More Local Flying

August 25, 2007

I’ve been getting grief from all corners of the world over not posting any stories for a while. Yes, I go to all this trouble, and I get nothing but complaints! Yes, complaints from… well… you know who you are! 🙂

So, what have I been up to, you ask? Oh, I get up early, drive in to work, work all day, I’ve read a few books, watched a few of movies… you know, same thing you’re doing! Well, maybe you didn’t read any books.

But I’ve also been flying! No, not to Timbuktu, nor Key West, nor Poughkeepsie, nor Alaska (although that one is on my list). I’ve been doing mostly local flying, and I just figured you’d be pretty bored with those flights.

Well, let’s find out. Here’s some photos of a little outing I did on a Saturday in August. Nothing too far afield; I just headed toward Brenham, then kind-sorta toward Grawunder, then back to my place, with a side of river flying for a few minutes.

If this bores you, well, all I can say is, “I told you so.” If it doesn’t bore you, then you’ll be happy, and I’ll be happy to think this story wasn’t a waste of time.

My overview map should appear above, the blue line being my approximate path. my starting point is ‘Skydive Houston’.  The top part of the path was my route to Brenham… and just short of the town, I turned south and headed toward Bellville. I never made it there, either. As I said, I was just flying “local” with no particular destination.

It was a beautiful day and the wind was light.

I left around noon, and was expecting a fair amount of turbulence, but it wasn’t bad at all. Most of my flight was in the 800-1200 foot range… I stayed low mainly to see stuff but also because it was a bit rougher up high.

The first order of business when I take off is, my neighbor always wants an updated photo of his new hangar, so I oblige him.

Then only a mile or so later and I already get a bonus shot: a quantity of tractors and other farm vehicles! Wow! After that, I won’t need any more tractor shots for the whole day! (But don’t be disappointed… there are more to come.)

Another few minutes and I score this great shot of a lily-laden pond.

Then up ahead, secluded in a forest of oaks I see a grand looking house… later, when reviewing the photo and zooming in, I discover it is the Texana Manor.

My camera is doing a splendid job of picking up details. (It helps that it’s the middle of the day… and a bright, sunny day, at that!)

It wasn’t hard to spot this large home and compound, complete with round outdoor arena and large covered arena… apparently, someone loves horses!

Soon, I’m skirting the south end of Hempstead and get this far away shot of their high school.

Five miles later, I encounter the Brazos River and descend to about 500 feet. I follow the river, banking left and right and on the lookout for anything interesting. It doesn’t take long… some 4-wheelers have parked on the banks of the river and set out some fishing poles. Only the child seems interested in my plane.

On the other side of the river, I can’t help but take this shot of two very colorful tractors, hard at work.

This seems to be a day for grand houses, and this one doesn’t disappoint, with a very nice rock pool in the backyard. It even has a rock slide built into it!

I’m now within a couple of miles of the airport, but since I don’t really intend on landing, I decide to stay clear. Just before I turn south, I get this shot of it in the distance.

As I turn and then straighten out, I can’t help but see another grand house, sitting there plain as day. Sure looks nice!

Another few minutes and I pass over a separated highway, that looks like it just got some new blacktop because there aren’t any lines on it yet. I’m still not sure what highway that was… too lazy (well, too busy, really) to go look at my GPS… but it’s probably Hwy 290.

I’m startled to see, directly ahead of me, a runway… fairly long, too. It’s not on my map, so I figured it’s a “ag” runway — a runway used by agricultural planes. I dodge to the right a bit and take this shot, looking back at it. It’s always tempting to land on a “newly found” runway, but I get into more trouble that way! Instead, I record my position by taking a quick shot of my GPS screen, so I’ll know where the runway is.

Oh boy, yet another grand house, with a white Hummer and Jeep in the driveway! They have a nice pool, too.

This next view is of an oil field, but it’s probably hard to make them out… there are about ten wells in the picture. This is right before I crossed the Brazos River again.

A little motion catches my eye and, oof!, here’s another hard working farmer in his fire-engine red tractor!

I look up from the tractor to see the river again, and on the other side appears to be some kind of commercial nursery. As I pass it, I get another, closer shot.

I simply can’t resist yet another tractor shot, so here are two green tractors sitting next to the results of their hard work.

Another house, not really grand, but I liked the shot because of the bales of hay scattered around it. The pool is grand, though, don’t you think?

And here’s another house that is surrounded, but not by hay, by trees… maybe it’s an orchard?

More hay making, but the birds are what caught my eye.

This one still has me mystified… what are all the white “dots”? Even zooming in and then again at home, I can’t quite figure it out. Any ideas?

Well, my airport is now right in front of me, so I land and put the plane away. Time in the air: 1:13

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can do local flights many, many times and see new stuff on each one.

So, that’s what my local flights look like, although most are early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I just got lucky this time, that it wasn’t too bumpy in the middle of the day.

I hope you weren’t too bored. 🙂



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