Bug Tussle, Texas: The moon, the stars, the history.

Started Oct 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Jim Radcliffe
Jim Radcliffe Forum Pro • Posts: 11,646
Bug Tussle, Texas: The moon, the stars, the history.

Every picture tells a story.. so the song goes. This one is no exception. Let me tell you about it.

This is the last remaining original structure of Bug Tussle, Texas. I stumbled across this town's history while researching Texas ghost towns that were within a relatively short driving distance from my home in Dallas. It took an hour and a half to get there.

Here's a bit of the history of Bug Tussle, Texas: Bug Tussle is at the junction of Farm Road 1550 and State Highway 34, ten miles south of Honey Grove and five miles north of Ladonia in southeastern Fannin County, Texas. The community was initially called Truss, after John Truss, who settled there. It was founded in the 1890s and had a post office in 1893–94. Later the town's name was changed to Bug Tussle. At least three explanations exist for this unusual name. The most popular is that the name commemorated an invasion of bugs that spoiled a church ice cream social. A variation on this anecdote suggests that the relatively isolated spot, long popular as a site of Sunday school picnics, offered little else for picnickers to do after they ate than watch the bugs tussle. A third story tells of an argument between two old-time residents who wanted to change the name of the town. Their attention was diverted by the spectacle of two tumblebugs fighting. "Look at those bugs tussle," one reportedly remarked, thus settling the argument and rechristening the town. More than seventy Bug Tussle highway signs have been stolen over the years, and for a time it was fashionable for couples to come there to be married, just so that they could say they had been wed in Bug Tussle. In 1990 its population was reported as fifteen.

The building is the only remaining structure of the original Bug Tussle. During the Great Depression, Judge James Bates Fink established a Justice of the Peace court in the store (hence the name "Judge Fink Groceries"), where he performed marriages for any couple that showed up at Bug Tussle wanting to tie the knot. Judge Fink reportedly charged only a dollar for his services, and he may have married thousands of couples in the little general store as word spread that Judge Fink performed the cheapest marriages in Fannin County.

About the photo...
I took the photo below on October 23, 2013. I was looking for a place to practice my night sky photography and the use of LEDs for lighting. The night was very clear with the moon to rise after 10pm. The green cast on top of the roof and the side of the building is from a security light at a residence about 300 yards away. the only other light sources are from a passing car on highway 34 that briefly washed the building with its headlights. The interior of the building was illuminated by three amber LEDs I placed just inside the door of the old building. The rest was starlight and moonlight. The Little Dipper is just above the peak of the roof and the glow of the rising moon is to the left of the store through the trees. After the moon rose the light was just too bright to shoot anymore.

The exposure time was 20 seconds at ISO 800 using the Pentax K5 IIs and the DA* 16-50mm lens at f/2.8. The photo suffers from slight star trails and coma.. still trying to figure out how to get around the star trails without going to a much higher ISO and the resulting noise that would produce. Post-work was done in LightRoom 5 and Photoshop CS6. Hope you like it.

Always best to view the larger version for more detail...

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Jim Radcliffe
The ability to 'see' the shot is more important than the gear used to capture it.

 Jim Radcliffe's gear list:Jim Radcliffe's gear list
Leica D-LUX 4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Fujifilm X-E2 Pentax K-1
Pentax K-5 IIs
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