Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

I hope you can you tell this isn’t Austin

with 25 comments

Caprock Canyons Park Landscape 9850

From April 12th through the 17th we were on a trip to northwest Texas, partly to see friends we hadn’t visited in 16 years (and whom I’ve known for over 40) and partly to check out nature in a region of Texas we don’t often go to. In the days ahead you’ll be seeing some of the photographic fruits of that trip.

This first view shows typical formations at Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle on April 15th. Fortunately the sky stayed clear all day, and its blue provided a pleasant complement to the browns and oranges that you’ll be seeing more of in the images to come.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

25 Responses

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  1. Having never been to Austin, I would have believed you if you had claimed that this wonderful image was taken there. I love the gorgeous colors and textures of the rocks.

    Mike Powell

    May 1, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    • Texas is so large that the climate changes as you cross the state from east to west. Over by Louisiana, there are pine forests and swampy areas with plenty of rain. The central part of the state, where Austin is, is semi-arid. If you go a few hours west of Austin, things get drier, and by the time you’re in west Texas, you’re in the desert. The Texas Panhandle, where Caprock Canyons is, is rather arid, as you can see here—and mostly flat, flat, flat, which you wouldn’t suspect from this photograph. The interesting geographical features go down into that plain rather than up from it. The Panhandle Plains are given over largely to agriculture, thanks to water pumped from underground aquifers.

      The richly colored geological features of Caprock Canyons were a welcome (and photogenic) change from Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2014 at 7:03 AM

  2. Ahhhhh… If those skies were not cloudy all day, I do hope you also missed hearing any discouraging words. It may not have been your home, but I’ll bet I know what was roaming around the range!

    shoreacres

    May 1, 2014 at 6:43 AM

    • Truth be told, the day before the Caprock Canyons jaunt, Lubbock was cold (down to near freezing in the early morning), windy, and overcast. Fortunately the temperature rose and the sky cleared by Tuesday morning, so it was off to Caprock (even if the wind continued), where I could play the geological and botanical features off against the azure sky.

      As for what was roaming around the range (other than an errant photographer from Austin), stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2014 at 7:11 AM

      • As Susan reminds us in her comment below, you already know the answer and revealed it in your recent post.

        Steve Schwartzman

        May 1, 2014 at 7:22 AM

  3. Stunning – I hope I can see this one day

    norasphotos4u

    May 1, 2014 at 6:56 AM

  4. Yup, thought I recognized the name of that park: http://shoreacres.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/a-sweet-little-puff-of-buffalo-fluff-part-2/. Spectacular. My visits to Texas were only to flat land. Until shoreacres wrote about this park, I had no idea. I look forward to your further photos!

    Susan Scheid

    May 1, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    • You have a good memory, Susan. While you were leaving your comment about visiting flat land in Texas, I was writing an answer to the post’s first comment. Part of it is relevant here, so I’ll repeat it: “The Texas Panhandle, where Caprock Canyons is, is rather arid, as you can see here—and mostly flat, flat, flat, which you wouldn’t suspect from this photograph. The interesting geographical features go down into that plain rather than up from it. The Panhandle Plains are given over largely to agriculture, thanks to water pumped from underground aquifers.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2014 at 7:34 AM

  5. Yep, I could tell (immediately) that it wasn’t Austin 🙂

    Beautiful image, and definitely helps to illustrate the diversities of nature found in Texas.

    Alex Autin

    May 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    • Living just down the road in San Antonio as you do, if you had thought this is Austin I’d be very surprised. So much of the state’s majestic scenery is in the west; I wish it didn’t take so long to get there from Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

  6. The colors do seem well balanced Steve. Nice image.

    Steve Gingold

    May 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

  7. Oh, dear, I thought all of Texas looked like that!! 😉

    janina

    May 2, 2014 at 3:19 AM

    • That means you’ll have to arrange a trip here so you can disabuse yourself. Texas is so large—it’s about the same size as France—that it has several climatic and geographical regions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2014 at 6:49 AM

      • 🙂 Do you get tornadoes there, as part of your climatic diversity? I keep seeing horror stories on our TV news.

        janina

        May 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        • We don’t normally get tornadoes as far south as Austin, but it has occasionally happened in this area. You can read about one particularly bad episode at

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Central_Texas_tornado_outbreak

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

          • Phew! Oh, all I can say is that I’m glad I don’t live there, meaning Tornado Alley in particular. I really don’t know how people survive such events and still remain in some of those places that were wiped out! The Wiki articles bring that home to me (I looked at several of the other links as well). I would say the closest tornado-like quite rare and destructive event we had here in the city of Melbourne was in late March 2010 and my home was directly affected.

            janina

            May 2, 2014 at 7:23 PM

            • As for remaining in devastated places, Jarrell is a case in point. The tornado you read about was the second one in eight years to hit that little town:

              http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/29/us/town-is-upended-by-tornadoes-twice-in-eight-years.html

              I’m sorry to hear your home was affected in 2010. It seems that every region is subject to some dangerous kind of natural phenomenon or other. I remember hearing a lot about wildfires in Australia a year or two ago, and a search just now turned up this article:

              http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2014/02/australian-wildfire-big-city/8391/

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 2, 2014 at 8:01 PM

              • My home — fortunately, the damage was minor, but it was the first time I’d been actively involved in such a phenomenon (I was in the CBD when it started and the damage there was tremendous, seeing it as it happened, with flooding and hail and … well, you know).

                As to bushfires, well, Australia is the land of bushfires being a yearly Summer event, and even reaching close to the major cities, as stated in the article. If one is planning to move to the country here, one needs to consider the role of bushfires and floods too.

                janina

                May 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

  8. Que cette montagne est belle et j’aime sa couleur. Elle est très tourmentée et très originale.
    J’ai entendu hier à la radio qu’il y avait eu un très mauvais temps au Texas. J’espère que vous n’avez pas été touchés.!

    chatou11

    May 2, 2014 at 5:18 AM

  9. Nice capture! How far is it from Amarillo? Was stationed in Wichita Falls and traveled the Red River Valley to get away.

    revpattison

    May 2, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    • From Caprock Canyons to Amarillo is about a hundred miles by road. Here’s a little map:

      https://www.google.com/#q=distance+quitaque+to+amarillo

      If you didn’t get a chance to explore Caprock Canyons then, perhaps you will on a return trip to the area. That’s what we did this time, because on the previous visit to Lubbock 16 years earlier we visited Palo Duro rather than Caprock.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

  10. […] the picture two days ago showing geological formations at Caprock Canyons State Park, you may have noticed layers of […]


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