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They all fall down

Yes, eventually they will all be gone: these old farmhouses are doomed. Sometimes you can tell where a house used to be – the elms or cedars may be still alive or not yet so dead that they’ve fallen over.

Other times, though, the house will disappear without a trace. That happened to two houses on my drive to work (if I take the route that goes on a farm road). When I started this job two years ago, there were a pair of houses at a crossroads; one house was already vacant, and I watched the broken window glass shredding the curtains.

The other one had inhabitants. Sometimes in the winter I could see a blue glow inside, like the people who lived there were watching television. One day, a car from a home health agency passed me on the road; it was going very fast. Then I saw it parked at the house, on the hard-packed dirt yard at an angle like they’d parked in a hurry. It was only a few months after that when the house started to take on the look of a vacant place – an unlatched screen door banging in the wind, broken stuff piling up in front, no more home health cars parked there. And no television-glow from inside.

One of the houses got pushed over by a yellow bulldozer, and the pieces hauled away. In a matter of two days, it was like it had never even been there at all. The other one, the home-health house, was eventually vacant and then got pushed down and burned. The smoldering pieces were shoved into a hole which smoked for a few days. Then it all got covered over with dirt.

Now that I’ve written all this down, it’s starting to seem like maybe I have an obsession with these old places. And maybe I do. I could certainly obsess over worse things.

But anyway, one of these days, my travels will take me on this particular road, and later, when I get up to the main highway, maybe I’ll remember that I didn’t see this old place a few miles back, leaning into the wind.

Crosby County, Texas
photographed 8.3.2018

Truck, chairs, and an arrow


I had to go to Crosbyton, Texas,  for work (don’t be jealous*) the other day. I took my camera with me because that’s what I do. And on the way home,  I spotted a roadside BBQ stand that seems to have fallen on hard times.

Lorenzo, Texas
photographed 8.17.2016

*I went to the county clerk’s office to post a meeting notice. It took three minutes (3:57 – 4:00). Then I headed on back. See? Nothing to be jealous about.

For when the rains don’t come


So, we were driving along this farm to market road, when my spouse suddenly slowed down and made a u-turn. Those maneuvers are generally so I can make a photograph, but I hadn’t noticed anything particularly photogenic.

The reason for the u-turn was because he’d seen a big crescent wrench in the road and went back to get it. For highway-safety reasons, we will assume. Anyway, while we were doing that, I noticed this scene, and the way the weeds around the pump played off the clouds and the center-pivot irrigation system on the horizon. I’m glad for the wayward wrench.

FM 1471
Crosby County, Texas
photographed 7.3.2015



Farm implements have a nice sculptural feel to them, don’t they, as they hover over the land?

FM 40
Crosby County, Texas
photographed 3.14.2015



If you are going to Spur, from Lubbock, the best route is to take the cutoff before you get to Dickens; that’ll take you by this place, for one thing. And you’ll get to see some spectacular canyon scenery (really), too.

And, just after you make the turn off the main road, you can see this nice arrangement of buildings, small against the large sky. But don’t wait too long – like a lot of buildings out here, they are abandoned and it’s only a matter of time until they succumb to gravity and neglect.

Crosby County, Texas
photographed 3.26.2014

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