Irving Mayor Election May 10, 2014

The city of Irving, Texas re-elected Beth Van Duyne to her second term as Mayor on May 10th, 2014.  Beth overwhelmingly won the election with  70% of the votes defeating challenger and former mayor Herbert Gears who won just 30% of the votes.  The final vote count was 4,930 votes for Beth Van Duyne and 2,163 votes for Herbert Gears.  Irving, Texas is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.  According to the 2012 U.S. Census the city population was 225,427.  Irving is the 13th most populous city in the stae of Texas.

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

This gallery contains 3 photos.

The Caterpillar We found this caterpillar devouring a dill plant in our garden. The female Black Swallowtail deposited her eggs on the plant. At this stage the caterpillar’s only function is to eat as much as possible. The Chrysalis Comfortably … Continue reading

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Playboy Marfa comes to Dallas


The controversial sculpture known as Playboy Marfa is now on display in Dallas, Texas.  It was dismantled in November, 2013 after Playboy Enterprises gave up on their efforts to keep Playboy Marfa on display at the edge of US 90 just outside Marfa, Texas, a small town 500 miles to the southwest of Dallas.  The neon Playboy sculpture was erected in June, 2013 and almost immediately began generating complaints from some local residents who objected to what they described as illegal advertising.  The Texas Department of Transportation took up the complaint and gave Playboy Enterprises 45 days to remove the sculpture.  Playboy Marfa has now been installed outside the Dallas Contemporary Museum in the Design District of the city of Dallas.  It will be on display through August 24th, 2014.  Playboy Marfa is part of a solo exhibition for it’s creator, Richard Phillips a New York contemporary artist  The always free Dallas Contemporary is a non collectible museum so the sculpture will be moved at the end of the exhibition to an as yet unknown destination.  Another work of art called Prada Marfa, a permanently sealed Prada store has been standing 35 miles northwest of Marfa, Texas in the town of Valentine since 2005.  It has also been classified by the Texas Department of Transportation is illegal advertising.  Prada Marfa’s fate is unknown at this time.

Dallas Contemporary  161 Glass St.  Dallas, Texas 75207  214-821-2522

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Playboy Marfa

Bunny_2We drove out to Marfa July 4th weekend to actually see if the sculpture in Marfa, Texas known as Playboy Marfa was still standing and to see what all the fuss was about.  The conflict of Playboy Enterprises versus the Texas Department of Transportation has received a lot of press coverage.  Playboy calls it art and some Marfa residents call it an advertisement.  The 40 foot high neon sculpture is a playboy bunny logo sitting atop a pole next to a 1972 Dodge Charger, a well known muscle car of the 1970’s , at rest atop a tilted platform.  We came upon the site on U.S. 90 about a mile west of Marfa to find other folks pulled over checking out the proclaimed work of art.  A Marfa resident filed a complaint with TXDOT who upon investigation discovered that the property owners did not have a permit for a sign, and that the location is not eligible for such a license.  They gave Playboy 45 days to remove the sculpture.  We didn’t find anything offensive and Marfa is getting a lot of attention because of  it.  Playboy lawyers are planning to fight the order to remove the sculpture known as Playboy Marfa.  If you want to see for yourself head out to West Texas soon.  As of the middle of July we have not seen any updates as to which side will prevail.

2011-08-24_Valentine_Texas_Prada_Purse_4331There is another work of art on the same highway, U.S. 90.  Just travel further west towards the town of Valentine and you will come upon Prada Marfa.  Prada Marfa was erected in 2005.  It mimics one of the high-end fashion brand’s stores.   You will spot it standing alongside of the dusty highway fronting an empty field.



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Coolest 4th! Fort, Davis, TX 2013


At an elevation of 5050 feet above sea level, Fort Davis is the highest town in Texas.  The coolest 4th takes place in Fort Davis, Texas every July.


With a summer average high temperature in the mid 80’s we decided to leave the hot city behind and head to the mountains to enjoy The Coolest 4th.  And enjoy it we did.  Events took place on the closest weekend, being a small town and all, everyone would be free to attend and enjoy the festivities.  Vendors began setting up their booths around the courthouse on Thursday.

By Friday morning they were open selling lemonade, ice cream and all types of food items from turkey legs to tacos and burritos.  Others set up booths with their hand made jewelry, various clothing items as well as hand carved wood furniture.  Friday evening at dusk, towns people and visitors alike headed out to Jeff Davis County Park on the edge of town for “The Great Fireworks Display”.


Fort Davis Parade GocartSaturday morning found everyone headed downtown for “The Great Parade” led off by National Park Personnel dressed in their 19th century army uniforms,  followed by many colorful floats,cowboys atop their horses and even one intrepid old timer riding along horn steer.BarBQ After the parade it was time to line up for “The Great Barbeque” at the Courthouse and then on to “The Great Gun Fight at Memorial Square.  From there it was off the the Fort Davis National Historic Site to enjoy the Small Arms Demonstration.  An outdoors Saturday night dance took place for those not wanting to wrap up the fun too early.  2013.07.07_FortDavisNHS_5952And finally, On Sunday, Living History Activities at Fort Davis National Historic Site, concluding with an Artillery Demonstration and Flag Lowering Ceremony.  We’ll be back next year!




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