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.

Chisos Mountains and “Window” Banner Photograph


I am always tweaking my blog a little, adjusting and changing things to make it more interesting.  I decided to put a new photo up in my banner at the top of this page.  Big Bend National Park is one of my favorite venues for birding, bird photography, and great landscape photography, so I thought it to be very apt.

The image above, in my banner, is of the Chisos Mountains, taken at an excellent vantage point on the highway just a few miles inside the west entrance to the park.  At this spot the mountains are probably a good twenty miles away.  If you look under the word “by”, you will see a ‘vee’ formation.  That is called “The Window”.  The mountains surround an area called the  “Basin”, and through the window from inside the basin, which is at the 5,000 foot elevation, you can see for miles across the Chihuahuan Desert.  Also in the Basin is the Chisos Mountain Lodge, many campgrounds, and lots of hiking trails.

All of the rain that falls in the Basin drains down and over a pour-off at the bottom of the Window.  It is a drop of several hundred feet from there.  The rock at the bottom of the pour-off is polished like glass, from the eons of waterflow over it.  A very slippery area for any foolhardy hikers or photographers. (Not me).  The photo below is by Joe Rossi.

Joe Rossi Photo

There is a trail from the lodge that leads down to that pour-off.  About a 5.5 mile round trip, it drops 800 feet in elevation.  Easy going down, but mean and exhausting coming back.  This photograph of mine is of the Window, from a little window viewing area near the Chisos Mountains Lodge.

The "Window" - Chisos Mtns - Big Bend NP

Pertinent Photo Data:

Pour-0ff photo courtesy of Joe Rossi.

The Window photographed with my Canon EOS 7D with 28-105 IS lens.  1/100 sec. @ f18, ISO 100.  Aperture priority, with partial metering.

I hope you enjoyed the photos and my descriptions.