2 MILLION BATS OVER TOWN LAKE AUSTIN
The Congress Street Bridge in Austin, Texas hosts North America's second largest bat colony. As the sun sets, almost 2 million bats pour out en masse into the night sky, creating a dramatic scene that hundreds of people line up to see. The best views however, are from the lake itself. I love this photo not only because it is a great memory of an adventure that I shared with my son, but it is a departure from my usual style of detailed, close up wildlife shots.
Here the bridge divides the photo with the quickly darkening night sky and it's nocturnal masters above, while the retreating light of the setting sun casts a golden glow on the bridge and water below. The sun also lends some warm color to the vibrant boats. All the while, a dense crowed of silhouetted spectators in between look on at both the bats and boat pilots.
The lazy recreational boats on the sunlit water reminds me in spirit (if not equivalent talent) to the impressionist summer paintings from La Grenouillere by Renoir and Monet. These artists were also fascinated by the weekend lake retreat featuring slow moving row boats paddled by vacationing urbanites of Paris.