Friday, February 25, 2005

A Different Approach

While taking pictures of a train running through
downtown, I tried something new. Putting my camera
down on the ground I made just one exposure, and
here it is.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Read Books

You can do it here, at the 'enchilada red' main library.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Personal Favorite

I've shown a few Mission photos already, but this one
is very special to me.
From Mission San Jose, November 2004.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Picnic In The Park

Today we decided to get some fresh air and sunshine
at Brackenridge Park. (If you visit the zoo
you can't miss it.)
It's a nice place to have some lunch and watch the ducks.
Here's one of the newly restored pedestrian bridges.

Stop, Look, Listen And Live

Please people, be careful crossing the tracks.
A train may be over a mile long and weigh many
millions of pounds. They take up to a mile
to stop. And a train can't swerve to avoid you.
Texas has more rail-miles and more unprotected
crossings than any other state, so watch yourselves.

There are two main builders of locomotives in the USA
today: GE on the left & GM(EMD) on the right.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Life Is Sweet

Especially when there's little girls like this working
hard to keep the honey flowing.
I found her exploring this Cape Honeysuckle at the zoo.

A River Runs Through It

Downtown San Antonio, that is.
The most popular tourist destination in the city
is the Riverwalk.
You can take a stroll along the water's edge and
shop, people-watch, have a meal or take a barge
Other major cities are now copying the idea, but
there's nothing like the original.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Who's Been Eating My Roses?

The friendly neighborhood deer, that's who.
I caught four of them in a yard across the alley one day, happily
munching on the bushes and grass.
While this isn't the first time, all of my previous sightings
were at night.
The does and fawns are approachable but the bucks will run at the
first sound you make.
Sometimes we see a dozen at a time, as they come up the street
from their home near the drainage ditch.
Other common visitors to our yards include possums, raccoons and
skunks as well as Texas Rat Snakes, Texas Spiny Lizards,
Green Anoles, and Mediterranean Geckos.

Interstate Love Song

Traveling across the wide open spaces of Texas is
easy these days with our air-conditioned cars that
can easily hit 120mph when nobody is looking.
Back when your grandparents were young the highways
we take for granted didn't even exist, and air travel
was only for the rich.
Passenger Trains were the best way to get anywhere,
and represented a big adventure for a small-town kid
heading out to see the world.
Once you made your way to San Antonio, you might buy a ticket
to California on the Southern Pacific Railroad's
Sunset Limited train, departing from the downtown Sunset Station.
It's still there next to the tracks as part of a nightclub
complex, beautifully restored but without the romance of days gone by.

More Than A Church

The Old Spanish Missions were like a self-contained city.
The Church was the centerpiece, but there were also living quarters
for the Native-Americans, and buildings for food and water storage.
A system of aquaducts brought water from the San Antonio River to
power the grain mills and also to irrigate crops grown in
fields surrounding the protection of the thick fortress walls.
While most of the colorful frescos on the church's sides are gone,
some traces of the original beauty of these 250 year old monuments
remain. You just have to go and look for them.
The churches at the Missions are still active, holding services for
their congregations through the centuries.

Here is a view from Mission San Jose.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Remember The Alamo!

But what about the other four Missions?
I have lived here for most of my life, but until
recently had never visited them. Big mistake.
Run by the National Park Service and located along
the river south of downtown, the Missions were the
seeds that grew into the city I call home.
Here is a little taste of what you'll find, from
Mission Concepcion.

When It Rains It Floods

We have seen record flooding in South Texas over the
last few years. When the Canyon, Medina and Olmos dams
overflow, you know you'll see boats on the streets.
But downtown San Antonio, which has a river right
through it, stays high and dry. How?
A tunnel under the city.
At 281 and Josephine a shaft was dug straight down
several hundred feet. Then a huge tunnel-boring
machine was brought in from Japan to chew through
the rock all the way to the south side of downtown.
It got stuck.
Everything worked out eventually, and just in time.

This is where the water comes back up.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Honorary Texan

He wasn't from Texas, but he sure acted like it.
"Honest Abe" Lincoln was a trustworthy man with great
wisdom and an unmatched love for his country.
If you haven't gone to Washington DC to see the
monuments you don't know what you're missing.
They will inspire you and rekindle your patriotism.

The Zoo Isn't Just For Kids

I remember when the reptile house at
the San Antonio Zoo was a sad and stinky place.
Now it's a state-of-the-art display of colorful
and sometimes dangerous creatures.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Looking Down Is Good, Too

How else can you get the whole picture?
Just opening your eyes isn't enough,
you have to point them in every direction.
This grasshopper can't see much the way
he's pointed, but he doesn't seem to care.
Don't be a grasshopper.

Cowboy Capital Of Texas

That's the slogan of the town of Bandera, northwest
of San Antonio.
There are antique shops, BBQ joints, and other touristy
You are sure to see people on horseback in the streets
and last time I was there a chicken crossed the road.
She didn't say why.
Here's the historic courthouse, built around 1890.


Things that were once unattractive can achieve beauty through transformation, just like the ugly duckling.
These smokestacks used to be an eyesore, coughing up smoke and dust from a limestone quarry/cement plant.
Now they stand tall and proud, restored to like-new condition.
You would never know from this image that below them is a
busy shopping center with thousands of people and a lot full of cars.

Remember To Look Up

That way you can avoid falling helicopters.
You might get lucky and see something pretty, too.
Try it.

The Moment I Decided To Do This Website

Under a bridge, thinking about what a beautiful place Texas is.
Even beneath a busy street surrounded by dirt and graffiti, you
can look out from the shadows to find the light and color.

All images are Copyright 2004/2005 by KeithAlanK, and may not be
used for commercial purposes without my permission.
All images are greatly reduced in size and quality for this format.
My versions are 2048x1536 (2560x1920 as of Nov. 17, 2006) and rather stunning.
All images are captured with a Sony DSC-F717 5-megapixel digital
camera with a Carl Zeiss lens.
For digital editing I now use Photoshop 7.0 with an
occasional assist by NeatImage noise reduction.

Welcome to KeithAlanK's Views Of Texas

Since I live in San Antonio most of the contents will come from there, which is fine because SA is the most photogenic city in the world. But I get to travel often enough to keep things even more interesting.

This site will feature pictures because that's my new preferred medium.
Decades spent in the music business have given me a headache, as well as a new appreciation for the silent communication possible with a good still photograph and a few well-chosen words.

I hope you find something you like.
Comments are welcome.