Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Yellow Flowers Are Back

I've been exploring the equestrian trails in Bear Creek Pioneers Park in the past 10 days. Currently there is a massive bloom of yellow wildflowers, and it is almost as good as the bloom that happened last year (see this post).

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The blooms are mainly two types, just like last year: prairie buttercups and golden ragwort (also called golden groundsel or butterweed).

Shake & blur
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The prairie buttercups are small, yellow flowers on plants that reach about a foot tall or less. There are multiple blooms per plant, but the blooms do not occur in clusters.

Prairie Buttercup
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The golden ragwort also have small, yellow flowers, but the plants are generally taller and can reach heights of two feet or more. There are multiple blooms per plant, and the blooms are usually in clusters.

Golden Ragwort
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Snakes are common to the reservoir area, and it's about this time of year when they frequently turn up on the trails. This western cottonmouth hissed and showed me its white mouth as I approached.

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I get frequent reminders from family and friends about watching out for snakes. Yes, of course, I'm watchful and careful. Snakes are everywhere and you cannot avoid them. I go slow and make so much noise, that I rarely see them (they're probably scared off long before I get there).

The flowers have just peaked out, I believe. Some of the buttercups have just started going to seed as of my last outing (Mar. 28). I've been out to shoot four times now; my first visit was Mar. 20.

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It's great to be out shooting again. And it's just a great that this place is so close to home.

The wildflower season, in general, is not good this year. However, this little area in Bear Creek Park seems to be doing really well. The blooms are not quite as thick as last year, but they are still pretty good.

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I'll have more to post from this area. I've made four trips out there, and I might go a couple more times while the blooms are still going.

Monday, March 21, 2011

AR 34-38: Back to Photographing

I've started up my photography-walk project in the Addicks Reservoir this year. My first walk was in early February, and I've managed to take my camera out five times. (Although, I have walked many other times this year without the camera.)

Back on Track
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If you haven't read about this project, please see this post that explains its purpose and documents the start of it.

Walk #34
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It was rough and non-productive starting out this year. I hadn't photographed in a serious manner in a long while.

Walk #35
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The light was beautiful (late in the day: warm and directional light) for these walks prior to Daylight Savings Time.

There wasn't much new growth in February and there were not very many little critters around. We had two spells of very cold weather this past winter and everything seems reluctant to spring back to life.

Walk #36
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I tried slipping back into Photo Mode, meaning I attempted to tune into the things that were attracting my attention, and then worked on capturing them in a meaningful composition. It's not quite like riding a bike, at least for me. I quickly get out of practice after long periods of not photographing.

Walk #37
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I also played around with motion blurs again. There's a lot that can be done with a little imagination, and trying abstracts and blurs certainly creates new possibilities regarding photographing the reservoir.

Walk #38
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What I learned last year still holds true. I quickly become out of practice if I don't photograph for a while, and when I do finally pick the camera up, it's hard to get my head back into it.

Practicing photography, even if it's just for a very short while once a week, really helps to keep the momentum going.