Spring is Here

Whether we know it or not this year, spring is here. The weather for Saturday, was fantastic and I stayed outside most of the day enjoying the lack of ceiling and computer. In the evening, I went out to Balcones Canyonlands NWR in the evening to see if the wildflowers were out. It seemed like a safe place to go for getting away from the house and keeping my safe distance from people.

The last time I went, the land had been burned and looked depressing and I was eager to see if the spring growth had returned to claim the ashes. Down by the stream, the grass and wildflowers had come to reclaim the burned ground.

Balcones-Canyonlands-National-Wildlife-Refuge-wildflowers-1

And the paintbrushes were out in full force. I got down low to try to get the flowers in the foreground against the background hills. All I brought was a 16-35mm lens, so that is what I had to work with.

Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

In the image above, I adjusted the white balance up and down and I am not sure that I ever go it just right. I can’t tell if it looks too blue or too yellow. What do you think?

There were also some little pink-purple flowers amid the stones along the trail that I stopped for.

Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

Hiking the back trails, I checked on my favorite dead tree. I got down low to silhouette it against the sky and show the flower lined trail going into the distance. Notice the lack of aircraft contrails in the sky. The sky is usually full of jet traffic into Austin in this area.

Hiking Trail at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Hiking Trail at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

The sun was behind the hills by now and the scene was very dark against the sky. The below photo used all the dynamic range of the camera and the highlights and shadows controls were just about pegged in Lightroom for the above edit, but I like the way that it turned out.

The wildflowers are in full bloom, probably thanks to the heavy rains we have had this year. I will have to go back in better light to capture more of this.

Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

I do love the paintbrushes this time of year.

Paintbrushes at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Paintbrushes at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

I hiked back to the car in the dark. Nice to get out of the house and get some nature. Thanks for reading.

19 thoughts on “Spring is Here

  1. Been so friggin’ cold here the last week or so, with ice on the grass and outdoor fixtures in the morning, that it doesn’t feel like spring. And the last couple of days have been wet. I swear it’s early January. Can we go back to early January? It seems the world was so different then …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only way to move is forward. It has been very rainy here, but seldom cold. Winters are very mild in central Texas.

      The world may look like a different place next year this time. Hopefully for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Midwest is still pretty brown with pockets of snow here and there. Although the grass is beginning to green, this seems to be the longest spring ever, considering the circumstances, as though it’s just getting underway. jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As much as I love flowers, there is just something that draws me in with the dead tree picture and clear sky. Its my favorite this time, though I really like the last picture too. Thanks for taking us on your hike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the dead tree for some inexplicable reason. I have shot a lot of photos of it over the past couple of years. Under certain conditions, it really catches the late afternoon sun well. It is in kind of a valley so I have to get there well before sunset. I would love to get back out there today, but it is overcast and raining.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful. My son and I camped two nights at South Llano River State Park in Junction. Have you been there? I thought of you–you would love it. Wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife galore. It was beautiful (and mostly empty).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t been to that state park. I have received emails from the Texas State Parks department telling me that they’re still open. My daughter wants to go camping but I have been hesitant to make plans for anything. I am also hesitant to use my vacation time right now as I just feel like I may need as much as I can get sometime in the future and I should work while I can. Maybe I am too worried.

      I did have reservations at Big Bend for next week but they cancelled and refunded them. I was hoping that I would get to camp and hike and see the wildflowers. It has been a goal of mine for a few years now to go to Big Bend for the wildflowers, but I haven’t been able to make it happen. Maybe 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was wanting to go out there too, but saw that the campsites were closed. Also, the county has shut down all the nightly rental property around Terlingua, so there’s really no way to do day trips to Big Bend unless you drive a long way. But yes–the state parks are open; you just have to pre-pay on line. The flowers were beautiful there. I’ll post about it later this week. My new iPhone takes decent photos.

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        1. I thought about Big Bend Ranch state park. I have never been there. On the map a lot of the roads are marked for high clearance vehicles and I don’t have that right now. Not sure what I could get out there.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I stayed in Davis Mountains lodge. We were there to go to a star party at the McDonald Observatory. Your children might enjoy that some time. You could camp at the park and go to the observatory one evening. I hiked around early the next morning and had a good time. I love it out that way.

              I will definitely be trying to find good night sky spots come summertime when the Milky Way is prominent. Thanks.

              Liked by 1 person

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