I had only been to Pedernales Falls State Park once before and didn’t spend a lot of time there. My daughter had been telling me that she wanted to go hiking with me, so on Sunday afternoon we stopped by the park, which is to the southwest of Austin. This summer we got a lot of heat and not much rain, so the park is quite dry and the river is not high right now. The landscape is in a semi-arid climate anyway, so most of the flora and fauna at the park can take what the summer has to offer.
We parked in a picnic area and hiked a short trail down to the river crossing. The trail is called Coyote Crossing and it winds down through a dry creek bed and back up the other side. We didn’t see any coyotes on this particular hike. Below is a photo from the trail that I took because I like the hiking trail markers that are spaced along the trail.
The water crossing is a paved crossing for vehicles that is submerged by the river. You can take off your shoes and walk across in the cool river water and continue your hike up the opposite side. Below is a long exposure (20 seconds) of the water rushing over the paved road at the river crossing. When water is running, I often feel an urge to get the ND filter out and take a long exposure.
We hiked for a while but ended up back at the river crossing where we relaxed in the late afternoon. We sat on a few dry stones and let our bare feet sit in the running water and enjoyed the breeze. There are many trees along the river with interesting root systems down into the rocks. I thought about ways to photograph these roots without the photo being a mess. I settled on some large trees catching afternoon sun on the opposite bank of the river. I noticed some stones lined up in an ‘S’ shape leading across the river to the bright trees and set about shooting. I did have to wait for breaks in the clouds to get the light I wanted.
I centered the composition around the foreground stones. I also worked on the tree trunks in Lightroom as they were drowned in the shadows and I wanted you to see some detail. Behind me there was an area of more gnarly roots in the shade and I tried to get a photo of that without too much bright sky in the background. I guess this happens as the river swells and erodes earth away from the roots exposing all the twisty shapes.
And, of course, since we were near the river we did see an armadillo rooting around in the leaves. If you walk near a river around here, you will probably see these critters nearby. It didn’t appear to know we were standing next to it shooting photos and it went about its business. The photo below is a phone pic.
Thanks for reading