Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Spirit In Texas

No one has to tell you the US economy has a seasonal flu and hasn't been feeling too well. Add to that a cold and windy and dreary ride through the Lakes and Plains region of Texas en route to Oklahoma. That region of Texas looks (and probably is, but I'm no expert on Texas - God Bless the Republic!) depressed. Admittedly we were feeling a little depressed humming along the I-20 corridor ourselves. In some places whole villages looked like they would better be termed "ghost towns." I had "Trailers for sale or rent; rooms to let 50 cents" on my King of the Road mind as we drew closer to the Oklahoma line.

But I was noticing round patches of green in the otherwise brown or leafless deciduous tress that grew along the ranch field lines more or less as wind breaks. Only a few at first and I didn't think them worth mentioning. Maybe a squirrel nest of some kind or a section of the tree that steadfastly refused to submit to the onset of winter. But as we drove along I saw more and more of them and noticed a pattern that did bear mentioning.

"Hey, Mar, what are those round clumps of green in those trees along the road and on the windbreaks?"

"I've been looking at them too. Looks like some kind of air plant or something- but I wouldn't expect that here...."

But as we saw more and more of them and drove closer to a few of them, Marilyn, the former florist extraordinaire, suggested that they must be mistletoe.

"Mistletoe? In Texas? "

And upon further investigation and a stop or two for a closer look, that is indeed what it turned out to be. Mistletoe. And with that discovery, the region became a much happier place. A festive prognosticator of the holiday season had come upon us in an otherwise desolate part of the state....Or so I thought. The cattle in the field took on "Away In A Manger" status....and the holiday season had begun anew.

Starting at the top: see what we saw in the trees while driving. The closer we (or the telephoto lens) got, the more the results of the mistletoe suspicions were confirmed.

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