Friday, October 12, 2012

In the land of giant falling arrows

To continue some of the home turf coverage, I want to show you some images that I encounter when I go for my (almost) daily rides when I am at home. Tuesday was an especially nice day (today it's rather dreary, and yesterday it blew like the dickens), so I took the camera along.
Calling New Home a "city" is stretching it a bit
My usual 35-mile ride takes me to the hamlet of New Home, due south of Lubbock. There are two curves in the road, and that's the only time one has to watch out as not miss the proper path. Along the way, one comes across wonders such a plam trees in the semi-desert.
Are they real, or are they Memorex?
We have other crops, too, most notably cotton. The seeds are planted in the spring, with the first green showing around May. By late summer, the fields are a lush green and the first blossoms appear, which soon develop into bolls. They then break open, and the fluffy stuff emerges. To harvest the cotton, the leaves must have fallen off the plants—either because they've been hit with the first hard freeze (typically on October 31 here on the South Plains, but freakishly enough in such a hot year last Monday morning) or more often because defoliant has been sprayed on the fields, a la Vietnam.This time of the year one sees still-live plants adjacent to a defoliated field.
Cotton that's still alive ...
... and cotton after the Vietnam treatment
Another crop that catches the eye is sorghum. This grain starts out all green but then, with advancing maturity, changes into gold and orange tones before settling on a deep rust color. Quite pretty!
The 50 Shades of Sorghum
A few rogue cotton plants survive alongside the sorghum
What about other colors, you ask? You have to look, carefully, but there are splotches everywhere, even coming out of the asphalt.
(Please send me your taxonomic description for this plant)
Once you make it to New Home, the local high school welcomes you with a big sign. The focal center of social interaction in town is the The Last Maverick restaurant, a diner that is about 50 years out of place (or are we?). And if you don't watch out, you may just get speared by one of those giant arrows that fall out of the sky occasionally.
How the heck did they decide on leopards as mascots?
The Last Maverick, a place of true culinary delight
Beware of the giant arrows—and you should see the Indians shooting them!
So why in the world would I want to live and ride anywhere else with so much excitement on just one short 35-mile ride, huh? OK, time to saddle up the horse and go back out to New Home, just to make sure the population count hasn't changed.



  1. ok Jürgen....Tahoka Daisy/Prairie Aster
    Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Asteraceae)
    A hardy upright to sprawling annual native to the mid-western United States. This variety is easy to recognize by the dense, compact leaves which are deeply divided into many narrow segments. The flowers are a beautiful lavender with bright yellow centers, each at the top of a leafy stem. Prefers sandy or gravelly soil in full sun. Excellent for those hard to maintain locations.

  2. Well, I say, Lori. You probably know this because I took the pic not too far from your place, right where the palm trees "grow." And I thought your talents were limited to yanking and cranking on patients and keeping Rick in line....