By John Ellis
You want to know just one of the great things about AHPS instructors?
When Mother Nature hands them lemons, they make lemonade.
The recent April ‘Texas Hill Country and Wildflower Workshop’ with instructor Laurence Parent ran into that very situation after Central Texas suffered through first a drought and then a cold snap of sub-freezing temperatures like no other that lasted three days. It probably doesn’t need to be said that the flowers in the Hills around Gonzales, Cuero and Fredericksburg, Texas this year were less than stellar.
Plan B everyone.
Laurence, who had lived in the area for over 30 years before moving to Prescott, Arizona, was up to the challenge. His familiarity with the area was exceptional and luckily there were options. With group transportation available to those participants who had their vaccinations and everyone else caravanning, Laurence led the group to several places not originally on the itinerary. He showed everyone that when fields of flowers aren’t available, you focus on intimate floral close-up and macro images.
Or capture sunrise and sunset.
Or butterflies and hummingbirds and frogs.
Or rusty plows and tractors.
Or pictures of a centuries old mission at sunset.
In other words, you find a way!
Everyone understood that this could have and will happen when we depend on the natural world and the unpredictable climate wherever we hold workshops outdoors. But because of the dedication and passion that all the instructors have in the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes organization, a way will be found to provide a great learning experience. The research each one puts in and the hours of practical field experience truly come into play to give you “Inspirational Learning” as promised.
By the last two days in the Fredericksburg area, some fields of bluebonnets were finally found along the Willow City Loop. This workshop will bounce back in coming years and the Hill Country will flourish once more, have no doubt. We hope to see you out there.
Happy travels, everyone!
John Ellis is a Photo Guide for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.