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For some friends Down Under

April 11th, 2010 (12:02 am)
chipper

current mood: chipper

One of my LJ friends, Christina, has a ten-year-old son, Jack. Last August, Jack and his family, who live in Australia, were watching a television special on environmentally friendly houses, including one in Houston, Texas. To quote Chris's post:

Finally, Jack...in a disgruntled tone, said, "Texas used to be a really good place, with lots of cowboys there, but now there's just buildings."

That cracked her--and me--up. Because it's true that Texas does have some BIG cities, and Houston, where I live, is the fourth largest in the U.S. I can't blame Jack for lamenting the idea of the vanishing cowboy. But I promised his mom that when I got the chance, I'd make sure Jack knew that Texas still has cowboys. There are over 185,000 farms and ranches in Texas, using more than 129 million acres of land. Though the open range is gone, there are still ranches for cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. There are dude ranches for tourists to enjoy--many of those even offer guests the opportunity to do some of the work of cowboys (and don't forget the cowgirls!). And finally, there are those boot-hat-and-Wrangler-wearing men and women who ride bulls, rope calves, and compete in barrel racing and other spectator sports at rodeos.

I was hoping to get to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo during March to shoot photos for Jack. Though I never made it there, I did manage to capture some of the trail riders as they came into the city for the event. When I talked to one of them, he asked me to please tell Jack that after being in the saddle all day for seven days to get to Houston, he sure felt like a cowboy.

Jack, if you ever visit Texas, I promise you can still find cowboys. And Jack or anyone who'd like to see my trail rider photos can click this link to my Flickr set. If you watch the set as a slideshow, you can enjoy the photos in larger sizes.

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