Bluebonnets, Old Barns, and Biker Dudes

By Melinda VanLone | Photos

Apr 02

Somewhere near Granbury, TX

This last weekend I went for a drive with my parents hunting bluebonnets around Granbury, TX. Usually, I do this sort of thing by myself. Let’s face it, sitting in a car while some crazed photographer slams on the brakes, jumps out of the car to take some photos, races back to the car to drive ten feet and slam on the brakes again, is not exactly a good time if you aren’t the one clicking the buttons on the camera. But since my parents offered to go with me and show me some good photo ops, I took them up on it.

After several stops, I realized I had yet to see exactly what I was looking for. I gazed around the countryside. It seemed too bland. I needed something to break up the scenery.

“I’d like to get a picture of an old barn. Got any old barns?” I asked from the back seat.

Nope. My parents couldn’t think of any. We kept driving. Then we crested a hill and Dad said “Well there’s an old barn, but it ain’t wood.”

“Stop! It’s perfect!”

Dad slammed on the breaks and skidded to the side of the road. Actually, he slowed to a careful stop and pulled over with his hazards on, but it would have been more interesting if he’d slid, don’t you think?

I tiptoed through tall grass, (which was probably hiding any number of bugs and small rodents…the things I won’t do for my art), and stopped just short of the fence to get the shot. Then I looked down. I had tiptoed into the center of a patch of cactus. I Carefully inched backward until my toes were safe, then framed the shot and began happily clicking away.

A loud roar behind me broke my concentration and I turned to see a biker dude (really, you’d have called him that had you seen him) pulled up next to the car. I looked. Nope, not a cop. No badge. No lights. Now why did I immediately think we were going to be attacked or hauled to jail?

The man had a cloth on his head, shades, tattoos and a t-shirt. I couldn’t see if he was armed, but my mind leapt to all sorts of possibilities. A knife at his back, a gun in his belt, and maybe a grenade or two. He was probably part of a gang, and the rest of them would be along any moment to cut us all into pieces.

I may have seen too many movies.

A few words drifted over to me. “I understand that, sir, I…”

I looked around for a place to run to, in case of attack. Whistling wind filled my ears and I swear the theme song to some old western tv show.

“Have a nice day, sir. Ya’ll be careful.” The biker dude waved and took off in a cloud of dust and engine roar.

What did he want? He’d seen the hazard lights and thought we might have broken down. He was offering to help. The phrase “Don’t judge a book by the cover” came to mind.

Thank you, biker dude, for stopping to check on us. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for driving me around. And thanks, bluebonnets, for being so darn pretty!

So, was the shot worth the drama? I think so.

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