Of all the Fridays I took off in October to go hiking, only once did it not rain. So, when I woke up to cloudy skies again, disappointment had set in. But, around mid-morning, the skies began to clear and the sun peeked out. As quickly as I could, I loaded up my gear and made a beeline for Springbrook State Park.
This park has been on my “to hike” list (yes, I have a list–I know y’all aren’t that surprised) for some time now, and even though this wasn’t my first time at Springbrook (I’d driven through the park a couple of times), it was my first time exploring it on foot. It came recommended from a photographer friend who is familiar with the park and suggested it might be an area I’d really like. Turns out, he wasn’t wrong. I spent a good couple of hours leisurely hiking around the lake trail, checking out the beautiful scenery and trying to capture the fast-fading fall foliage.
My trip around the lake was loaded with excitement. I had barely walked past the first dock before I was greeted by a red-sided garter snake. I had crouched down to get the angle I wanted for a photo and, as I did, I heard the leaves rustle beneath me. Startled, I jumped up, spun around, and sure enough, there he was–watching me intently. Taking a moment to be impressed that I didn’t scream and after letting my heartbeat slow back to a somewhat normal rhythm, I turned my lens on him and snapped away. After a few minutes he slithered away and I kept on walking along the trail. Shortly after that I spotted a large flock of geese on the water. Not all that intent on photographing them, I decided to keep going. But, as I glanced over at the birds again I noticed one tall, white bird amongst them. With my curiosity piqued, I strolled down the path to an area that provided me with a better vantage point. I snapped on Big Tammy (that’d be my Tamron 150-600mm), zoomed all the way in, and verified what I already knew–I was looking at an egret, fishing for his lunch. Of course he was on the far side of the lake and while Big Tammy definitely came in handy, I would’ve loved to have been able to get just a bit closer. I sat and watched him for quite a while, snapping some shots as he moved along, before moving along myself and capturing what was left of the fall colors around the lake.
My afternoon at Springbrook was so much fun. I’m so glad I finally made it over there and I can’t wait to go back and explore a few more trails.
I’m including both the color and black and white edits here. Feel free to let me know what you think or which you prefer in the comments.