The Big Bend National Park area was as beautiful in late March as ever. Five photographers and I spent three busy days traveling about the vastness that is Big Bend. Most of our photography was done at sunrise, sunset and after dark in iconic locations like Santa Elena Canyon, Boquillas Rim, Rio Grande Village, The Window at Chisos Mountains, Terlingua cemetery and the Rio Grande in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Unlike recent years, we saw only a handful of wildflowers and blooming yucca, but there was plenty to photograph.
I still want to go back and kayak or float the river gorge, but I got plenty of exercise hiking to Balanced Rock and scaling down a rock slide in the Rio Grande canyon at Big Bend Ranch State Park. The journey from south Texas to the park takes a FULL day, but the reward is great. For those of us living in the city, the west Texas night skies are reward enough for the effort. Come along with me on a brief photo trip to the Big Bend.
Click on a photo to enlarge and sharpen it for viewing.
A beautiful pair of black hawks are nesting in a cottonwood at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park. After many visits over the years, I was finally able to see and photograph them from the road. The nesting area is closed to visitors. Canon 7D mark II, 100-400 mm lens, hand held.
That same afternoon, we journeyed on to the campgrounds at the east end of the village and climbed the hill for a view of the sun setting behind the Chisos Mountains in the west and the glowing pinks of Boquillas rim to the east.
The walls stay the same but the river is ever changing. I’d like to return in summer and catch the sun setting down the canyon at Santa Elena.
After leaving the canyon shortly after dawn, we stopped downstream to look back at the big picture…miles of cliffs towering above the river. I used HDR toning on this image to jazz up the look of it.
Evening in the Chisos Basin provides many angles and subjects. These verbinas were about the only cluster of wildflower I spotted that week.
I like to work on foreground subjects near the Window near Big Bend NP Lodge and Restaurant.
The photo group got many nice images of The Window with clouds at sunset.
Looking west, Presidio, Texas is upriver and out of sight by a few miles from this point in the canyon. A well timed sunset visit would make me very happy. I’ll have to plan for that one on the next trip.
Just downstream toward Lajitas, there is a take out for these canoes and a really cool roadside park with tepees shading the picnic tables.
This is the first group I’ve had with so many naturalist/birders. Everyone had to get in on the act of seeing Gambel’s quail drinking at the Rio Grande.
We walked and climbed to Balanced Rock in the Grapevine Hills at Big Bend National Park one morning. I could see His glory in every direction.
Subtle differences in the amount of light painted onto these sepulchers make a huge difference in where the eye is drawn. In the latter, I see the stars first. A warm and slightly weak flashlight was used for both.
In spite of some stormy weather at the start of our week, this Big Bend IPT was one of the best I can remember.