For the most part, my experience with projects has been they take longer than anticipated.  A planned morning departure of between 9 and 10 leaned into a departure at 11:43 a.m.  With San Antonio in the rear view mirror, I watched the road like a hawk.  Actually, I watched the hawks by the road.  There were a dozen or more sitting stalwartly in barren trees, on telephone poles and one on the barrier in the median.  Every winter in Texas, it has been a pleasure to see the hawks sitting in the sun, trying to spy their next meal on the ground.  Today, the viewing was especially plentiful. 


Hello Houston.  Goodbye Houston.


Today my fellow drivers were viewing the Speed Limit as a Speed Suggestion.  A stretch of IH 10 on the east side of Houston had a larger than life Speed Limit sign mounted above the road, next to green signs for street exits and also on the side of the road.  The obviousness was not lost – it was the only stretch where drivers were keeping the Speed Limit. 


A lot of plastic was hanging from fences and trees.  This is a special obsession of mine – the plastic tree.  For years, I have seen the plastic tree across the Texas landscape and marveled at its prodigious output. There was a bumper crop today with most trees boasting fruit of white bags, less so the yellow and blue fruit.  The most memorable was a small red bag trapped and stretched in the crotch of a young tree on the right side of the road.  The sun was like a spotlight and I got a split second show as I sped by.  Stunning. 


Welcome to Louisiana.



After clearing Houston the territory is virgin.  Was it my imagination or did the sky lighten and colors seem more intense?  Trees became taller and furry with pine needles. 


Beginner’s mind?  Check.