Texas Horned Lizard
Narrator - Amy Miller
Original art by William B. Montgomery
Mural painted by Sarah Blankenship
Funding by Art in Public Places – City of Elgin
Bill's fascination with horned lizards...
Texas Horned Lizards were once found throughout the state of Texas. Common in central and east Texas, a perfect storm of invasive fire ants, habitat loss, pesticides, and over-collecting resulted in the disappearance of this iconic creature from the eastern half of the state. Perhaps the biggest impact was when their main food, the harvester ant (or “red ant”) was eliminated from many areas when people started poisoning fire ants. There are still thriving populations in south and west Texas.
I’ve been fascinated by horned lizards since I found my first “horny toad” in East Texas and they have starred in a number of my paintings and etchings. The roadrunner, another favorite, and a common Texas resident, eats lizards, insects and other small animals—including the occasional horned lizard. They are also a potential predator of the coral snake, pictured below the prickly pear. This snake is common in many parts of Texas. They prey on other snakes. Although their venom is very potent and they will certainly bite if stepped on or grabbed, they are shy snakes which prefer to flee rather than hold their ground.
Narrator - Melissa Ladd
Original art by: Melissa Ladd
Funding by: Elgin Main Street Program – City of Elgin
The story behind the mural
Mr. and Mrs. Jones owned 28 North Main Street and ran the Jones Drug Pharmacy for many decades in downtown Elgin. I have been fascinated by Mrs. Jones (Annie Laurie Huston Jones) since I purchased the building in 2015. During the renovation process many people would stop by and tell me stories of the building, and the Jones.
Sherri Marshall Rivers brought me some of Mrs. Jones belongings, which I have along with a diary Mr. Jones had in 1912. He was a pharmacist and they had this building as a drug store and general store. I believe no one other than the Jones have “lived” in my building. I wanted to acknowledge her and keep her a part of the history by creating this piece. She is my alley’s patron saint! Taken from an original photo found in Mrs. Jones belongings.
– Melissa Ladd, building owner and artist
LGBT + mural
Project leader Heather Miller
Thanks to public donations, the gold project has raised over $5,000 and the mural was be painted in September 2020. In this video Heather talks at the very beginning of her project.
Ashley Smith - Artist
As a local artist and gallery owner, I have a goal to cultivate and nurture creativity as well as inclusion within my community. This LGBT + mural is part of a Girls Scouts Gold Award and is led by Heather Miller. I am extremely honored to have been selected to paint the mural and assist in spreading awareness and promoting knowledge surrounding the LGBT community.
– Ashley Smith, The Clever Tiger