Big Bend National Park Images

I have been going through old images again.  It’s what I do when I don’t have anything excitingly new to publish.  I just like to see what kind of trouble I can get into, or stir up.  Anyway, here are some photos that you may not have seen.  When I am not photographing birds, my other passion is the rugged and beautiful landscape of Big Bend National Park.

Santa Elena Canyon and Ocotillo

Santa Elena Canyon is one of my favorite spots.  A person can take Ross Maxwell Scenic Highway, that travels the western flanks of the Chisos Mountains, and ends up at the mouth of this awesome canyon.  The Rio Grande River flows through it, creating the immense 1,500 foot walls, that are a scarce 50 yards apart.  A trail of less than a quarter of a mile takes you right up face-to-face with the base of these walls at the entrance.  An easy, but sandy, walk.  The above image was made from about 2 miles away, from the nearby old Maverick Road.  We had just visited the ruins of Roberto Luna’s jacale and were headed back towards the canyon.  The ocotillo was in full bloom and I couldn’t resist this shot.  It was shot on film with my old EOS3.

At another point on the highway, there is a turnoff to have a great view of the Mule Ears Peak.  You can easily identify why it got it’s name.  The view is always changing with light and time of day.  The photo that I have here was taken early in the day, if I remember correctly.  I love the ‘layered” look of the smaller foot hills.  I have photographed the peak many, many times, but I have never gotten an image that really knocked my socks off.   This one is one of my better ones.

Mule Ears Peak

On one trip we made to the BBNP, the weather was very, very rainy and drizzly.  I was excited that the mountains were sometimes covered or shrouded in cloudy mists.  It seemed that I was stopping every mile or so to shoot an impressive scene.  So, it was inevitable that I would forget where one of my images was taken.  I remember stopping for the shot, because of the peaks above the clouds, but on subsequent trips I haven’t been able to remember the place.

Mountains in the Mist

I hope that you have enjoyed these scenic photos from my past.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

42 thoughts on “Big Bend National Park Images

  1. Now, Bob, you know I love mountains, and I just wish I could stand at the bottom of that canyon looking straight up or at the top looking down. The way the level just drops away in almost vertical cliff face, right along both sides, is quite incredible! I love the other two shots also, particularly the second one of Mule Ears Peak (what a cracking name), with its different landscape levels of graded colour. It looks very like the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy!



  2. As always I love your photos, and as always I am sorry I never made it to Big Bend! What a lovely place! Seeing your photo of the Ocotillo reminds me of my many trips to Joshua Tree National Monument in Southern California. I always wanted to grow one of these lovely plants in the native plant garden I had in my yard. Did you know that you can only grow them there (CA) if you have a licensed plant? If you don’t have the license available on demand, then you can be fined and or arrested for plant poaching! I guess they almost disappeared in the wild…
    ~ Lynda

    • Thanks for your kind words about my photos, Lynda. As for the Ocotillo they grow profusely in west Texas. You can get them also here at the plant nurseries. We have three in our yard, one of them at least seventeen feet tall. It is about 20 years old. But they definitely have not disappeared in the wild. At least not in Texas.

    • You probably have that right, Derrick. It is one of the least visited of all the National Parks. Mainly because of the isolation of it. Probably Texas’ best kept secret. Thanks for your kind words.

  3. Bob, love the landscape photos! I love getting a sense of the bigger picture of what you see…helps me appreciate the tree heights etc. ’round here. (: Always nice to get a sense of what you and Ann are experiencing.

  4. Breath taking Mule Ears..but my favorite (since I still love Arizona) is the Ocotillo. If you have never seem these beauties in bloom, trust me it is well worth a trip after a desert rain to see them and all of the other wildflowers that the Sonora Desert has to offer. Colorado is panoramic but nothing compares to the colors the deserts can produce. Great photos…

    • You are absolutely right, Syl. Nothing compares to blooming desert plants. Here at our house we have had three Ocotillos for several years. Two of them are around seventeen feet tall, and they are just starting to bloom. We also have several other desert plants, including Desert Wine Cup cactus, Blackfoot Daisies, Candellia, Prickly Pear,etc. We here are at the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. We have just enough grass in our backyard to satisfy our little dog.

  5. Wow – what beautiful landscape shots. I love the third in particular. Would love to see some more sometime! 🙂

  6. Hey Roberto,
    I love the shot of Santa Elena with the blooming occotillo and also of Mules Ears. Put those two for sure on the list. Missed you yesterday. We had a good session; lots of conversation on the law and the courts, Cheers, Ross.

  7. I love digging through old photos… You never know what you will find. I love these! The Mule Ears one is my favorite of these. You are right, the layered look plus the golden morning sunlight makes the photograph ever more stunning. Thanks for another great post, Bob! P.S. just curious but have you ever photographed people? 🙂

    • Yes, I have photographed people, but it is not one of my favorite things to do. If someone wants me to do a wedding or portraits, I usually refer them to those that specialize in that. I love the freedom of doing what I do, and I am the only that I have to please. 🙂

      Thanks for all of your kind words, Polly. 🙂

  8. Big Bend again…jeez Bob…just kidding. I can really see why you love this place! I would love to visit it someday. Wonderful moods you have created with these shots and the grandeur of the west is so appealing. Glad you shared these!

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