Easter Fires and Folklore


In Spring of 1847, on the Saturday evening before Easter, the recently arrived German settlers looked to the surrounding hills and saw more than twenty large fires burning on the highest points.  Many of the children were terrified. One quick thinking and imaginative mother told them that the Easter Rabbit and his helpers had lit the fires to cook eggs before decorating and delivering them on Easter morning.  Some adults, on the other hand, apparently embraced a different tale.  Taking into account the fact that Fredericksburg lay on the Texas frontier and their neighbors, the Comanche, were not known to be all that friendly, local folklore has grown the story of signal fires set by Indian scouts communicating to their chiefs the movements of the townspeople. 

The reality is not quite so frightening and dramatic...(shhh, don't tell anyone), and indeed has a much more ancient history.  The people of Northwestern Germany, where at least half of the settlers had come from, practice this same custom of lighting Easter Eve fires on specified hills.  The custom originated in pre-Christian times, as part of a Spring festival, and like the Easter rabbit and the Easter egg, is a downright pagan symbol carried into modern tradition.

Through the years since that first Fredericksburg Spring the Easter Fires burned on Easter Eve.  The church bells tolled at a given hour, all the lights of town extinquished, and the hilltops burst into flame.  Several years ago the practice was abandoned, but rumor has it that we will someday soon replay this delightful drama annually.  Here's my hope.  But I can't decide if I want to be a fire tender, or the audience.  We'll have to wait and see.  Meanwhile...just imagine.


Storms and Sunsets


I got a note this evening from a friend and he signed off "enjoy your Texas sunset".  Of course, this made me look out my window ...lo and behold...this is what I saw.   This is Texas, folks.  This is the heart of Texas when a storm is rolling in at sunset.  Pretty dramatic, huh?  For you Texans...there is an upside to all the rain we've been getting.  I got a first hand report today that the bluebonnets are the best ever, and here in the Hill Country they will peak over the next two weeks.  I will make it out to the Willow City Loop as soon as the sun comes out again.  Those fields of blue carry me from Spring to Spring...they're just breathtaking!  If I get a good picture I will post.  See, I will not always keep us up in the clouds here.  As time goes on I will introduce you to this charming small German town I am calling home, and the lovely hills that surround.  Come on back now, y'all.


Night of the Full Pink Moon



"Night, the beloved.  Night, when words fade and things come alive.  When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.  When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Full Pink Moon - April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.