Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big Bend Photo Report ~ Day 1

A week ago Friday (June 22) our Ecology of Big Bend class left Arlington at around 6 a.m. We drove south and west across Texas, stopping a few times to eat and add gas. We arrived at Big Bend National Park around 4 p.m. or so. Here is one of the first views we had of the Chisos, the only mountain range entirely contained within the park.

After we had set up camp in the Chisos Basin Campground, the majority of folks decided to do the five mile round trip Window Trail. I led the hike through the high desert. Here is a self-portrait. I could use a good pair of horse clippers.

As the sun set on the Chisos Basin, I was struck by the amount of color and contrasts of the plants and landscapes.

I took many a plant photo on this trip. Here is an unknown vine:

My friend Jose (now a Ph.D. candidate at UC Riverside) introduced me to the wonder of insects when I worked in the Huntly lab. Since then, I'm fascinated with them. I love to take pictures of insects on plants. The abdomen of this dragonfly was a glowing blue.

The window is a slot canyon that drains the Chisos Basin rain water to the desert below. My friend Cody and I arrived at sunset. It was one of those amazing experiences that one cannot describe with words or photos.

On the hike back to camp, I saw this Assassin bug on a Sumac.

Later, I jumped this Desert Cottontail.

I was having issues with my head lamp, so I decided to hike back in the dark. I was sort of afraid of stepping on a rattlesnake, but I felt like I saw and heard more without the light. Big Bend is now my "One Particular Harbour" as it were, and I had the striking feeling that I wouldn't have traded that moment for anything.