Bare tree, striking beauty, March 2020

Bare, winter tree in the bright light of the sun, against a backdrop of clouds
Bare tree, striking beauty. At the park during the pandemic lockdown, March 2020. Photo by Vernitra ©

I took this photo in the early stage of the pandemic, when we were in lockdown. After an extended period of remaining indoors, it was so refreshing to venture outside, in the wide open space of the park. Though the season had already changed from winter to spring, I consider this scene one of the most striking “winter tree” scenes I have captured thus far.

Tranquil trail toward the horizon, July 2019

Dirt trail on a grassy prairie, leading toward the horizon, under a blue and white sky
Tranquil trail toward the horizon. Prairie Trail at Brazos Bend State Park. Needville, Texas, July 2019. Photo by Vernitra ©

I can still remember this hike on the Prairie Trail at Brazos Bend State Park, in Needville, Texas. Under the late-afternoon sky, the open prairie scene was picturesque and peaceful. As Brazos Bend is home to many alligators, often seen relaxing in the lake areas of the park, I remained on edge throughout my hike, keeping my eyes peeled and listening closely for rustling in the tall grass. While I don’t think the Prairie Trail is an alligator hideout—don’t take my word for it, I could be very, very wrong—I was still quite relieved and thankful to not have encountered any gators, snakes, or other frightening creatures on my walk.

Brazos Bend State Park website: