I’m not a big fan of being awake at 4:00am. I like my sleep. But sometimes in order to capture an image I think has potential, I have to give up sleep for a bit. A few weeks ago a full moon rose over Austin, Texas in the middle of the night. Early on a Thursday morning, I pulled myself out of bed and left my sleeping family to make the drive over to the 360 Bridge (also known as Pennybacker Bridge). The air was cold and crisp. I shot from two locations – one on the northeast cliff looking over Pennybacker back to the west and the Texas Hill Country. I also trekked down the trail on the northeast side of the 360 Bridge and shot looking back at the Bridge and the Austin skyline in the distance. I knew a full moon would be overhead, but I was blessed with great clouds, as well. I actually blended two exposures together to capture these images. The first was a 5+ minute exposure at 100 ISO (to reduce the noise). The second exposure had a much higher ISO and was less than 30 seconds in order to keep from having star trails creep into the image (I wanted dots of light rather than the star trails). The blend was easy since everything was the same shade of dark blue under the night sky.
This is one image from that night:

Clouds float by over the 360 Bridge and Austin Texas under a full moon.

A full moon lights up the clouds and Pennybacker Bridge on a cool January night in Austin, Texas.

For a few more from that night and a few days later, please visit my Austin gallery or this 360 Bridge Gallery.

Stay tuned for upcoming Texas Wildflower images or follow my latest on facebook here.

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Like the title says, I’m ready for spring. I’m ready for bluebonnets and Texas wildflowers to fill the fields along dirt roads and county roads throughout the Texas Hill Country. I’m ready for all the brown, dead grass to go away and for green to take over. I’m also ready for cedar fever to disappear!

We need rain. In looking at the rain totals throughout the Texas Hill Country and across the state, there were pockets that received quite a bit of rain. At the least, I’m hopeful for an average wildflower season when late March and April finally arrive. If we can coax a few more good rains from the clouds in February and March, we might have a really good wildflower season. Now we just wait.

I also read recently that folks who follow El Nino and La Nina say that models indicate we’ll remain in neutral through the spring, but later models suggest a trend towards El Nino heading into the fall, which would mean a wetter fall and winter for us here in Texas. I guess it is never too early to speculate on weather patterns that are 9 months away 🙂

So as we wait on spring to arrive, here are a few images of our state flower, the bluebonnet. The first comes from Pontotoc, Texas from 2010. The second is a panorama of a field I found at sunset down a dirt road on the border of Mason and San Saba Counties.

This Bluebonnet image comes from the Texas Hill Country in spring.

Bluebonnets surround an old stone building in Pontotoc, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country.

Texas Hill Country bluebonnet image - comes from spring of 2012

A Texas bluebonnet panorama that comes from the Texas Hill Country in the spring of 2012.

To stay up to date on my photography, I invite you to follow my images on facebook.

See more bluebonnet images in my bluebonnet gallery.

I also have another bluebonnet gallery here.

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope 2014 exceeds your expectations.

Here is a panorama image of the fireworks from downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake last night.

Austin welcomes the new year (2014) as fireworks explode over the Austin skyline and Lady Bird Lake.

Fireworks explode over the Austin skyline on New Year’s Eve.

See more at Texas images website.

or follow my photography on facebook.