We just returned from a glorious trip to the Big Bend area of Texas. That is the place where the Rio Grande makes that bend from flowing southeast to flowing northeasterly. In that Vee shaped area is the Big Bend National Park, and adjacently, Big Bend Ranch State Park. It is a harsh, isolated, but beautiful environment. There you will find the wild Rio Grande cutting through narrow canyons with cliffs up to 2,ooo feet high. The Chisos Mountain range is the center piece of the national park, with high peaks laced with hiking trails and home to black bear, mountain lions, and other wildlife.
This is where Ann and I, along with our dear friends from Tennesse, spent five wonderful days. In this post, and part 2, I am going to show you some of the scenic land, along with some of the avian activity. I will, for the most part, let my photos do the talking. They are random highlights from our adventure, and in no particular order. Also, click on any image to see enlargements.
This is a view of the Chisos Mountains from about twenty miles.
A Cactus Wren looking for meal in the bark of a desert plant.
Greater Roadrunners abound in the area.
Along the Rio Grande is a trail that leads to a natural hot springs bath, built back in the early 1900’s by J. O. Langford. He was seeking relief for his own ailing health. The original rock walls are still in place, and tourists can sit and dip their feet or slip on a bathing suit and go all the way.
Hwy 170, of which a portion is in Big Bend Ranch State Park, is known as one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the country. The following two images are from that highway. Across the river, of course, is Mexico.
A Say’s Phoebe perches on an ocotillo branch.
When driving through the Big Bend stay alert. You may see a scene like this sneak up on you. A Red-tailed Hawk, having lunch in some high rock croppings.
I hope you are enjoying our journey, so far. I am working at processing more of my photos from the trip and will be publishing Part Two in a few days. Watch for it!!
Wonderful photos Bob! I love wrens so the Cactus wren is a favorite. I don’t think I have ever seen one. I think we are too far north. Great Post!
Thanks so much, Alison. The Cactus Wren is the largest of the wrens, I believe. I just checked the range map, and you are right, you are too north for them. 🙂
Wow, it’s amazing to see the Say’s Phoebe perched on that ocotillo branch, doesn’t seem possible that it wouldn’t get nicked by a thorn! Great photos, Bob!
Birds are amazing. You should see a bird fly into a cholla plant. Millions of very tiny needles, yet the birds survive unscathed. Thanks for the comment, Donna.
Nice shots, Bob – love the landscapes too. Glad that you had a good time!
Thanks, Jo. We had a fantastic time!
It really looks inviting.
Wow..what a great adventure. Your photos are fabulous..love the Cactus Wren singing!
Yes, we can’t wait to do it again, hopefully next year!
Our first year pulling a trailer from Ohio so we’ve decided to keep the drive shorter and go to Florida instead of Big Bend and west Texas. Your post is making me have second thoughts about the decision. A beautiful place.
Thanks so much. I hope you can make it someday. You certainly won’t regret it. You certainly will like the drive. Much, much lesser traffic, great scenery, big skies, lower humidity.
Great captures Bob! 🙂