Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Brazos Bend State Park

with 20 comments


On the morning of September 18th Eve and I met up with Linda Leinen and Shannon Westveer at Brazos Bend State Park southwest of Houston. It was the first time we’d all gone on a hike together since the fall of 2019, at the time of the annual Native Plant Society of Texas meeting that year in League City. Those two naturophiles live in the region and know Brazos Bend well, which was a big help to the visiting Austinites who’d never visited that park before. You’re looking at 40 Acre Lake above, and then a great egret, Ardea alba, near an edge of the lake.



And here from a different place in the lake is a closer look at the egret,
whose bill is the reverse of the dry vegetation sticking up parallel to it from the water:






It’s common in politics for X to say something bad about Y, and for Y to reply that X’s statement was politically motivated. Imagine that: a politically motivated statement in politics. Who’d ever have believed such a thing? Sarcasm aside, the appropriate question is whether a politically motivated statement is true:


A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.

— William Blake, Auguries of Innocence.
Written in 1803; published posthumously in 1863.


 A more famous passage comes a little earlier:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

(Capitalization was inconsistent.)


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 26, 2022 at 4:35 AM

20 Responses

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  1. My favorite park.

    automatic gardener

    September 26, 2022 at 6:42 AM

  2. When I read the weather forecast today and saw that cooler temperatures and lower humidity are on our doorstep, I wished we could have had those conditions last weekend. But it was a great time nonetheless, with enough treats for everyone. That last photo of the Great Egret is wonderful. Sometimes little details require time to be noticed, but that juxtaposition of the bird’s bill and the protruding vegetation is obvious and charming.

    Lotus leaves are large, but the ones in the photos with the bird seem exceptionally so. They add some drama to the image.


    September 26, 2022 at 7:13 AM

    • I was thinking the same thing about the temperature a couple of minutes ago when I saw an Austin weather forecast predicting tomorrow morning’s low as 62°. The heat and humidity at Brazos Bend eight days ago were good at sapping energy. As you said, though, there were still treats for all.

      The bottom picture was the second of 6 I took over a span of 11 seconds. (Isn’t metadata great?) The egret kept walking to the left during that sequence, and it was all I could do to keep the camera’s focus on it. There was no way to even try to control how things in the background would line up with the bird. In the next frame, 1 second later, the protruding vegetation crossed behind the egret’s neck and proved a bit distracting. In this frame I lucked out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2022 at 7:44 AM

  3. A perfectly calm day allowed these mirror-like reflections on the lake. The quote by William Blake is noteworthy. Beware of politicians who make use of it!

    Peter Klopp

    September 26, 2022 at 8:30 AM

    • Blake’s couplet lends itself to at least two interpretations.

      When we visited, weeks of heat had dropped the lake level a bunch, and that may contribute to the sense of calm you got from the top picture. Maybe someday I’ll see a fuller lake.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2022 at 8:43 AM

  4. Beautiful pictures, Steve!


    September 26, 2022 at 8:48 AM

    • Thanks. I moved to Texas 46 years ago and only last week did I finally make it to Brazos Bend State Park. Have you been there yet?

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2022 at 8:52 AM

      • No Steve, I haven’t been there yet. Much of eastern Texas is still on my bucket list.


        September 26, 2022 at 9:10 AM

        • With cooler weather at hand, the weeks ahead may be a good time to fill some of that east Texas bucket.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 26, 2022 at 9:15 AM

          • Very likely not too soon, Steve. There are a lot of other items on our calendar. But east Texas is not out of sight.


            October 1, 2022 at 9:02 AM

  5. I particularly like the egret beak / vegetation shot – lovely juxtaposition!

    • I got off 6 pictures over a span of 11 seconds as the egret walked along in the water. It all happened so quickly I couldn’t take time to compose and try for the best background. Fortunately the second picture of the six came out with the bird’s beak parallel to the similarly colored vegetation—and that was enough.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2022 at 12:36 PM

  6. Two nice egret shots. Lucky you to have two nice and knowledgeable naturalist companions for the visit.

    Steve Gingold

    September 26, 2022 at 5:53 PM

    • It really helps to be with people who know an area. But for the pandemic, we would’ve gotten back together sooner.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2022 at 6:57 PM

  7. […] 40 Acre Lake in Brazos Bend State Park southwest of Houston on the morning of September 18th I zoomed my […]

  8. Fabulous photos Steve .. super reflections


    October 3, 2022 at 2:54 AM

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