Pioneer Plaza in Dallas

I live in North Texas.

Let me tell you a little about where I live. I live in The Colony, Texas in Denton County. It is part of the North Texas metropolitan area. I like to say I live in North Texas. North Texas is centered upon the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the largest metropolitan area in Texas.

People in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas sometimes use the terms “Metroplex” and “North Texas” interchangeably. However, North Texas refers to a larger area that includes many rural counties. The North Texas climate is subtropical with hot summers. It is also continental, characterized by a wide annual temperature range.

I have personally experienced temperatures as high as 113 degrees (1980) and as low as 5 degrees (1983). The record low is -8 degrees. Average annual precipitation also varies considerably, ranging from less than 28 to more than 48 inches. Severe storms are frequent in the spring, as the area lies in the southern section of “tornado alley”.

Occasionally, I will share a few interesting thoughts on North Texas and include some pictures I have taken.

Pioneer Plaza:

Located just north of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas is Pioneer Plaza. It is a large public park in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The center piece of the Pioneer Plaza is large sculptures. It is a heavily visited tourist site. Located next to Pioneer Park Cemetery which features the Confederate War Memorial, the two offer the largest public open space in Dallas’ central business district.

Background of Pioneer Plaza:
The land was once railroad and warehouse property. Built on land cleared as part of the failed Griffin Square development, developer Trammel Crow gets credit for the idea behind the sculptures and plaza. He wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the City of Dallas. He assembled a group to give the sculptures. Begun in 1992, the $9 million project started on 4.2 acres of land donated by the City of Dallas. $4.8 million of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses.

Sculpture:
The large sculpture celebrates the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. It was the earliest and easternmost route by which Texas longhorn cattle moved to northern railheads. The trail passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas until the Chisholm Trail siphoned off most of the traffic in 1867.

Artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas created 70 bronze steers and 3 trail riders sculptures. Each steer is larger-than-life at six feet high. All together the sculpture is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. Set along an artificial ridge, man-made limestone cliff the native landscaping with a flowing stream and waterfall creates a dramatic effect.

Maintained by the adjacent Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

I took these pictures of the sculptures in December 2008. Click on them and they will enlarge.

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Creative Commons License
Longhorns at Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jimmiekepler.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/cropped-100_1613.jpg.

Taken by Jimmie A. Kepler in December 2008 at the Pioneer Plaza near the Dallas Convention Center in downtown Dallas the photo is of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive. Created by artist Roberts Summers of Glen Rose, Texas, it consists of bronze pieces – 40 longhorn cattle herded by 3 cowboys on horses.

Source: Additional information on Pioneer Plaza can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Plaza.

March 4, 2014

Today in Texas History:

It is Tuesday March 4, 2014. It is the 63rd day of 2014. There are 302 days left in the year. Down in southeast Texas in Hardin County along the Pine Bayou is the Batson-Old oilfield. On March 4, 1904, it reached its greatest everyday production with a yield of more than 150,000 barrels of crude. Batson, along with the Spindletop, Sour Lake, and Humble fields assisted in establishing the Texas oil industry. Source: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/ref/collection/wpa/id/630 and http://www.tshaonline.org/day-by-day/30545

A Quick Freeze with Thunder Sleet and Freezing Rain:

North Texas and Denton County where I live were brought to a near stop by an unusual March weather event that combined ice/freezing rain and thunder sleet. After a warm Saturday where temperatures topped at a near record of 84 degrees, a cold front dropped temperatures to freezing by Sunday morning. The mercury continued falling all day. By Monday morning, we were nearly 70 degrees colder than Saturday afternoon. Even though the weather service predicted the drop in decrease, the change caught many off guard. Fortunately, this is north Texas. The temperatures will warm to the mid 40s on Tuesday and back into the 70s by Friday.

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey

Texas Boy Wins Best Actor:

Matthew David McConaughey, born in Uvalde, Texas, won the Academy Award for Best Actor for portraying a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS in the biographical film Dallas Buyers Club.    

Book Review – Writing in Obedience: A Primer for Christian Writers

Texas authors Terry Burns (Amarillo, Texas) and Linda W. Yezak (Nacogdoches, Texas) wrote the book I just finished reading, “Writing in Obedience: A Primer for Christian Writers”. It is an excellent work, packed with information I wish I had available before I started my writing career over thirty years ago. Divided into three parts the book begins with a section aimed at Christians writing fiction. It is valuable for the Christian who writes fiction, as well as the Christian fiction writer. They do a good explaining receiving a call from God to write Christian fiction versus being a Christian, who writes fiction. They help us look how much Christian content is right, and Terry makes an excellent point of how to present the content.

Part two contains how-to advice for the beginning Christian writer. The chapter on finding help is an example of the sound advice given.

Part three is a much-needed examination of how to be published with option available in 2014. Terry Burns gives some of the best advice in the book. He says yes, if we write it we should submit it.

Using the techniques where first one and then the other tells their story or take on a subject works. I appreciated how they labelled who was telling writing. I strongly recommend the book for the new or established Christian author.

Picture credit: Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Matthew_McConaughey_-_Goldene_Kamera_2014_-_Berlin.jpgThis file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Matthew McConaughey at the awards of the Goldene Kamera 2014 in Berlin. Date 1 February 2014, 20:20:06. Source Own work of Author Avda.