25 June 2010

the return

As we pack up to leave for west Texas again, here's the last batch of photos from a month ago:

The horizon looks benign until you notice a creeping plague of wind farms...

These areas are poorly studied for overall impact - what we do know about migration would suggest that these dry areas really aren't bird-dense. That does not stop local and migrating birds from being killed, though. We don't really even understand anything about bat migration at this point, so pushing wind farm development without knowing the basic life histories of the critters impacted is a very ill planned scheme. For all of the screaming for "green" energy, very few people are willing to unplug their own habits.

Matt and I added another pile of counties to our ever-growing county courthouse list. Texas has something like 257 counties and we are trying to visit every single one* (except for those in major urban centers, because those are no fun). Upton County's courthouse matched the earth and the sky, and was perched atop a lovely hill.

The design of the building didn't interest Matt too much, though we did have a good chuckle over the cactus growing on the awning over the front door! What struck me about this building is the use of bright colors. They appear to be opaque panels, but window film can certainly be modified in a manner that would make a glass box look identical to this building; it might be a bit extreme to print faux bricks on the film, but you can minimize the reflective surfaces and space them out in ways that would be less susceptible to bird strikes.

For the nephew: there are a ton of "Oliver's" signs in San Saba, TX - and they're not just into pecans! Quite a few signs are for pecan related things though, so we snuck a picture before returning to Waco.

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