Winter: Berry Creek Springs, Texas

Berry Creek in WinterThis is my latest photograph in my “Texas as I See It” series to be published later this year. These springs were sacred ground for early native Americans in this part of central Texas. Providing a rich and constant source of precious water, they flowed crystal clear and strong from deep within a limestone aquifer to feed Berry Creek near Georgetown. High bluffs to the west, bordering the creek, afforded any encampments protection from the elements–and offered a vantage point from which to spot potential enemies at a great distance. To the south of the springs, Texas salt grass plains, rich with game and grass, stretched all the way to the Gulf of Mexico . To the north and east—endless prairies teaming with buffalo reached all the way to Canada. But it was the water that made Berry Creek Springs such a special place. Water meant life.

Much later, in 1846, the springs would spawn a gristmill, their waters powering the mill wheel. John Berry, a veteran of the War of 1812 settled the fertile land around the springs. Settlers as well as native Americans bought the meal he ground. Traces of his homestead are still visible today close to the mill lake formed by a small dam over a Century ago.

 

A cold and dreary winter day in February drew me to Berry Creek Springs. I was the only soul there that day. The stillness, the gray, the emptiness weighed heavily on me to create a profound sense of loneliness. Only a faint breeze stirred cold now and again to give smooth-as-glass water an almost imperceptible texture–vaguely ripple like. The sweep of the Pecan trees’ branches, bare and empty and mirrored in that dark water, made the moment magic. It was a photograph I had to take. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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