Spring Has Sprung

6081_Little Purple Flowers

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.

5206_SwampGreenREV

5122_Swamp Flora CROP

5293_SwampVeg

5561_Spanish Moss

5490_Swampland

I saw more spring flowers, like these primroses,

5387_Primrose CROP

and this herbertia,

5571_trefoil

and these spider lilies,

5009_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.

6040-2_Fuschia

I saw Indian paintbrush, blowing in the wind.

6095_Indian Paintbrush

And these yellow flowers (which I can’t identify, either), in the swamp waters.

5659_Yellow

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.

5640_Alligator Reflection

5339-3_Eyes On You

5354-3_Alligator Eye

5871_Toothy Grin

6019-2_Lurking

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),

5751_Herons Reflection

5797_Little Blue Heron

Spying lunch:

5926_Spying The Prey

Taking the plunge.

5927_In For The Kill

Crawfish catch of the day:

5928_Catch Of The Day

Lunch!

5929_Catch Of The Day2

I saw a number of snowy egrets,

5418_Snowy Egret

5447_Snowy Egret

roseate spoonbills (way off in the distance, so it’s not exactly a stellar image),

5399_Spoonbill

cardinals,

5889_Redbird

5849_Cardinal

red-winged blackbirds,

5283_Red Wing Blackbird

white ibis,

5362_Ibis

5254-2_Ibis Eye

American coots,

5156_American Coot

5168_HelloThere

turtles,

5697-2_Turtle On Log

5714-2_Turtle Head

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.

5815_The Wide Path

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10 Comments

Filed under Brazos Bend State Park, flowers, Parks, Photography, Seasons, Spring

10 responses to “Spring Has Sprung

  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. adrianduque89

    Awesome series of photos!

  4. 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.

  5. Beautiful, Beautiful!! May I ask what type of camera you use?

  6. Chelsey Thornton

    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!

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