When you leave the familiar
And cross the line to everywhere else
Your soul leaps to a higher plane and gives your body
A free ride without so much as a ticket or a hand stamp
-Joe Ely, Bonfire of Roadmaps
Half of the fun of being an itinerant bird hunter is in the getting there -- seeing the places, meeting the people, and sampling the ways of the locals. In fact, for me at least, it's a sure-fire antidote from the homogenous Wal-Mart culture of 21st-Century America.
Somewhere along the way, I came to learn that these purple splashes mean "No Trespassing." Kind of a unique way to express sovereignty -- and much easier to erect than a barbed wire fence and harder to remove than a plastic sign. I was surprised though that growing up just one state to the north, I had never heard of such a practice. The always-reliable internet research indicates that "purple laws" are on the books in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas -- though I've never actually seen purple postings anywhere but the Sunflower State.
Anyhow, it's one of those customs you'd never learn about by traveling I-70 at 80 miles an hour.
And why the hell not? The shoulders are wide, smooth, and often extensions of the road themselves. I've always thought it was courteous and (in most cases) the safest way to keep traffic moving and not stacked up. No Texan that I've asked can tell me whether or not it's entirely legal, but no one really seems to care.
Two examples of practical necessity, conceived by real people in the real world. In this day and age, we need more of that, don't we?