Home from the Big Bend Country

We got back home from the Big Bend area late yesterday afternoon.  As usual, it was an enjoyable four days.  We saw lots of wildlife and got several hundred photos that I will be sharing over the next few days and weeks.  We don’t have any plans to go back before spring.  The weather was delightful, mid-nineties, then much cooler on the trip home on Friday.

We had left home early Monday morning, headed due south to Sonora, Texas.  We picked up Interstate 10 West where the speed limit is 80MPH and were able to get to Fort Stockton in quick time.  From there south again on Hwy 385 to Marathon, Texas where the Big Bend National Park is just a few miles south.

After filling the gas tank, we headed that way south, intending to spend a few hours in the park before heading to stay in our little cabin in Study Butte.  While traveling towards the entrance to the park, as we were about to approach the Border Patrol check-point, we spotted a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) on a post.  Since I went a few yards past, I promptly took a quick U-turn to go back and photograph it.  I may have looked a bit suspicious to the men at the check-point, as they watched me go back.

Anyway, I got a these photos of him on the post, then one as he left the perch.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Further down the road, we saw this Common Raven, (Corvus corax).

Common Raven

 I think it is one of my best photos of a raven.  With their solid black color, my past attempts left much to be desired.  I adjusted the EV enough so I think it worked well.  I also like this photo as he, at this point, scruffed up his chin feathers.

 After shooting the raven we sped on down the road, and waved at the Border Patrol as we went by.  By the way, they only stop vehicles that are leaving the park, away from the border.  So they will be seeing us later in the week.

Photo data:  All photos were shot with my Canon EOS 7D and Canon 100-400 IS zoom lens, using spot metering with aperture priority.

Hawk:  1/1000 sec. @ f5.6 – minus 2/3 EV, ISO 100

Raven:  1/400 sec. @ f6.3 – plus 1/3 EV, ISO 200

 As you can understand, these are just a few of the first day highlights.  It will take me several days to process and edit  all my photos.  But these will do for a start.  I will also be telling you about other places we visited along the way.  So have a great weekend.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.