I got up before dawn to go hiking as I had a nice idea for a sunrise behind the small waterfall at Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge. As I was driving out there, I could see some clouds on the horizon, so I thought there was a chance. But two things happened when I got there, 1) some heavy lower clouds moved in to block most of the sunlight, and 2) part of the hiking area had been burned. So, the backdrop for the waterfall was going to be charred black grass and gray clouds.
With all of the recent rain, I am guessing that this was a planned burn to safely get rid of a lot of flammable material before summer comes around again. I am sure that in a month or two the wildflower will bloom out there and be nice. But, burned grass is not beautiful.
So, I hiked up the ridge because I needed a hike anyway and I thought that the fires may not have made it up there. I was thinking that I might get some nice low fog in the hills. Coming down one of the trails in the back of the hiking area I was greeted with just a minute or two of perfect light before the clouds moved over and blocked it all out. I was unfortunately out of position, but I knew the light wouldn’t last so I tried to take a few photos down the trail.
This photo would be totally mediocre except for the brilliant gold sunlight illuminating the haze from the left. It just lit up the entire scene with beauty, but all I have is a trail heading off toward the low hills in the distant.
Unfortunately for me, that light was not to persist until I made it to my planned overlook. So, I focused instead on the low clouds around the distant hills. It was a very humid morning and the fog was really building. The sun was mostly filtered by some thick clouds, a mostly dull scene without all of the beautiful warm light I had earlier.
The low clouds were nice, but the rest of the scene was mostly dead.
I de-saturated the colors in the below image to take some of the dead yellow color. I also hid a barn behind a tree.
I had a good hike anyway and I had the place to myself. I briefly saw a coyote up the trail but only for a couple of seconds. It appeared to be on its way somewhere and didn’t seem to notice me. I followed its tracks in the mud until it left the trail and I never saw it again.
Hopefully in a month or two the burned areas will be flush with new life and I can get some nice photos.
As I left, I saw the people just getting to the place for a hike. And I headed back home for coffee. Thanks for reading.