RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Dawn reveals a perfect mirror reflection of the rising sun over tranquil water casting a golden pathway of light stretching to the horizon. Early morning clouds roll in and sky and water become one on a remote lake deep in the wildlands of southernmost Texas.
A whitetail deer strolls along the bank in the morning light with each graceful step matched stride for stride in the glassy surface. A sheltered pond reflects the prickly pear cactus surrounding it, and soon a covey of bobwhite quail arrive to sip from the water’s edge, their heads bobbing up and down in the placid water.
Throughout the day a parade of wildlife flows to the life giving water, and each creature’s countenance is reflected in the surface from thirsty cottontail rabbits to myriad colorful birds.
A pair of leopard frogs squats quietly in the shallows, their throats moving rhythmically as they patiently wait for a tasty insect to float by. Three lark sparrows line up for a drink and a splash, while a bright yellow warbler dips tentatively towards its reflection.
A wary bobcat cautiously approaches and lowers it head to drink, all the while peering intently with its yellow gold eyes.
This green heron is a study in reflected concentration, as it crouches in the concealing grass poised to spear a fish. Further out in the open water, a great blue heron strikes a statuesque pose perfectly reflected in the mirror like surface.
The birds take their final sips, their mirrored images soon to fade with the setting sun as another day comes full circle in the South Texas wildlands.