Tag Archives: danger

The Bridges of Ellis County

There exist areas of Texas that do not seem to have changed much since the 19th century. Old homesteads and farms still populate the vast countryside outside the massive cities and quaint little towns. Usually these farms connect to civilization only by tenuous barely paved roads. The bridges of Ellis County bear tribute to one such road.

Fit only for the mightiest of farm trucks and tractors you won’t see any Ferraris out on these bridges. The roads are a mixture of crumbled Texas clay and gravel. The two bridges are spanning the local creek and offer an easy way to cross. It’s obviously not without danger though. The bridges are wooden and don’t even muster the protective feel that a guard rail would offer you.

You can imagine the panic of going over one of these bridges in the dark hours of the night. There is no street light and the over grown trees and foliage would easily block any light from a helping moon.   One slip up and you spend a long night waiting for a tow truck. Assuming you could even find one to come out that far. Good luck finding with even finding phone service out here.

Bridges of Ellis County
Bridges of Ellis County

While traveling that forgotten path one Sunday morning, the memory of old childhood stories involving trolls living under the bridge flooded my memories. One can easily imagine that these bridges, or ones similar to them, are the nexus for such stories.

Indeed this is where the wild things are. Besides the obvious danger that the bridges offer, you need constant diligence against running into a spooked deer, opossum, raccoon, coyote and even a loose cow. What hides in those few dark wooded areas along this unprotected path? Have caution my friends when visiting the Bridges of Ellis County.

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Are Certain Simple Signs Art?

The bright glaring sign stood posted oblivious to my meanderings and happily screamed “watch your step” to

Danger
Cool, but is it art?

any passerby.  Slightly amused by the audacity this little sign seemed to regard for my well-being,  I mentally paused for a moment to take in my surroundings and discover who or what had caused the reasoning that the little bright red sign to become placed there.

After taking note of the danger, mainly a severe drop of the pathway that could cause a person to trip, I wondered if signs are art.

Now at first glance you may exclaim the silliness of the notion that a simple warning sign is art.   But, it is a good question.  Warning signs follow the same code of communication that distinguishes art as art.

Sunrise Stop Sign
No cop, no stop?

The warning sign has color, texture, and form. It also fulfills an artistic function, a devilishly demanding detail that states it’s very existence and placement must have an expressive and emotional meaning to it.  Further, the way or conditions in which that a person displays the sign will influence the feelings or emotions you have.

Signs having emotional ties to the viewer?  Sure.  A piece of art makes you think about a subject and ties an emotional response to it.  Even if you have no response, that in itself is a response.

Think about the feelings you get when you see yield sign off a highway.  Do you panic a little?  What if they won’t yield?  The sign says that I have the right of way, but is anybody slowing down?

What about a stop sign when you are late for an appointment?  Do you feel frustrated?  Angry?  Do you look around to see if there is anyone there to catch you if you speed right through it?  Would you feel guilt or “no cop no stop”?

Baggage Sign
Now where did they put my suitcase?

The sign is the precursor to your reaction.  It causes what you will say, think, feel, or do next.  The important thing to remember is that the sign can’t actually say anything.  It’s a sign.  It’s the communication of the meaning of sign to you that makes it take that final leap from a piece of wood with writing on it to a work of art.

So, look around the room you are in.  How much art do you see?  Do you think a sign is art?  Could it be?

Like what you read?

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Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!