By now you guys know that I love exploring around in new areas, and this year I got to experience something totally new (actually now that I think about it, several totally new areas this year!); the bayous of East Texas.  As I mentioned in last week’s post, the colors here in East Tennessee were wrapping up, just as they were really popping there, so my friend Steve and I headed out for a week of paddling around and taking pictures.  I have to say, the areas in and around Caddo Lake are absolutely magical, and especially so when the light is right!  We were treated to everything from light snow, to rain, to beautiful foggy mornings that ended as warm sunny days… it was amazing.  I have to also say that it was CHALLENGING!  For starters we were shooting almost exclusively hand-held from a kayak, and managing all the moving parts took a lot of thought, and to be honest, a lot of screw ups (luckily none of those screw ups involved any camera equipment going in the water!).  That said, I came away with some images that I’m really excited to share with you guys, and this week’s image is one of them.

The bayous in this part of the country are famous the bald cypress trees which grow in the swamps there.  The trees are adorned with Spanish moss, and as the leaves on the cypress trees begin to change colors, the whole thing pulls together into something other-worldly.  The trees themselves have these lower limbs that are a bit whimsical in their shapes.  If you looked around, you could find all sorts of interesting things.  I was struck by how the limbs of this tree, along with its neighbors (which are hidden from this angle), formed a wave of color against the background of moss.  The nice thing about these swamps as well is that the water seemed to slick out really quick, so as you disturbed the water with the paddle, you didn’t have to wait long for it to turn into a mirror again!  Unbelievable!

 More from the swamps next week, then, my Favorite 5 Photos of the Year post… I can’t wait!

–Dan Thompson

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