This past weekend, my friends and I were invited to the Hundred Acre Wood owned by Barbara and James Hoffman just outside of Eagle Lake, Texas. We have been searching for a place to escape the city lights in order to get pictures of the stars. The mayor of Eagle Lake, Mary Parr, introduced us to the Hoffmans and they welcomed us with open arms. We arrived just after sundown and as we approached the property, it was obvious that we had made the right choice. The weather was perfect, there was no moon out and the skies were clear; but most of all, the location was totally awesome.
Barbara and James greeted us when we arrived and gave us a brief introduction to the layout of the property. I wish I had not eaten before I had arrived, because James wanted us to try his chili and from the looks of everyone out on the patio, his chili sounds pretty awesome. James asked us to follow him down to the cabin where they have their Bed and Breakfast. After a brief tour around the cabin, James drove us out to an area of the property where we could set up our cameras away from the lights of the house. The sky was just full of stars and begging for us to take pictures when we got there. I have not been out in the woods in a long time where it got that dark, so I had to take a moment just to absorb it and enjoy.
Jeremy, Tim and I marvelled at the stars together for a few moments and then we set up our tripods and got the shots that we had travelled to capture. While we were out there, we watched as an owl the size of a pterodactyl hunted its prey and listened to the coyotes in the distance. It was one of the most peaceful places that I have visited in such a long time.
I can only imagine walking out of their cabin at night and looking up to see that sky during the night, how wonderful. There is not a light for miles, so you can see all of the stars in their natural beauty. James and Barbara explained that when you spend the night in the cabin, you wake up to deer roaming nearby and there are all kinds of birds to watch. The property is also bordered by the Colorado River and has some ponds, one of which has some Cypress trees on an island.
At times when I was shooting the stars, I just sat there in my camp chair and watched the shooting stars, I would love to be out there during a meteor shower, that would be truly amazing.
When we were finished shooting, we headed back to my SUV so we could take off. Barbara wished us a safe journey and invited us to come back. If I ever need a place just to get away and relax, that would be a great choice. Aside from the cabin being in the middle of nowhere, it has a metal roof and it would be great to be there when it was raining. I love how rain sounds on a metal roof, makes me think of taking a nap just thinking about it.
The only downer for the night was that despite being called the Hundred Acre Wood, we never did see Winnie the Pooh and friends; maybe next time?
After leaving the Hoffman’s place, we stopped in Greater Metropolitan East Bernard, Texas to get some pictures around Main Street (picture at the top). East Bernard is where my friends and I used to go dancing when I was in High School. The Riverside Dance Hall is still there, but it didn’t look like anything was going on last night.
After a long night of shooting, we headed back to Houston satisfied that we had gotten some great shots for the evening.
I have to say that heading out to small towns and meeting the people is probably my favorite part of driving around finding places to shoot. It’s nice to get off of the beaten path and discover new people, places and things.
I can’t wait to go back to the Hundred Acre Wood.