|Trinity River in Dallas, Texas flooding out the Great Trinity Forest under a spectacular sunset sky May 24, 2015|
|Wading deep into the Great Trinity Forest on May 24, 2015 off Bexar Street in an area known for Texas Buckeyes and wooded views|
|White-lined sphinx larva (Hyles lineata), commonly known as the hummingbird moth searches for high ground in the flood water|
|Snowy Egret walking double yellow line down Carbondale|
His ranch headquarters stood where the recent Texas Horse Park was constructed in 2013. Jenkins was so furious that his crops were ruined by changes in flooding that he ran for and won a seat on the county commissioner's court. The whole of his effort was directed at flood protection and mitigation from changes in riparian flooding in the rapidly urbanizing watershed upstream.
|The old Riverlake Country Club entrance with the parking lot under 7 feet of water|
|Dallas Floodway Extension between Cell F and G near Fellows Lane at major flood stage 5/24/15|
|Joppa resident fishing before flooding rains in April 2015|
That old golf course was bought for flood control in the last decade. Gone are the sand bunkers, manicured greens and the clubhouse. The ghostly cart paths remain intact. Portions of a levee built, rebuilt, fortified and left behind still exist.
A confusing plan to demolish 1200 feet of it in 2015 has left everyone scratching their heads. Everyone I show the spot to all cuss under their breath about it. Some cuss loudly. The people in Joppa cry about their big trees lost. The ones their great grandparents told them about as children. The trees that they as great grandparents tell their great grandkids about.
Where the water goes once it leaves the confines of the Trinity Levees in Downtown is a complete mystery to so many. It is cringe worthy reading others thoughts on what happens to the water, impact on new construction and the often untold stories of South Dallas residents who live without flood protection. Large technological dreams of concrete are stalking the river which will ever change the hydrology of not just the Downtown area. The water flow will accelerate and scour the Great Trinity Forest in ways no one has yet to imagine.
|Residents of Joppa trying to drain the flood waters from their property using gas powered pumps on May 24. 2015|
|Crested Caracara the Mexican Eagle lands on a pile of clearcut tree trunks in the Lower Chain of Wetlands Dallas, TX May 24, 2015|
|Crested Caracara moves in for the kill on a Cattle Egret May 24, 2015|
Many Dallasites have never seen an eagle outside of a zoo. Fewer have seen one in Dallas. Fewer still have seen one chasing down killing another bird in aerial combat as the photo sequence above shows at Cell G in the Lower Chain of Wetlands.
|Black Bellied Whistling Ducks, a tropical duck rarely seen in North Texas|
Birds like the Black Bellied Whistling Duck which hails traditionally from the corn belt of Mexico has been drawn in Aztec and Mayan art on their temples for centuries. The Mexican Eagle also known as the Crested Caracara has been depicted as an ancient symbol in sacrifice and even adorns the current flag of Mexico.
These birds exist here as summer residents yet rarely documented. The reason is that traversing this land, this river, this river bottom turns away all but a few. The long winded stories about personal safety have a ring of truth to it. Throw in high fast moving water and the number of people visiting such a place whittles down to about zero. Visit this place and you will have it to yourself.
|Photographer Sean Fitzgerald shooting wildflowers in floodwaters|
The few who do know these places well are folks like Sean Fitzgerald a well known and popular professional photographer based out of Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. His website http://www.seanfitzgerald.com/ has photos from all over the world. Quite a few are from garden spots across Texas like Big Bend, Blackland Prairies and the Great Trinity Forest.
|Sean Fitzgerald wading the Great Trinity Forest in very deep water|
|The perfect light of a setting sun illuminates an island at Rochester Park in Dallas Great Trinity Forest|
|Clasping Coneflowers submerged up to their flower heads in floodwaters|
|Spiders and insects of all kinds seek dry refuge|
Seeing such a place would change their perspective and prejudices of such a place. It will make anyone second guess their ideas of blight and trash in South Dallas. It is a beautiful place of water, wildflowers and wildlife that cannot be equaled upstream or downstream.
As the light begins to soften and the sun begins to set the real true colors of a Texas spring take shape. It is the magic hour for photography when the sky comes to life.
These sights are only temporary. As the river rises and crests it is soon surely to fall. A brief period of inundation that spreads nutrient rich silt, aquatic life and plant seeds into new areas. The harvest of such a flood comes months from now as the water recedes and brings forth a new beginning to the ecological cycle of the Great Trinity Forest.