I wrote a post awhile back about Brazos Bend State Park in the winter. This post is about Brazos Bend State Park in the spring – well, almost spring – I visited 3 days prior to the official first day of spring (March 20). I wanted to see if anything had changed since my winter visit. Plus, I didn’t have to return the Canon 100-400mm rental lens for two more days.
First thing I noticed: water. More of it. In all the places that had been high and dry before. In case you were not aware, Texas has been experiencing a horrendous drought. Everything that should be wet and swampy, instead was dull brown dirt covered over with clumps of green dry slime that reminded me of nori (seaweed). For this visit, everything looked as it should look in a swampland.
I saw more spring flowers, like these primroses,
and this herbertia,
and these spider lilies,
and this sweet little purple flower which I can’t identify (I’m not very good with wildflower identification, even with two Texas wildflower books in my possession). Anybody know what this flower is? The photo at the very beginning of this post is a wider-angle shot.
I saw Indian paintbrush, blowing in the wind.
And these yellow flowers (which I can’t identify, either), in the swamp waters.
There were more alligators. I overheard one set of walkers tell another set of walkers that during the mating season in April, the alligators get quite aggressive and can sometimes be seen clamped to each other’s necks, rolling over and over in the water or even along the pathway. Now that would be a photograph! All I saw were alligators lounging in the still, reflective swamp waters, posing for the tourists and looking menacing; it really doesn’t take much for an alligator to look menacing, and woe betide the person who so close as to elicit a low, rumbling growl from deep within, as the alligator’s jaws gape open to warn the hapless visitor to back off.
I saw lots more birds. It’s ironic that my photos of the alligators turned out better than my photos of the birds, since the birds were the main reason I drove to the park that day (0f course, alligators don’t’ move much, while birds move a lot). I saw three different little blue herons (you can tell they are the little blues by their brilliant blue beak),
Taking the plunge.
Crawfish catch of the day:
I saw a number of snowy egrets,
roseate spoonbills (way off in the distance, so it’s not exactly a stellar image),
one moorhen in its breeding plumage (none of my photos turned out very well), and a number of other little birds that I could not identify nor could I photograph very well (they just won’t stand still for me, dammit!).
The next time I visit will be later in the summer. We’ll see what other changes (if any) have occurred during that season.
10 responses to “Spring Has Sprung”
Rebecca, these are all fabulous photos, I really like the blue heron, I haven’t seen one like that blue, must be because it’s young. Lovely trip, beautiful colors of the flowers and that alligator is too close to me. 🙂
I have one of those awesome “Sibley’s Guide to Birds” and that heron is called a Little Blue Heron
Stunning photos! I’m a little scared as to how close you got to that alligator!
Actually, I didn’t get *that* close. I had a 100-400mm telephoto and I also cropped the resulting image. That’s the nice thing about having a full-frame camera with “good glass” – you can crop like that and still get a sharp image.
Awesome series of photos!
I love the alligator close up, he does look menacing. Cardinals are my favorite birds, I would love to get a great photo of one. But I have no patience! Looks like this was a great trip.
Beautiful, Beautiful!! May I ask what type of camera you use?
Thank you for the kind words. I use a Canon 5D Mark II. For these images, I also used a Canon 100-400mm lens.
WOW!! Wonderful..Thank you!
Beautiful photos! Reminds me a lot of home (SE Texas), I know the purple flower from seeing it grow every spring, but I have no idea what the name of it is!
We used to chew on the stems when we were kids, they taste very sour(not sure who came up with that idea), please let me know if you ever find the name of the flower!
Looking forward to more of your beautiful work!