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Texas, United States


Exploring Texas History...

...Taking Photos Is Always Fun For Me!

Last week my son from New Hampshire was working in Texas and planned to spend  Saturday with me and asked what I would like to do. He is a professional photographer who loves to photograph history and said he would like to go downtown and visit the Alamo again, it had been a while since he had. I suggested we also visit the other four historical Spanish Missions since he said he never had taken that tour. I have several times and I knew he would get some great shots because of the unique architecture of each of the Spanish Mission compounds. We spent a perfect day with perfect skies for photography.

Below are some of the 153 shots I took starting with the Alamo, then Missions Conception, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada. They are in a row heading out from the Alamo a couple of miles apart along the San Antonio River. I had written a blog about them earlier using other's photographs. These are mine beginning with the beautifully landscaped memorial gardens behind the Alamo that incorporates both tropical and desert plants suitable for our climate and magnificent old trees that also grow well in our area.



Papayas were abundant...the squirrels eat them. 
Weapons of a bygone era 
This live oak tree was approximately 40 years old when a man who was trying to prove older trees could be successfully transplanted hauled it here in a wagon drawn by four mules in 1912.
It  now measures 15 feet in circumference at the base and has some limbs over 50 foot long. 
 I do love that old oak tree that beat the odds.
The marble monument listing all the men who died defending the Alamo in 1836.
It is placed on the site where their bodies were piled and burned on Santa Ana's orders. 
Mission Conception 

Mission San Jose 
All five Missions originally had a huge area enclosed by tall stone walls to
protect those who lived and worked there from renegade raids. Some have crumbled
down but some portions are still preserved. This
part of San Jose's wall has quite a few small rooms. I'm not sure
if those were living quarters or work shops. These forts included stockades for animals,
water wells, and other food sources were grown within the walls.
 The Spanish Missionary settlements were totally self sufficient. 
 The church was the focal point of each fortified compound.
Mission San Juan Capistrano 
Mission San Juan is very narrow. 
Mission Espada
 A few Franciscan Monks still reside at Espada. We met one who is a glass artist and fires his art on site.The colors he blends and shapes are fabulous.

 These four Missions still hold church services.
They were built in the first half of the 1700's.


Jill Paterson said...

These are marvellous photographs, Anna. It's great to have so much history on your doorstep.
The fellow who transplanted the oak tree certainly proved his point!

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jill. There is so much history in this area I learn something new every time I visit the sites.

Yes, that guy who transplanted that huge oak did prove his point, I still wonder how he got it pulled up to stand up straight way back then...I suppose he anchored it well until it was stable.

DMS said...

These pictures are stunning. I especially love the pictures that have arches in them- there is something about the way the light plays in the pictures.

What a great oak tree- nature is amazing. ;) What a transplant!

Seems like you had a great day with your son.

Thanks for sharing!

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jess! Those were the first arches I photographed and there were quite a few to choose from at the different missions. They do make interesting photos.

I have watched that old oak tree grow over the years and it always amazes me. It was a fun day because I don't get to see Stephen that often, he lives so far away.