on the drive by.

Texas spans from thrusted mountains of the west, up to the red canyons of the Panhandle, across the plains, down the limestone hills of central Texas, over the prairies and pine trees, to the tropical barrier islands of the gulf coast. Water has shaped much of the topography. Watersheds feed the springs, rivers, lakes and aquifiers on which every living thing relies. Multiple rivers carve their way across the state, creating nature’s highways for people, plants and animals.
Right over the state border from New Mexico to Texas, we are greeted by numerous boring operations in the desert, trucks are numerous, infrastructure scarce.
One processing plant after another, the air is thick with the smell of sour crude oil and gas. The underlying note of hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) is clearly there.
Every now and then one of the trucks turns and leaves the rest of the hwy covered with sand in its wake.
Street color changing to red, hills to yellow with some small buttes emerging.
Overnight in one of the Hampton Inns.
Watching the sunset from the bed.
Next Morning, the sun is out, but soon we dive into a foggy area.
The beloved dioramas of the Witte Museum in San Antonio, as well as a few new ones, make a grand statement in the Texas Wild Gallery, where a state-of-the-art, high-tech space with immersive galleries showcases the uniqueness of Texas.
In this exhibition, we explore the various ecosystems of the state and the flora and fauna which fill these regions.
The gallery showcases how Texas is at the crossroads of the deciduous forests of the southeast United States, the grasslands of the Central Plains, the deserts and mountains of the Southwest and the brush lands and tropical habitats of the South.
This variety of habitats make Texas the home of more wildlife species than any other state. Whether it be the hot deserts or the cool mountains, Texas is home to almost every land feature.
Dinosaurs of the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery, here an Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. They were named after the extremely long spines along the top of the vertebrae of this dinosaur’s back, hips and tail. The spines served as attachment  points for powerful neck, back and tail muscles, which may have been useful in grabbing, holding and eating its prey. Acrocanthosaurus was the largest North American theropod before the evolution of the tyrannosaurids.
Orale! The Magical Art of Oaxaca.
Jesus Sosa Calvo – Virgin of Guadalupe. This sculpture of the Virgin of Guadalupe is carved from a single piece of copal wood harvested from the trunk of the tree. The virgin stands upon the shoulders of two Zapotec figures while Cuauhloatazin, baptized Juan Diego, appers above with his arms stretched out. The virgin is said to have appeared to Juan twice, requesting that a shrine be built on Tepayac Hill. Her dark skinned complexion has special meaning to the indigenous people of Mexico. Not only did she appear to a man of Aztec heritage, many of her symbols align with tonantzin Coaticue, the Aztec mother goddess whose temple stood on Tepeyac Hill.


Isias Jimenez Hernandez – Bull. Copal carved and painted by hand with acrylic paint.
Manuel Jimenez Ramirez and Isaias Jimenez Hernandez – Guardian Spirit. Copal carved and painted by hand with acrylic paint and ixtle fiber. Manuel Jimenez is credited with starting the tradition of carved wooden alebrije in Oaxaca. Today, his children and grandchildren carry on the family tradition in San Antonio Arrazola.
Leopoldo Garcia Aguilar Alcantara – Facade of the Church of Santa Ana. Red clay molded and decorated by hand. The church of Santa Ana Zegache features a brightly painted baroque facade and is one of the famous painted churches of Oaxaca.
Guillermina Aguilar Alcantara – Woman of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Located in southern Oaxaca, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a thin strip of land that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Pacific Ocean. The women of this region are known for their distinctive traditional dress which includes brightly colored floral embroidery and a large starched white headdress known as the Huipil Grande.
Taking a walk in the Witte gardens.
Outside Witte.
The texan landscape changes dramatically after San Antonio. There’s grass growing again, not only dry desert or hilly regions.
Entering Houston we are awed by the most extensive highway junctions, crossed, loops and over/under passes that we have ever seen. It’s like a big spiderweb.
The bridges are high and they crisscrossing each other out of the blue.
Old-school drive-in serving classic Mexican plates, from tacos to tamales, in a no-frills setting.
First glimpse of Houston downtown.
The ice rink makes it look really christmassy, but it’s still warm outside.
Forest Hill Boulevard Bridge over Brays Bayou in Houston. Morning walk to find some breakfast and start the day with energy.
Cool blue house scenery.
Sun’s up over the roofs now, too.
Morning light on the suburban shopping mile.
I remember we left with peanut butter cups, not much of a brekkie store.
Should have gone there first lol.


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)