A southern plains dawn - radiating radiation above a wheat field abutting the Brazos riparian zone.
As the sun awakes and pokes its head out from under its bedcovers, caressing me with a startling, crisp, and clear light, I ponder and reflect on open spaces, friends, dreams, and the joy of a life intimately shared.
I recently travelled up to the upper section of the Brazos River to photograph it in its current very-low-flow regime. My host and guide was the fabulous photographer, and Texas treasure, Wyman Meinzer. This sunrise image was taken on our last morning shoot. I was very fortunate to test my latest lens, the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM autofocus lens for my 7D camera – I am delighted with it!
The following images are a sample through which the severity of this historic drought can be partially comprehended. Seeing the river in this state illustrated that these natural systems are indeed “living”, and not a static, benign, undepletable featureless feature.
Please note: the water shown in these photos are actually isolated, shallow, and unconnected “pockets” of very hot, highly saline, and by my estimation hypoxic/anoxic stagnant water. The river no-longer (for now at least) cuts a swath through this gorgeous red land. Instead of a red load we see a red-bed caked and crusted with concentrations of organics and crystals of salt – this is gypsum country.
Despite the dry I am reminded that nature possesses a resounding resilience; natural processes and time, along with selection pressures and genetic diversity, allow adaptability, specialists and generalists, transition, recolonization, and succession – the river system still sustains life.
Someday (hopefully very soon as many fine hard-working folks, along with flora and fauna, are enduring challenging times) the Brazos will rear up and roar again; at that time the rust colored strata will cease to be dust, instead, renewed by glistening life-flows, the southern plains shall be resuscitated and exuberant in the water of life.