Mother Nature

This Memorial Day weekend saw devastating flooding in our area of Texas. The Blanco River hit record highs and wiped away many homes and a few lives in the Wimberley area. Hours before that happened we were at our friend’s 1,000 acre ranch in the Wimberley area watching the thunderstorms roll through with mild rain. A few of us still went out for a hike and I brought along my ‘bag-o-OMD. We were on a trail with the rain picking up, a bit of thunder in the area and I heard the familiar rush of a waterfall. I let the group go on and I went searching for the source. I have been at this spot a couple of times in the past few years but it has been bone dry each time because of our extended drought. Today was different. Today was the story of spring creek. Today it was rushing. A Spring Creek on the Burton Ranch.

A Spring Creek on the Burton Ranch – I

I sat at this spot for a long while getting soaked and my OM-D E-M5 and the water resistant lens held up very well.  I cannot say enough about the build quality Olympus designed into this system.  I experimented with lots of combinations of aperture value/shutter speed along with my Lee 75 ND filters and circular polarizer trying to get both a combination of waterfall blur with the raindrops that were splattering the pool above.

A Spring Creek at the Burton Ranch
A Spring Creek on the Burton Ranch – II

Texas Spring Wildflowers

We live in the country southwest of Austin, Texas, closer to the towns of Dripping Springs and Driftwood – on the edge of Texas Hill Country. We sit on the border of the Trinity aquifer and the Edwards aquifer recharge zone. Porous, layered limestone hills and a thin scratch of rocky topsoil provide the base for juniper, oak and field grasses. Come March every year our land lights up with wildflowers. Bluebonnets come first and then it is a parade of paintbrush, daisy, primrose, firewheels, thistle, sunflower, etc. Each year I walk our own land and our state parks looking for the one image that captures best the sights, smells, touch of our Texas Hill Country Spring. This image is the one so far but we have more Spring to walk through yet.

Texas Bluebonnets and Yucca
Texas Bluebonnets and Yucca

Photography Notes: I shot this image with my Olympus OM-D EM-5 with the 75mm f/1.8 lens. I took multiple images at different f stops to capture as much depth of field as possible before image degradation at small apertures became apparent. The winner in my eye was the f/18 aperture for extensive depth of field before small aperture lens distortion appeared.  The larger aperture images were sharper at the focus point in the foreground but the second set of bluebonnets were too blurry. Photography capture settings decisions are often a compromise. Also, I cleared out some small dead, brown sticks leftover from last year in this scene. I missed one in the foreground and it is a distraction. Need to be more diligent next time.