We are just back from a photo tour in East Texas. You might ask, “What the heck is in East Texas?”

On the border of Louisiana and Texas is a swamp. It’s not just any swamp, it contains the largest Cypress Forest in the world through a network of waterways, backwater channels, wetlands and the cypress trees.

A view into the Cypress Forest

Originally, when I heard the word bayou, it conjured up images of a southern swamp, muggy and full of bugs. I envisioned a dark jungle forest of entangled vines and lurking alligators. You couldn’t pay me enough to head to such a place. But the photo tour titled, “Beauty of the Bayou,” showed images of dreamy moss covered trees with sprays of red reflecting in calm waters. I became convinced I needed to explore this potential hidden gem.

Wouldn’t you say this is dreamy and perhaps, magical?

Cypress trees have channeled trunks and their branches are often filled with long strands of hanging Spanish moss. When the moss blows in the breeze with a soft filtered light, the scene becomes almost dreamy.

The Cypress trees live in the water with the best way to view and photograph them is from a  boat.

We spent 4 days in kayaks and on small boats winding our way through the depths of the cypress forest. [Jeff exploring with his kayak, his camera is in his lap.]

Often it was dark and moody, I would even say ominous.

A perfect scene for Halloween?

While other times it was colorful and surreal.

The colors were amazing.

Even a few beautiful water lilies were found

Our visit was timed perfectly for the peak foliage, and we photographed many a “red” tree.

I was thrilled with the calm reflections

One of the images I had hoped to capture was that of a white egret in a red tree with mist surrounding the trunk. On our last day, we finally found the egret in the tree, but alas, the temperatures did not get cold enough to create the mist I had hoped to photograph.

Still, I was amazed at the beauty of the bayou, and I’m hoping to head back for another chance to capture the elusive mist in the fall of 2025.

P.S. No alligators were spotted. 


Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acre lake and wetland located on the border between Texas and Louisiana. It is an internationally protected wetland under the RAMSAR treaty and is the largest natural fresh water lake in the South. It has the largest Cypress forest in the world.” the US Army Corps of Engineers / Vicksburg District Website.