Pic of the Week 3/24/23
Location: Lake Tawakoni State Park, TX
Date taken: 3/5/23
Tawakoni SunriseSunrise brims the horizon of Lake Tawakoni in Wills Point, TX.
© Ben Jacobi
An hour east of the metropolis of the Dallas/Ft Worth area is an unassuming little state park along the banks of Lake Tawakoni. Lake Tawakoni State Park isn’t very large, isn't particularly scenic, and does not have a lot of hiking trails. One thing it has going for it, however, is that it's isolated, quiet, and teeming with wildlife. Lake Tawakoni was not our first choice for this adventure, but I am so glad that I got to experience this unique Texas state park. It was also an excellent place for camping if you’re looking for a quick getaway.
Ashlee and I awoke Sunday morning (3/5/23) to begin our "divide and conquer" tactic. Ashlee would go on a trail we hiked the previous evening in search of wildlife, and I would go out on the shores of the lake to shoot some landscape compositions. Climbing out of the tent, I could see several stars shimmering in the pre-dawn sky. This meant I wouldn’t get great conditions for the sunrise, but I was going to try my best to make it work. I gathered my backpack, kissed Ashlee goodbye, and drove to my trailhead.
Upon exiting the car, I took in the scene around me. I was at the picnic/boat launch site, but there were no people out there. The lake was still and calm. All around me, the chirps, calls, and cheeps of a multitude of birds were filling the crisp morning air. Black-crested titmouse, American Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Chickadees, Robins, Blue Jays, there were so many birds concentrated in such a small area. I started my hike, and the path took me from an open meadow to the lake's edge. Seeing me crest the hill, a group of double breasted cormorants scurried across the lake to get airborne and away from my presence. A Great Blue Heron croaked in disgust, as I interrupted his morning hunt. He flew away to the other side of the lake, where no human was going to interfere with his breakfast.
As the trail followed the shoreline, it led me to several viewpoints overlooking the lake. On the eastern horizon, the glow of sunrise was lining up a gold bar of light above the placid waters. Although I would have preferred some clouds, it was still a nice sunrise. I began to search for a foreground. All around me, the vegetation was covered in a thick dew that glistened like tiny diamonds on the ground. I noticed a piece of driftwood off to my right, and after investigating, I found a nice composition. I was going to try to capture the tranquil atmosphere of the lake. Soft pastel colors, and moderate contrast were worked in to achieve this goal. It may not have been the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever shot, but it certainly was the most peaceful.