Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Colorado Bend State Park

with 28 comments

Not having been to Colorado Bend State Park in probably at least 15 years, on February 9th we drove the hour and three-quarters northwest to get there. After such a long ride, we unfortunately discovered that authorities had closed the rugged trail down to Gorman Falls due to residual ice and mud that made the going treacherous. To compensate, we trekked a level and easy trail to a part of the park along Spicewood Springs Creek that we hadn’t seen on our long-ago visit. There we found a pool whose water looked deliciously green in the day’s bright sunlight. That contrasted with the orange-brown bedrock over which the creek frothed on its way into this pool, shown below at 1/1250 of a second.


✣         ✣         ✣


I have never in my adult life seen anything like the censorship fever that is breaking out across America. In both law and culture, we are witnessing an astonishing display of contempt for the First Amendment, for basic principles of pluralism, and for simple tolerance of opposing points of view.

That statement by David French—versions of which I, whose adult life is decades longer than his, have also been making for the past two years—comes from a February 6th article that includes relevant quotations by Frederick Douglass and John Stuart Mill, along with links to other good articles. I do hope you’ll read David French’s “Our Nation Cannot Censor Its Way Back to Cultural Health.”

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2022 at 4:32 AM

28 Responses

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  1. I love the soft contrasts from green to brown in this image. A very lovely piece of nature.
    Thank you for the link to the article and the subsequent links!

    Birder's Journey

    February 20, 2022 at 7:16 AM

    • A lovely piece of nature indeed, and good compensation for missing out on the big waterfall.

      You’re welcome for the link to the article (with its links to other articles). I never thought that in a nature photography blog I’d feel the need to call attention to the suppression of free speech in our country.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 8:08 AM

  2. The first image boasts some gorgeous jewel-like tones, but I love just as much the earthy hues and froth in motion of the second shot. Mother Nature never disappoints!


    February 20, 2022 at 7:47 AM

    • We certainly weren’t disappointed with this pool. “Jewel-like” is a good description for what the first picture shows. And no way was I going to skip photographing the earthy tones of the bedrock with the creek frothing over it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 8:13 AM

  3. Sorry about the trail closure, and I am glad that you found a good alternative. The second picture is a compelling abstract, and the color of the rock is unusual. The link to David French’s article is an excellent read.

    Alessandra Chaves

    February 20, 2022 at 12:16 PM

    • We were relieved to have found an alternative to the big waterfall, just as I’m happy to hear you found David French’s article worthwhile. I need to read more of Frederick Douglass’s speeches and writings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 12:23 PM

    • And yes, the bedrock beckoned with its warm hues. I took dozens of picture with different compositions, including bursts of up to 4 frames per second to catch different configurations of the frothing water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 12:40 PM

  4. Especially now, I enjoyed seeing that beautiful green in the water with reflected sky. Tough luck about the ice but a fall just isn’t worth it.

    Steve Gingold

    February 20, 2022 at 3:13 PM

    • Happy beautiful green.
      The fact that ice had lingered so long at Colorado Bend surprised us. As you noted, we certainly weren’t about to risk falling. In any case, the park’s managers took the decision away from us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 3:34 PM

  5. The bright greens and bubbling stream are nice compensation for the closure. I wasn’t able to get to a favorite local waterfall because of ice and steep terrain. After my second fall I called it quits. And got some traction aids for the next time.


    February 20, 2022 at 8:41 PM

    • Calling it quits after two falls sounds prudent to me. In the days right after last year’s ice storm I used trekking poles in addition to my rubber boots and managed to keep from falling at all, even in some treacherous places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2022 at 9:29 PM

  6. Love the water in both photographs. The gleaming tones of the first are indeed delicious and the warm browns of the second remind me of the peaty waters of childhood landscapes… 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    February 21, 2022 at 5:44 AM

    • This is my first encounter with the word peaty. It corresponds to my never having had an encounter with peaty waters, though I think I’ve seen some on television and maybe in 19th century photographs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 21, 2022 at 6:09 AM

      • Even the tap water could be quite brown at times if it was spring-fed…tasted fine!

        Ann Mackay

        February 21, 2022 at 11:01 AM

        • I’m surprised that brown water still tasted fine.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 21, 2022 at 1:13 PM

          • I can’t remember noticing much difference, but it was a long time ago! (Our water came from a natural spring and was normally clear but less so if it was a very dry summer. Eventually we had normal mains water.)

            Ann Mackay

            February 22, 2022 at 9:05 AM

  7. I can’t remember seeing such a combination of emerald, sapphire, and topaz outside of tropical waters. It’s wonderful to know that it can be found here in Texas; that’s a beautiful image. In your second photo, the rock looks to me rather like grass. I suspect it’s a result of the water moving across it.


    February 21, 2022 at 9:14 AM

    • I can’t say the pool was a sight for sore eyes; our eyes weren’t sore. Perhaps is was for eyes previously sorry not to see the high waterfall. The colors do suggest a tropical pool. Colorado Bend is north of your usual central Texas haunts; not so much that you couldn’t swing up that way on a jaunt and combine it with Fredericksburg and Llano.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 21, 2022 at 10:24 AM

  8. The colors are gorgeous! I love the green water and the orange/gold stuff.


    February 21, 2022 at 10:00 AM

    • Gorgeous they are, and a worthy compensation for what we missed that we thought we’d see after traveling so far. In warmer weather people have a pretty swimming hole.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 21, 2022 at 10:26 AM

  9. […] days ago you saw a February 9th picture of the attractive pool on Spicewood Springs Creek in Colorado Bend State Park, along with a view of the creek flowing over orange-brown bedrock on […]

  10. […] installment from Colorado Bend State Park on February 9th. The first post you saw from there showed separate views of the pool with green water and the orange-brown rocks in Spicewood Springs Creek. Today’s top photograph combines those features and throws in stark shadows for good measure. […]

  11. Incidentally, this post came up when I did a search for “Colorado” in my WP reader. I wouldn’t mind wading through that pool or sitting in the creek’s froth on this hot July day.


    July 14, 2022 at 6:18 PM

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