All the colors around seem to be washed out when there are no clouds. The intensity of the sun covering the landscape creates a faded palette. We tend to ride on the sunniest days, but the photos are washed out like an old Polaroid. While my eyes wander to take snapshots, my mind wanders much like the hills themselves.
My favorite days to ride are after the rains. The Texas Hill Country is one of those oddities where Mother Nature is more like an indecisive girl trying to pick out the right outfit for the dance. One minute we are drizzling then sunny, then hot then cold. A local once told me that the H.C. has about 20 different ecosystems. I never looked this fact up, but living here is proof enough.
I was telling Larry last month when we were out riding that I was on the hunt for the money shot. He asked me if I wanted to take the lead but I said no. The sun was so warm but there were no clouds. The sky looked washed out. The greens were dull. At best I could get silhouettes of the hills but nothing stood out as “Hey, share me.” If you are patient then by mid to late afternoon the light shifts enough to get the rivers to sparkle and grasses to green.
My favorite rides are when the sky seems its bluest against the white puffy clouds. There’s a contrast of light and darks where the sun hits the top of the clouds creating dramatic shapes. These are the rides where I take snapshot after snapshot hoping to remember that place and that moment as my bike floated over the hill revealing a hill country landscape or curved among a sideline of overhanging oak trees.