Scenes from the Big Bend


In the photos for this post, I wasn’t going after asthetically perfection.  These are just a few images from the area that I thought you would enjoy.  They are snap shots of a desolate, remote part of TexasTerlingua Ghost Town and Study Butte are really one and the same.  Two remote desert communities that run together with no visible boundary.  Just a few hundred people inhabit the area.  But having said that, they do have a school, bank, church, medical clinic, etc.  Personally, I love the area for what it is.  A place to go and just lay back and forget your troubles.

One distinct thing about the place.  You can drive around and see things of unusual nature.  You wonder where they came from, what possessed people to come up with things.  You never know what you will see around the next bend in the road.

Old ghost town ruins

Old ghost town ruins

Old ruins near Study Butte

Remnants of another time, a bygone era.  In the early 1900s a mercury, or quicksilver mine existed in the area.  Today all that is left is ruins of old buildings, piles of slag once removed from the ore, and signs of rusting equipment scattered here and there.

Terlingua ghost town sculpture

This is the result of some enterprising sculptor being creative in the desert.  In and around the Terlingua Ghost Town are small art studios or galleries.  I use those terms loosely, as many of the artists just moved into some of the adobe ruins, or an old van and done some renovation.  I don’t know what the above sculpture above represents.  Perhaps, a dragon-fly with it’s 6-foot wingspan,  or a giant mosquito, of which there are very few in the desert, or maybe just an imaginery bug.  Anyway, it is just planted there in the sand.

An abandoned home??

This is an old abandon house trailer and pickup truck.  They are still attached together.  They both need a little work.

Red-tailed Hawk

A Red-tailed Hawk flies overhead.

Desert Sotol

A familiar sight in the desert.  The sotol standing vigil with the gap of the Santa Elena Canyon in the far distance.

Balanced Rock at the Hoodoos

Along Highway 170, by the Rio Grande River, there is an area of eroded formations called the Hoodoos.  This 10-foot diameter balanced rock looks like it is nearly ready to fall into the river.  Look carefully and you can see daylight underneath.

Passing Wind

Don’t ask.  I have no idea what it is supposed to be either.  There are sails furled on those masts.  To the right is an old conning tower from a submarine. (or maybe a replica).  A large number 643 painted on the side.  There is a camper trailer parked to the side.  I have never seen an individual on the premises.  It is located on the road that passes by the Terlingua ghost town.

Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery

This old cemetery at the Terlingua ghost town has grave sites dating back to during the 1800s.  It is still in use today.

Greater Roadrunner

A Greater Roadrunner, or chapparal, on a rare patch of grass.  He doesn’t seem to know what is going on either.  Time to move on.

I hope you enjoyed this selection of photos from far southwest Texas.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.  For more photos from the Big Bend and other images, click on my Flickr logo on right side of this page.

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29 thoughts on “Scenes from the Big Bend

  1. Terlingua area on 4 trips. Last in 2013 in Jan ….. Never go in the hot months… I enjoy all aspects of the BB NP area. Just a fantastic place to lay back ..

  2. WOW! These are exactly so interesting photographs. And you captured them so nicely dear Bob! Especially the compositions fascinated me. In this old ghost town! Amazing. But yes, how lovely roadrunner. I love bird worlds but I am not knowing much more about them… There are some bird photography clubs in here and they traveller to the different places in my country for to capture different kind of birds’ pictures. Somewhere else I read from a professional photographer, says to be a good photographer, go out with your camera… Ah, this is what I can’t do. So, thank you so much because you carry me in these beautiful voyages through your camera. With my love, nia

  3. Hi Bob,
    I can help with some of these pictures, the first 2 pictures were from dwellings built for and by the mexican miners in this area some date to the 1890’s none are newer then the 1930’s The third ruin picture is of the first school house in Study Butte 2 rooms 1920’s I believe, the art is from a man named Mark who makes alot of recycled art objects and spends the summer months hitch hiking around the US, the sails are a pirate ship replica which is also a private bar & sub conning tower (plywood replica) of the SSBN-643 George Bancroft 1965/1993 (don’t know the significance of this sub) along with a mini statue of liberty, and several other seafaring objects belong to Jimmy Holbrook retired USMC who lives in NYNY and comes down here for the winter and for St Patricks day ( we have a parade ) he seems to like to build things…Hope this helps..
    Frank

    • Hi Frank,
      Thanks for bringing us up to date on these interesting subjects. It really explains a lot. I think you have covered everything. I will have my readers refer back to your comment. I think they will enjoy it. :-)

  4. lOOKS ABOUT THE SAME AS IT DID WHEN I FIRST VISITED THE AREA IN THE 1950S. ONLY THING WRONG IS ALL THAT JUNKY STUFF THAT FOLKS AHVE BROUGHT IN RE SAILS, SUBS, ETC. WHICH REALLY MESSES UP THE TRUE CONTRYSIDE LOOK OF THAT AREA. SAD THAT SOME FOLKS HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT IS ATTRACTIVE IN SUCH DESOLATED PLACES. CHEERS AND GLAD YOU GOT HOME SAFE. ROSS.

  5. These buildings are so wonderful, and I love how your wrote about finding unusual things and wondering what inspired them. I love ghost town areas. Just touching history like that is fascinating to me. Great photos too, Bob!

  6. Great story Bob! I’m starting to like that area more and more, I’ve been to many deserts in US and abroad but never in a Texas desert. Nice photos.

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