Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Winter Sunrise on the Trinity River

A winter sunrise on the West Fork of the Trinity River.

It has been a warm winter in Texas as it normally is. It is not looking like we will get snow like we did in 2010 and 2011.  It was dry most of last year but the rains have returned and we had some great rain last week.  Something north of 4 inches locally over a couple of days.  I had hopes that the rivers and waterfalls would be flowing well.

Saturday I saw some nice cloud cover and so I headed for the West Fork and caught this nice sunrise at the big falls.

This is the most water I have seen at the falls and between the roar of the falls and the fire in the sky it was a nice morning indeed.

The water must have been much higher in the days between the rain and my visit and I could only wonder what the sight had been like on Wednesday.  But that would be water under the bridge, or over the falls as maybe more appropriate.

As usual the morning went too fast but the images seemed to glow on the camera and I thought there were some nice potential.

This location with snow and ice might be fantastic but I think I might have to hope for more spring rains to bring the falls to life again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock Art of the Lost Mesa

Rock Art of the Lost Mesa.
 One of the many neat things one can find throughout the west are areas with rock art.  Places where ancient man left petroglyphs and pictographs.

There are many famous places in the west where one can find rock, there are also many unheralded places where spectacular rock art can be found.  The Lost Mesa is one of those unheralded places. 

Much of that fact is also that the Lost Mesa itself is an unknown that even those that live within a few hours of it are often unaware where it is or how big it is. Of course, there are also no paved roads here, the only way to find yourself here is to want to be here.

So in the end it is understandable that the rock art of the Lost Mesa is only known to a few folks.

On the flanks of some lonely mountains here on the open range country of the Lost Mesa one can find hundreds of petroglyphs, that is carvings on rock.

I have found panels that are 8 feet high and ten feet across.  I have seen a three foot tall glyph of the Tlaloc Man. You can see some of my other posts tagged with rock art to see some of the amazing petroglyphs that are to be found there.

Here are a couple of more that hold interest.  The top image is of the Wind God, again a glyph that is close to three feet tall.  I had heard rumors that they could be found here and I spent a couple of days looking for them.  Every rock can have a surprise and what looks like a small uninteresting rock on one side can be the perfect rock face on the other.  That was the case with this one.  From the other side this rock looks like it has little chance of containing art, but wow is this one to see.  I had actually been to this general area of the mountain before but had missed them by 30 or 40 yards.  Luck was with me on my last visit and I was delighted to finally find them.

Then take a look at the second image, several smaller pieces of art, but one in particular jumps out at me.  That is a bison.  Notice the hump on the back and the horns.  No doubt to me that is a bison petroglyph.  Again, it was one that was quite neat to find.

The rock art found here is really quite amazing and yet another reason I find this area so spectacular.  It is also why I continue to hope that the area can gain protection with status as a National Monument.

See more images from this amazing area in the Galleries section of my website

Lost Mesa Gallery

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Year of the Dragon and the Hobbit

2012-the year of the Dragon and the Hobbit.

This year is the year of the Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac.  It is also the 75th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's classic tale-The Hobbit. Making it a trifecta it is also the year Peter Jackson will release his movie The Hobbit (at least the first part).  

All this thought of dragons and hobbits got me to thinking of traveling and Middle Earth.  So I picked up my copy of the Hobbit to make a good winter read.

Following the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Thorin, and company got me to looking at some of my images in a new way.  Places that remind me of Middle Earth.

Here are a couple of those images that make me want to wander far a-field.

One that could be someplace in the Lost Realm of Arnor, where Rangers walk across an empty land.

Another that could be Rivendell and almost to the house of Elrond.

Both make me ready for more travels and stepping out the front door onto the road that goes ever on and on.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Trinity River

As 2011 drew to a close, I continued to venture out locally photographing the Trinity River and looking to build upon my collection of images of the river.

On a late December cloudy day we had some rain blew through. I started to like the way the clouds were starting to break up and had an inkling there might be a sunset. I grabbed my camera and got outside as the light started to go crazy with an intense full rainbow over the city.  I let that pass and raced to the river as the sunset quickly developed. 

I worked to set up images as it started to rain again.  Luckily I was prepared and was able to keep the camera dry.  The image at top was toward the end of that sunset but I really liked the purple tones that were happening.  The Clear Fork was running with a nice flow and the grass still has a bit of green in it.

Then I started off 2012 with my traditional New Years sunrise photograph.  This year was clear.  Actually, looking back I think the last three were clear.  

Because of the clear skies and wanting to photograph the river more, I went to Marine Creek, a side stream of the Trinity River and just a hundred yards or so from the juncture of the waters Marine Creek tumbles over a three foot fall.

I was able to catch the early light of day lighting up the far bank and casting a nice sunrise orange glow back onto the water.

Ending the old year and beginning the new year on the river just seemed right.  The river like time, keeps flowing and moving past.

Welcome 2012.