Friday, April 24, 2009

NANPA - Texas Hill Country Regional Event-Block Creek Natural Area

Saturday morning started with a small thunderstorm just south of Fredericksburg. The ranches suggested that we wait until it passed. I went with Mike Murphy's landscape group. It was going to be 4-wheel drive territory, so I was happy to be a driver. I asked about whether we'd need 4 high or 4 low. He thought low, but it had just rained and the steep uphill was MUDDY - I ended up in 4-wheel low and we went right up that muddy hill!

Two weeks prior there had been a prescribed burn on another property that got out of control and burned through the Langford property. I was amazed at how many things were sprouting up through the ash! My afternoon photos show it better, but notice how much green grass is growing in the blackened ground. When I saw how the fire came up the valley and the ridges, I thought about how scary it must have been to watch that wildfire coming your way.

This yucca plant looks pretty burned, but look how much new growth is coming from the base:

There were several places where the fire left beautiful patterns in the wood in the trunks of the trees.

Fire is a natural process that helps clear out underbrush making way for new species. For photographers, this was a unique opportunity to enter a burn zone and photograph the leaves now yellowed, the blackend trunks and the sooty soil. Even though we were here in the spring, the yellowed leaves and cloudy weather makes this look more like a fall landscape.

I know that within the next couple of years, there will be so much new growth that this burned area will be transformed. I hope I get a chance to go back and see the beauty that will come from the flames.

It was still cloudy (a little on the dreary side in terms of lighting) so I knew that I was more likely to have luck with my Photographer's Canvas images.

This is my favorite of the ones I've worked so far. I went beyond what came out of the camera using two filters from Topaz to complete my vision.

My title for this one is "Dancing Trees" because I almost see human figures in these bent and twisted trunks.

No comments: