art, film making, landscape, nature, photography, travel, wildlife, workshop, writing

brazos bend | where the wild things are

If you’ve visited this blog more than once, you probably know that I love Brazos Bend State Park.  And I LOVE alligators.  Strange, I know.

But an interesting new development from this last trip to the park uncovered a love for birds that I never knew I had.

Thanks to my amazing wife, this interest has been unlocked and given new life to the park I’ve been visiting for a decade.

I actually spent more time on this trip looking for different species of birds than with my alligator friends.  Go figure!

Don’t get me wrong though, I still love my gators.  But my appreciation and knowledge for the feathered fauna is growing.

I can’t wait to share this park with students and teach them the amazing nuances of nature/ wildlife photography at such a phenomenally bountiful and biologically diverse place.

We will also spend some time on time lapse and video… If you’re interested in learning more, visit my Brazos Bend workshops page.

Also, all images and video will be available for purchase as stock via Tandem Stills + Motion.

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

tree lined trail with spanich moss, brazos bend state park, texas

tree lined trail with spanish moss

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

great egret, brazos bend state park, texas

great egret

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

live oak landscape, brazos bend state park, texas

live oak landscape

butterfly in showy primrose, brazos bend state park, texas

butterfly in showy primrose

eastern bluebird, brazos bend state park, texas

eastern bluebird

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

wild blackberries, brazos bend state park, texas

wild blackberries

Herbertia, brazos bend state park, texas

herbertia

texas dandelion, brazos bend state park, texas

texas dandelion

anhinga sunning, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga

white ibis, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis

cattle egret, brazos bend state park, texas

cattle egret

ARS_BBSP_0413_0085

ellie and hunter bird watching

ARS_BBSP_0413_0087

white-marked tussock moth (orgyia leucostigma) caterpillar

red tailed hawk flying, brazos bend state park, texas

red tailed hawk flying

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red-tailed hawk

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

alligator time-lapse… watch in HD!

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

elm lake time-lapse… watch in HD!

elm lake, brazos bend state park, texas

elm lake

40 acre lake, brazos bend state park, texas

40 acre lake

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

white ibis during it's first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis during it's first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

swampy landscape, brazos bend state park, texas

swampy landscape

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

white ibis first spring, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis during it’s first spring

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

northern rough-winged swallow, brazos bend state park, texas

northern rough-winged swallows

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

white ibis flying, brazos bend state park, texas

white ibis flying

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

pilant lake, swamp, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant lake, swamp

swampy forest, brazos bend state park, texas

swampy forest

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-duck

40 acre lake, brazos bend state park, texas

40 acre lake

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

white tailed deer fawn, brazos bend state park, texas

white tailed deer fawn

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red shouldered hawk

live oak and spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

live oak and spanish moss, brazos bend state park, texas

live oak and spanish moss

live oak and spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

barred owl footage… watch in HD!

barred owl, brazos bend state park, texas

barred owl

barred owl, brazos bend state park, texas

barred owl

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

pilant slough, brazos bend state park, texas

pilant slough

woman stoking fire at dusk, brazos bend state park, texas

ellie stoking fire at dusk

woman stoking fire at dusk, brazos bend state park, texas

ellie stoking fire at dusk

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

full moon time lapse… watch in HD!

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

full moon, brazos bend state park, texas

full moon

horseshoe lake time lapse… watch in HD!

horseshoe lake, brazos bend state park, texas

horseshoe lake

large black wild pig, brazos bend state park, texas

large black wild pig

live oak with spanish moss time lapse… watch in HD!

male red cardinal, brazos bend state park, texas

male cardinal

great blue heron flying, brazos bend state park, texas

tri color heron flying

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

juvenile yellow-crowned night heron

black-bellied whistling-duck, brazos bend state park, texas

black-bellied whistling-ducks

american alligator, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligator

black-crowned night heron stalking, brazos bend state park, texas

black-crowned night heron stalking it’s prey

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

common moorhen, brazos bend state park, texas

common moorhen

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

Water Hyacinth, brazos bend state park, texas

water hyacinth

male alligator during breeding season, brazos bend state park, texas

male alligator during breeding season

anhinga swimming, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga swimming

yellow-crowned night heron, brazos bend state park, texas

yellow-crowned night heron

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

anhinga sunning, brazos bend state park, texas

anhinga sunning

red-tailed hawk, brazos bend state park, texas

red tailed hawk

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

red slider turtle crossing a road, brazos bend state park, texas

red slider turtle crossing the road

violet wood sorrel, brazos bend state park, texas

violet wood sorrel

red-bellied woodpecker, brazos bend state park, texas

red-bellied woodpecker

great blue heron, brazos bend state park, texas

great blue heron

great blue heron, brazos bend state park, texas

great blue heron

alligators, brazos bend state park, texas

american alligators

ARS_BBSP_0413_0263

american alligator

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

red slider turtle on a log in the water, brazos bend state park, texas

red slider turtle on a log

snowy egret, brazos bend state park, texas

snowy egret

texas rat snake, brazos bend state park, texas

texas rat snake

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

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art, photography, random thought, travel, writing

brazos bend

my wife and i haven’t been camping since new years… that’s been weighing heavy on us.

we LOVE camping.  to get outside, cook over an open fire, lay in open fields, etc.  it sets us free and recharges our batteries.

Elle had a few days off work this past weekend, so naturally, we decided to get outdoors.

brazos bend state park has been one of my favorite weekend destinations for the last 7 or 8 years.  it about a half hour southwest of houston, so not too bad of a drive from dallas.  a little over four hours.  well worth the drive though because it’s crawling with gators!

did i mention that i LOVE alligators?

american alligators are one of the most fascinating creatures left on our planet.  and they’ve been on our planet a really, really long time.

they have a primitive sophistication about them that has created in me a thirst for experience with these creatures.  i suspect it will never be quenched.

it’s similar to my love of bears.  i have a very healthy respect for both of these animals.  but that respect has to find a way to waltz around the room gracefully with my curiosity.  they are equal forces.  and i have to reconcile the two.  i want to get close… but not too close.

elle has not yet been to this park with me, so she was excited when we finally got the chance to go.

and there’s a lot more to this park that ranks it in the top ten state parks in the country.

the campsites are spacious and well kept, the facilities are that of a small national park, and the landscape, wildlife, and vegetation are stunningly beautiful.

the swampy landscapes created a great opportunity to get another unique star picture.

i’m just thrilled with the way this 30 minute exposure turned out!

sometimes we get bored in the heat of the day, so we goof off with my camera…

brazos bend also has a ton of great hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.  we didn’t bring bikes or horses, so we just hiked.  though if hunter were a little bigger, i might have tried to hitch a ride on his back…

lots of vines on which to swing and play tarzan.

and lots of little critters for hunter to sniff out and bay at in his cute, harmless little way.

baby dillos!

so, back to the alligator obsession.  this next series of pictures is not meant to be mimicked or tried at home.

believe it or not, i have a decent bit of experience with these creatures, so my comfort level is considerably different than most people’s.  i am fine with getting very close to alligators because i know their capabilities and body language very well.

so disclaimer out of the way, i called this 10 footer in from across the pond.

he slowly crept up the bank through the grass, and i stayed low, allowing him to think i was smaller than i am.

he came right out at a decent pace.  i had my camera on a tripod, extended vertically out in front of me with a cable release attached to i could click the shutter at will and maintain a few feet distance.

he got a little too close for comfort on this one!

when i stood fully erect, he finally realized that i was too big for him.  i thanked him for the good time and great pictures, and left.

the experience was refreshing and invigorating.  i never felt in major danger, but it tapped into that wonderful, scary, primitive survival part of me that runs on adrenaline and instinct.  thoughts race and reactions are sharp and focused.  i needed that.

having an experience with the wild like that is nourishing to my soul.  so i’m thankful i had that opportunity, and that it all went well and safely.

so i went back to camp.  where waited my less than wild, but just as amazing dog, and way more wild AND more beautiful wife.

we had a fantastic weekend.  and i know it’s not the last time we’ll visit brazos bend.  i hope it’s sooner rather than later, but right now i’m satisfied that wyoming is coming up just around the corner…


all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

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film, film making, music, photography, random thought

white rock lake

i shot a new film recently.  and though i am still learning adobe after effects and final cut pro, i can’t help but edit and put these things together to share with all of you.  so i am still just using elementary software, and i feel very limited by it.  but i hope everyone enjoys none-the-less.

white rock lake is a small, man-made slough in the heart of the dallas metroplex.  it is to dallas, what central park is to new york… though not quite as pretty.  but maybe just as dangerous after dark.  

white rock is home to many thousands of migratory birds, and during winter, giant flocks of egrets and pelicans call this area home.  

for best results, watch the film in “hd”…

 

** so, i also have much to learn in regard to compression and video output.  as a consequence, the film can be choppy at times.  please forgive me, and as soon  as i figure out how to fix it, i will.  thanks so much for visiting…

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