Straddling the borders of Texas and Louisiana, Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou comprise an extensive 26,800-acre maze of channels, meandering bayous, sloughs, and cypress thickets. This misty primordial swampland adds a new wild and haunting dimension to “fall color” photography. Here, in the Deep South, majestic bald cypress trees reflected in tranquil dark tannin-rich waters are transformed with color in autumn, with an exuberant explosion of fiery burnt orange, red, gold and russet.
Thick ghostly drapes of Spanish moss hang from every branch as fog drifts amidst gnarled and buttressed cypress trunks. Abstract shapes of cypress knees protrude above mirrored water as herons and egrets use them from which to hunt amidst the giant trees.
We are out in the predawn hours making our way to locales of graphic intensity. We visit the most stunning groups of trees and cypress corridors prior to the golden hour, hoping to photograph tree reflections and ethereal mist before sunrise. Then we continue as dappled golden light filters through the canopy above. In the afternoon we return to these backwaters in our flat-bottomed jon boats, hopeful for beautiful colors of the sky and tree silhouettes at sunset.
In October 1993, Caddo Lake was designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention—an international treaty which seeks to conserve wetlands throughout the world. The area protects a wealth of wildlife and is an important migratory stopover for birds prior to their continuing journey southward on the Central Flyway, as well as for those that overwinter here. The wetland boasts one of the most diverse plant communities in Texas, rivaling almost any in the country. Beneath the surface of the black water, prehistoric American paddlefish swim. The species, which is 50 million years older than the dinosaurs, and now the only surviving paddlefish species on Earth, was restocked into Caddo Lake in 2020.
Join us as we venture into the world of the bald cypress as we set out to capture a collection of moody and strikingly beautiful images of these venerable trees of southern swamps. This trip provides extraordinary landscape photography, great fall color and a dash of wildlife photography to top it off.