Brazos River backwaters flowing into a culvert along Cow Creek Road ~ Brazoria County
It’s rare for sights along a Texas country road to evoke memories of Louisiana dancehalls, the simple pleasures of Atchafalaya nights, or Rodney Crowell’s perfect lyrics, but these ‘stars’ did just that. Unfortunately, my favorite Angelle’s Whiskey River Landing is closed, but music still flows ‘down da bayou,’ and the dancers still sparkle.
Down in Louisiana, bayous by and by
A pirogue pole or your natural soul
Keeps you tied to a tree high tide
Beer joint lights come on
And then the crowd starts rollin’ in ~
Pretty soon you got stars on the water
Feels just like stars on the water
You got stars on the water when it rains…
(Click arrow to play; click here for full lyrics)
37 thoughts on “Stars on the Water”
What a lovely photo and it reminded me of a Van Gogh painting of lights reflecting on water. I am reading a fascinating books about Van Gogh sisters. He had three, all with unique lives and lots of early grainy photos to prove it.
In fact, there are a couple of videos online where Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhone” was chosen as the visual for this song. I didn’t realize he had three sisters. I see there’s a new book about them. Is this the one you’re reading?
Well-spotted! It’s a great shot. (I find sunlight sparkles so hard to capture). Did you get very wet taking the shot?
To be honest, this photo was wholly an accident. I’d stopped to photograph some lotuses blooming in an unusually wet area along the road, but I didn’t have my telephoto lens and they were too far away for decent photos. When I saw the water cascading over the small spillway, I decided to play with that instead. I was sitting at the edge of the road,and the ‘waterfall’ couldn’t have been more than two feet tall. It was only when I got home that I found the ‘stars.’ And, no: I didn’t get wet!
Happy ambiguity: I was and still am at a loss about the scale of this photograph.
As it happens, I can show you the exact spot, just south of Nash Prairie. The patch of gravel at the side of the road is where I parked; it’s large enough for two cars; two large trucks wouldn’t fit.
The dark rectangle, about 3′ x 12′, is the spillway where water flowed into the culvert and under the road. Obviously, the photo was taken during a dry time. Just now, that entire area’s under water and filled with a variety of aquatic plants, including native lotuses. I’m planning to go back this weekend with my telephoto lens; there’s no other way I could find to approach the flowers. I need to go earlier in the day, too. This was taken at high noon, which I usually try to avoid, but the serendipitous ‘stars’ I captured on the short side of the spillway at the upper right were the result.
I once had an outstanding car mechanic that was one crazy Cajun, English was his 3rd language. All he did was work, so he could go back home and retire. That good ole’ life in the bayou!!
English as a third language! That made me laugh, but I know exactly what you mean. And I understand your mechanic’s desire to get back home; there’s no place in the country quite like Acadiana.
He was so far back first was Cajun > French (as he worked his way north), > English. Fluent in each one too!
It is. The rhythm’s strong, but easy. It’s a great driving song.
I’ve never heard that song till now. Thanks for that. We often talk of the lake as sparkling like diamonds but stars on the water is quite perfect!
I hadn’t thought of your lake, but of course this would fit. I’ll bet there are quiet nights when it looks like this,, even though Van Gogh chose a river rather than a lake. It would be fun to see you do a ‘comparison’ post for the month you focus on Paris — showing things in your lake world that can be connected to France.
What a super picture! Wonderful lyrics.xxx
I’m glad you like it! I wasn’t sure anyone else would, but I like it — a lot — so I posted it anyway! And, yes: that song’s a favorite in these parts. It’s a great dance tune, too.
Boggled my mind to figure out the perspective of the photo. Helps to read that it was ground level at water falling. Doesn’t take away from the lagniappe of the shot!
I thought about adding more context than a simple location, but I decided to post the photo on its own, and let people make of it what they would. The ‘waterfall’ itself wasn’t more than perhaps two feet in length; I cropped off the bubbly splash at the bottom where it fell into the stream running through the culvert. It tickled me a good bit to get such a photo from a location next to a two lane blacktop and a big steel culvert.
What an interesting photo! It’s a good thing you didn’t decide to have a guessing contest to determine what it was though — I can see/imagine all sorts of things. Lucky break about the stars showing up, too!
It wasn’t until yesterday that I saw something else in the photo: one of those rock concerts where everyone in the audience turns on their cell phone flashlights. Of course practical me wondered “Doesn’t that use up a lot of battery?” but I suppose that’s not high on the list of things rock concert-goers worry about.
Very cool photo! And I found an appropriate playlist on Spotify.
I’ve wished a number of times recently that I could find a waterfall to photograph, and I got one. It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but beggars, choosers, and all that. I’m glad you found some tunes, too. A good playlist always is worth having.
The heat and all the rain – the mood as summer closes this year certainly tugs out dirt roads, stars, and bayou notes.
The mornings have been especially unpleasant this past week or so. As the saying goes, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. I’ve heard some east Texas fishermen talking about what it’s like on the lakes over there just now; between the Hartman Bridge closure on the weekends and their reports, I’m going to put off my trip to the woods for just a bit. From what they say, even the bayous are preferable.
That’s a lovely shot, Linda. I clicked where you show the exact spot that you took the photo. I’m struck by the relative attractiveness of that shot, compared to your gorgeous and artistic capture. Really well done!
It’s the photographic version of “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”! I’ve wanted the chance to photograph a waterfall, and I finally got one: even if it was two feet tall and came with a two-lane blacktop and a metal culvert. I was aware of the green plants above the ‘falls’ at the time, but the stars were a surprise, and they only appeared in a few photos. I’m glad you like them!
Now that is very cool and I have to admit that the lighting would have discouraged me entirely. But you turned it to your advantage and created a nice creative abstract.
The song did not play for me for some reason.
If you haven’t found it, here’s a YouTube version of the song.
Now that I’ve had some time to look at the image, something else has come to mind. It rather resembles those concerts where people hold up their cell phone flashlights. Maybe the land was showing its appreciation for the water’s performance.
“Stars on the Water” is a delightful word image. That’s another of your photographs that ought to be available in large format for matting and framing.
The weather wasn’t cool, but the photos turned out cooler than I could have imagined. High noon’s not the best time for most photos, but in this case the sun’s angle was just right — glad you like the result.
Catching those unexpected shots when going for something entirely different is often the best part of a photography trip, at least for me. I never would have guessed it was a shot of a culvert flow and the stars are wonderful.
I agree with the fishermen you mentioned about the humidity and rain we’re having. The high temps have been low but you wouldn’t know it from how it feels in the afternoon. I’ve found a wet, ice-cold towel under my straw hat to be the best antidote but I get some odd looks from my golf partners.
Around here, our most common ‘waterfalls’ involve heavy rains and freeway overpasses. While this little two-foot drop wasn’t much, it was fun to play with. As much as the stars, I like the faint hint of green where the water was flowing over an assortment of acquatic plants.
I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that everyone’s been absenting themselves from the docks mid-day, unless they can find some shade. Even the grackles and mallards have taken to hiding in the shadows of pilings or cars. They’re no happier about the heat than we are.
What an amazing image! It looks, to me, on initial glance like a giant waterfall with stars twinkling on the edge, almost like the universe itself is about to embark on a fantastical cascading journey. Magical, Linda!
Now, that’s a wonderful thought: the stars contemplating the waters like a group of cliff divers. And, if you scroll-crop the stars out of the image, the water reminds me of one of my favorite votives: a Kosta Boda snowball.
I am always fascinated with the colors, patterns and light of moving water. This is kind of neat with the vertical rushing areas tipped with the starry, glints of light.
I actually was trying to capture the fringe of plants just above the water; the stars were an unexpected bonus. There was invasive alligator weed, but also creeping burhead (Echinodorus cordifolius), which I see is native to Florida. I’m going to try for a return trip this weekend, to see if anything is blooming closer to the road — and I’ll try to get there before high noon!
Thanks, Jason! Sometimes just fooling around can have an especially nice result.