Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coro Santa Maria

I attended the Fall Choral Concert, presented by the choir at St Mary's University, on Thursday evening.  The photo above shows the bell tower in the middle of campus, with the student center in the background.

Kathy quickly reviews the concert program a few minutes before taking the stage.  And all this time I thought she knew which songs would be presented before the concert began!

Coro Santa Maria started with Scarlatti's Exulte Deo.  Kathy is with her fellow altos on the right.

The second piece featured some nice horn playing by Aaron Cook, who sing bass in the choir.  If I ever learn how to convert videos from the Sony proprietary format and how to imbed them in a post, I will add a video clip of the choir's eighth and final work of the evening, the extremely stirring Elijah Rock as arranged by Moses Hogan.

After what was a very impressive concert, I headed back to my parking space.  On the way, I snapped several photos of the decorated-for-Christmas campus.

The bell tower really is quite beautiful, especially at night.

The recently refurbished administration building, St. Louis Hall, was nicely illuminated.

Note:  To see all fifteen photos of this evening on the St. Mary's University campus, click here for my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow."


Honaker Trail

Our sixth day on the San Juan River found us exploring the Honaker Trail, which climbs over 1,200 feet in elevation from the river to the top of the canyon.

Near the top of the trail, Zoltan the Magnificent surveys his Magyar Kingdom.

Mike and Michael walked out onto Horn Point, a narrow ridge about half way up the Honaker Trail.

Zoltan snapped this photo of me on the way back down the trail.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Wildlife

A small family of desert bighorn sheep watched us float by on our second-to-last day on the San Juan River in September.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Oljeto Wash:  Shadows and Reflections

On the morning of our final day on the San Juan River, Michael and I hiked up Oljeto Wash.  He used my camera to take a photo of me by one of the many small pools we encountered.

Note:  Click on any photo to enlarge.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Sunlight

A few wispy clouds were illuminated by the setting sun as we hiked up the hill behind Joline's camp house after Thanksgiving dinner.

Sandra, Kathy, Joline, and Zoltan soaked in the warming rays as the sun rose the following morning over the hills across the West Frio River from cabin number two.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving in the Hill Country

Note:  Click on any photo to enlarge.

Kathy and I took advantage of Joline's hospitality and spent a great Thanksgiving at her camp house on the West Frio River.  We arrived on Wednesday evening about an hour after sunset at the two cabins, which are located on the river about nine miles north of Leakey.

The lights of the two houses are reflected in the river in this photo taken from the low water crossing.  A few stars are visible above the ridge at the very top of the photo.

On Thursday morning, I cooked a breakfast of French toast, bacon, and sausage.  After all, we needed to get our stomachs ready for the big dinner.  I then set up the recently-purchased Hennessy hammock for the first time.  Kathy's complaints about my gear addiction vanished once she quickly fell asleep while testing the hammock.

The Thanksgiving Day weather was glorious.

Joline and Irene fussed over the place settings while Zoltan supervised.

The meal, prepared by Irene, was delicious.  The plates of Duncan, Zoltan, Irene, John, Joline, Attila, the empty chair, and Kathy were filled - some more than once.

In an attempt to burn off some of the mass quantities of calories we had consumed, most of us hiked up the hill behind the cabins.  The sun was starting to set as we were on our way.

The moon was rising as we reached the top of the ridge overlooking the cabins.

Duncan, John, Irene, and Irene's brother, Attila, posed for a photo at the top of the ridge.

A lively game of Wits and Wagers lasted well into the evening.

I spent Thanksgiving night in the hammock.  It was quite comfortable and I was mostly warm enough.  Around 6:30 Friday morning, the wind picked up for about fifteen minutes as a front blew in and dropped the temperature a couple of degrees.

Before departing for home on Friday morning, I took a quick hike down to the river.

We took the scenic route home, and stopped at this pull-out on Ranch Road 337.  There were several groups of motorcyclists enjoying the winding mountain road.  There were also several warning signs like the one above.

The views from the parking area were quite nice.

We celebrated our family Thanksgiving on Friday.  The children joined us from Austin and, at their request, we gathered at Los Barrios Restaurant for dinner, where Julius also joined us.  As you can see, the margaritas were popular with Julius, Kathy, Travis, Sally, Carey, and Hal.  I may have had a few sips myself.

Note:  Click on this link to my Flickr page to see all 38 photographs, then click on "Slideshow."

Thursday, November 22, 2012


River House

Some more views of the River House from our first day on the San Juan River.

Mike, Zoltan, and Michael examine the cliff dwelling.  Note the "river" or "snake" pictograph above Zoltan (holding his hat).

There is a panel of petroglyphys a short distance to the west from the dwelling.

Note:  Click on any photo to enlarge.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Wildlife

A rare beer bottle sighting on the Guadalupe River at Sisterdale Crossing in July of 2008.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


River House

 Cynthia on her way to the River House.

A short distance to the west of the cliff dwellings is a granary built into an overhang.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Sunlight

The setting sun illuminates the top of the canyon wall above Juniper Camp on the San Juan River on September 20.  Our campsite was a little downstream from the start of Honaker Trail.  See this earlier post about the trail, and this other post for photos of the rock cairns at the bottom and top of Honaker Trail.

Note:  Click on photo to enlarge.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Night at the Symphony

With a little "encouragement" from Kathy, we attended the San Antonio Symphony performance on Saturday.  We were looking forward to seeing niece Jennifer Berg perform with the symphony.  This was our first concert since Jennifer had obtained a permanent position as the symphony's English hornist.  As usual the symphony was performing at the Majestic Theatre, the entrance to which is shown above.

The Majestic Theatre is a wonderfully ornate San Antonio landmark.  While climbing the first of three flights of stairs to our seats in the upper balcony, we had this view of the lobby.  Did I say "ornate"? 

Our view of the stage as the musicians were warming up.  The concert opened with Aaron Copland's "Four Dance Episodes" from Rodeo.  We especially enjoyed the brief section which featured the English horn.

The second work was Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major featuring guest pianist Ewa Jupiec.  To our delight, the second movement included a beautiful, extended conversation between the piano and Jennifer's English horn.  I may have captured part of that magical interlude in the photo above.

During the intermission following the piano concerto, we worked our way down to the front of the theater.  We were able to visit briefly with Jennifer, shown in the photo above with us and and my sister Beth and her husband, Jim, proud aunts and uncles all.

A view of the top of the stage as we returned to the balcony for the evening's finale, Mozart's Symphony No. 41, the Jupiter.  On our way out, I snapped some photos of a few of the interesting decorative features of the theater, including the interior windows below.

After the performance, we returned to our car via the Riverwalk.  The lighting was very nice.  Pictured above with the Texas flag on top is the historic Milam Building, the first high-rise air-conditioned office building in the United States.  It was built in 1928.  To the right is the Weston Centre, where I officed for several years before I left downtown in 1992.

On the way to our parking spot, we strolled past the Weston Centre, which was hosting some type of reception.  Unfortunately, the car parked out front, complete with chauffeur, was not ours.

Note:  To view all 21 photos from this evening in downtown, click here for my Flickr page, then click "Slideshow."