Splendor in the Grass: A Photo Essay
By Arthur Meyerson
One of the interesting things about being a photographer is that you have the opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things. As soon as I accepted this assignment to photograph the fall grasses of Texas, I realized that the extent of my knowledge about “grass” was limited to that stuff that grows in our yards and has to be mowed or watered more often than not.
As I began to research the Texas grasslands, the first thing I discovered was that they cover a lot more territory than I had anticipated … an area that spans from the Gulf Coast to the Blackland Prairie, from the Hill Country to the High Plains and into the desert and mountains of West Texas. This was going to be a major road trip. And, with this much land to cover and information to absorb, I decided to adopt the law of the Old West: “Shoot first and ask questions later.”
Along the coast, the grasses sprang up out of the bays and wetlands and looked like miniature islands creating habitats for spoonbills, egrets, and other wildlife
Like most Texas grasslands, the Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands north and east of Dallas are being used primarily for cattle grazing, wildlife, and a variety of public recreation.
Toward the northwest corner of the Panhandle I drove into the Rita Blanca Grasslands. Here, antelope roamed among grazing cattle, and the only noise was that of the ever-present wind—an endless landscape. Along paved roads, I began to see tapestries of color unlike any I’d seen before.
In the desert/mountain area that epitomizes West Texas, the grasses turned golden and swayed in the breeze like upsidedown Hawaiian grass skirts against majestic mountain landscapes.
I circled back to the Hill Country and got the exclamation point I’d been looking for. Rust, amber, and lime green combined to make tall waves of color across rolling hills.
From the November 2008 issue.
Order back issues