Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Following the creek downstream from Hamilton Pool

with 23 comments

Triangular Boulder by Bald Cypress Trees 4315

Click for greater clarity and size.

In this scene from my August 19th visit to Hamilton Pool Preserve, you’re looking at a portion of the creek that flows out of the famous pool and continues more than half a mile through woods before emptying into the Pedernales River.

The tree behind the triangular boulder and the tall trees in the distance that you also see reflected in the creek are bald cypresses, Taxodium distichum. Bald cypresses can grow to be huge, but we rarely see any like that now because German and Anglo settlers in central Texas in the mid-1800s cut so many of them down for the trees’ wood.

Here my primary subject was the boulder, but if you’d like to see some bald cypresses in their own right, you can check out a photograph from 2007. For a less clear view (that’s a novelty, right?) you can see a bald cypress in fog. And if you’d like to exercise your imagination, there’s even a bald cypress “rainbow.”

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 13, 2013 at 6:17 AM

23 Responses

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  1. We have a collection of photos of BIG ROCKS taken on our trips. Melanie is particularly fond of them. I had to blink a few times when I visited the foggy cypress. It was a less clear view.

    We are heading out this morning for a hike somewhere. It was 54˚ this morning after being 101˚ Tuesday. That is one thing I like about IA. The weather does change and sometimes quite dramatically. Still not rain in sight. Did you see my blog post about our second drought summer?

    Jim in IA

    September 13, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    • I liked the cypress in the fog because we so seldom have fog in Austin. On those rare occasions when we do, I try to take advantage of it to see the world in a different way.

      As for drought, the one here in 2011 was terrible, and I often mentioned it in my posts then. Things were better in 2012, but through 2013 we’ve been slipping back into drought. The Highland Lakes, the main source of water for Austin, are only 1/3 full. Luckily fall will be coming in a couple of months (this is Texas, remember), so cooler temperatures should help, and might even precipitate rain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

  2. My goodness, you really captured the beauty and solitude of that place.

    Kathy C

    September 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    • Beauty, yes. It may seem like solitude, but a fair number of folks also followed the trail to the river, so I was never out of sight or sound of people for more than a few minutes at a time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2013 at 12:25 PM

  3. Great post. Love the cypress rainbow!

    Midwestern Plant Girl

    September 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

  4. What a beautiful, tranquil scene.


    September 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    • I wish it had felt as peaceful as it looks here. The heat of August in Texas can be discomfiting, but photographs don’t suffer from that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

  5. All the images are pretty nice, Steve. The rainbow is pretty cool and does have your signature composition going for it as well. Being a fog guy, that’s the one for me. 🙂 We have a similar rock and pond not far from here.

    Steve Gingold

    September 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    • Sometimes I’m envious of your lusher landscapes up there, which you’ve made such good photographic use of. On the other hand, as pretty as winter scenery can be, I couldn’t survive half a year of cold weather. Many people feel the same way about the half-year of heat that characterizes central Texas, but I do much better in a warm climate. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed these three views of bald cypresses.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM

  6. Beautiful photo, Steve; I’m always a sucker for those magical reflections on water 🙂


    September 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

  7. The cypress are one of my favorites. In the fall, the rust and green mix magnificently as the season goes on, and in spring they leaf as quickly as any tree I’ve known. In spring, it’s a “now you don’t see them, now you do” effect with the leaves.

    If you do get down to the Kerrville/Comfort/Center Point area, there are wonderful, accessible stands of cypress. Cypress Creek flows north and south from Comfort, and the river road from Center Point to Kerrville has big ones. You can take the river road out of Center Point, then turn onto TX173, following Lower Turtle Creek to TX16. If you have time and a hankering for the closest things to mountains short of the Davis Mountains, you can take TX16 south (all up and down and twisty!), park at the Medina River crossing and work your way upriver.


    September 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    • Yes, that rusty color in the fall gets to me too, and I’ve taken my share of pictures at that stage but haven’t yet posted any here. I didn’t realize that bald cypresses leaf out so quickly in the spring that it’s “now you don’t see them, now you do.” I’ve driven the river road you mentioned and have seen the bald cypresses there a couple of times, but it’s been years, so a return visit is in order.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

  8. So many beautiful aspects to this photograph. One I particularly love is the dappled light on the boulder.

    Susan Scheid

    September 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    • Yes, thanks for mentioning the dappled light. I was also intrigued by the shadows on the shore to the right of the boulder.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

  9. I’ve yet to go to Texas. Your blog is a great incentive.

    M. Firpi

    September 15, 2013 at 7:10 AM

  10. Neat! I love cypress…didn’t realize it grew in your region. This photo is breathtaking.


    September 15, 2013 at 3:53 PM

  11. […] There aren’t any examples of that on my blog, unless you count trees or plants reflected in the surface of a pond or creek. […]

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