Season of Magic
Early spring brings a time of transitions. In one day you can experience both seasons, winter and spring, basically having it all. These transitional periods afford us a glimpse into the future with the potential of the coming season while at the same time allowing us to relive what has past and reflect. Winter in Texas is generally mild, but 2021 brought harsh conditions and we never thought Spring would get here. Spring has definitely sprung with the wildflowers, mild temperatures and the song of migrating birds.
One of the wonderful phenomenons that occurs this time of year and again in the fall is what I refer to as "smoke on the water" and I'm not talking about Deep Purple's song from the 70's. I don't know what the scientific name is for this phenomenon but I revel in the magic of it. When cloudless mornings collide with bitterly cold air and sun warmed waters you become enchanted. Fog rises from the water in strands of steam dancing their graceful and fragile dance, for it will not last long once the sun rises above the trees.
These mornings are best experienced on the water and not on the distant shoreline. Whether you experience it in a small boat, kayak or canoe, allow the fog to surround you and provide a sense of peace and tranquillity. This experience is enhanced as you glide between the bald cypress and tupelo trees hearing only the earth awakening and the displacement of water as you glide. There are many wonderful places to experience this transition and magic here in East Texas.
One of my favorite places to glide among the bald cypress is Martin Dies Jr. State Park in Jasper County. This state park is on the fringe of the Big Thicket on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir. The reservoir was formed by the damming of the Neches and Angelina Rivers. The park has well mapped out paddling trails that allow you to explore the cypress and tupelo groves extensively. There are several boat launches within the various units of the park that allow you to experience something different at each one. Another favorite place to experience smoke on the water is the Cooks's Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail in the Big Thicket National Preserve. The are large swaths of cypress and tupelo trees draped in Spanish moss that will glow with the rising sun. Here you get a sense of the land and waterways before mans presence. As the fog rises off the water it is made even more beautiful from the haunting cry of the pileated woodpecker, reminiscent of prehistoric times.
As the sun rises warming the earth and air, the fog slowly subsides and trees become illuminated. It is almost like someone turned on a spotlight if you catch it just right. That warm glow on the trees warms your soul just as the seasonal change from winter to spring thaws the earth. Once you experience the magic of smoke on the water and let it surround you in that blanket of silence, you will forever be searching for it and the season of magic.
Always feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about the images or about the places to visit here in East Texas to experience this beauty.