Big Bend Bluebonnets – Last years memories of the super crop of texas bluebonnets down in Big Bend National Park We went this year and didn’t find much in the park mostly patches along the roads So decide to post this capture we took in the early morning with a bit of sun kissed texas bluebonnets on the side of this sloping hillside cascading down into this field toward the distant landmark Cerro Castellan and the Chiso mountains in view. This is a desert landscape that reguires a hardly plant to survive so these are special native bluebonnet design to exist in this harsh desert landscape. The 2019 year crop of texas bluebonnets was the best we have ever seen with thick patches of one to two foot tall lupine flowers along the roads and on the hill sides through out the park. Some call these texas lupines the Big Bend bluebonnets or Chiso Bluebonnets which only grow in Big Bend National Park and the Chihuahua desert regions. Whatever you call them it is site to see hope we will see it again in the future!
Rio Grande Thru Santa Elena – This view from inside the Santa Elena canyon was spectacular with the water reflections of the cliff from above with the blue sky reflecting back into the water it was awesome sight. The Rio Grande thru Santa Elena Canyon is located in Big Bend National Park and the canyon walls are 1500 feet high. As you drive up to the area from the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive it seems like it just around the corner because they are so massive they can be seen from quite a distance. In any case climbing the cliffs to get to this area was worth the effort it was amazing geology and the rio grande flowing only so slightly on this day allow some great reflections in river. Many people come to canoe through the canyons putting in upstream at Lajitas and taking the 13 mile ride to Santa Elena Canyons to see our the natural beauty of the area. This Santa Elena Canyons are spit down the middle with the cliffs on each side being owned by the USA and Mexico. The canoe trip I have been told has some class four rapids at certain water levels so check it out before hand or you can always take a day trip call the boomerage up the river and back.
Big Bend Bluebonnets Wildflowers- Big Bend bluebonnets in the Big bend National Park as the wildflowers climb up the mountain sides a rare sight. The bluebonnets on this ridge had the Santa Elena Canyon and Cerro Castillian as the distant landscape. There is nothing like a mountain back drop for your bluebonnet images. Bluebonnets were thick on the mountian sides off the ross maxwell scenic drive so we stopped to get some roadside photos and the next thing we know we have walk a mile up the mountain side. It was one of those moments when you look in another direction and there are even more blueboonets on another hill side or along a ridge that you just have to get too. It ws an amazing site. There were so many to be seen and such a short time to get the photos of the bluebonnets on our trip. There is just something about being in the presents of mountain and desert landscape and throw in some bluebonnets and it brings the kid out in you it is kind of a magical event. This species of lupine grows taller than other texas bluebonnets they are several feet tall and there stems and seeds are much larger than other bluebonnet plants. This is what makes them a little more hardy for the harsh weather conditions in west texas. Some of the comman name for these bluebonnet are the big bend bluebonnet, big bend lupine, chiso bluebonnet, and havard bluebonnet to name a few. Regardless of what you call them they are a wonderful site to see in this desert landscape. We have heard about how great these bluebonnets have been in the past but this is the first time in ten years we have seen them like this. In the past we only found a few small patches along the roads. We are glad we made the eight hour drive down to catch them before they are gone.
Chiso Mountains Overlook – Chiso Mountains Overlook in Big Bend National Park. This is one of those awesome views you get when you first drive into Big Bend National Park but timing is crucial to get a good shot from here. Finally we had all the right elements to capture the Chiso mountain range from this area. We have come through many times when the light is not good for a shot but today it worked. After a short hike I was able to find this wonderful prickly pear to help frame my photo so I was more than happy with the results. The Chiso mountains was formed by a volcanic event millions of years ago and in this image you can see the V or window as it is called with a view into the basin. Big Bend National Park is an American national park located in West Texas, bordering Mexico. The park has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The park was named after a large bend in the river, and the Texas—Chihuahuan Desert is part of Big Bend and includes northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Chiso is the only mountain range in the United States to be fully contained within the boundary of a national park. It is also the southernmost mountain range in the mainland United States. The highest point in the Chisos Mountain range is Emory Peak at 7,825 ft above sea level.
If you happen to be in the area during your travels checkout the Big Bend Fossil Exhibit in the Big Bend National Park. We came upon the Fossil Discovery exhibit about 8 miles from Panther Junction in an open air pavillian. Also there is a short trail with geologic points of interest that overlooks the area. In this photo you have an large room with a T-Rey bronze cast head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex which ruled the land and a Deinosuchus, a giant alligator or terrible crocodile head as it was called which probably ate T-Rex should he get too close to the waters edge and to cover the sky we had a flying reptile named Xiphactinus with a wing span of 36 feet. The fossil exhibit contains many other creature which were part of the inland sea for exhibit and was opened to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. It is the first addition to the park in 50 years at a cost of 1.4 million dollars. Also the fossil exhibit is fully accessible with a nearby picnic area and fossil themed play area for children.
A Texas sunrise just before the sun pop over the nearby mountains from this vantage point in Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. Even before sunrise it rewarded me with these beautiful colorful clouds over the Rio Grande landscape from my vantage point high in the Santa Elena Canyon. Another good capture of some great Texas landscape scenery. Big Bend is an isolated area and for us it is an eight hour drive just to get there but it has always rewarded us with some magical scenery. Big Bend National Park is located in southwest Texas and includes the Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert. The area gets very little rainfall so don’t expect a lush scenery it is a desert landscape. In Texas you don’t have a lot of mountains and this is one of the few areas you can see them. The Chiso mountain range are some of the tallest mountains in Texas second only to the Guadalupe Mountains. The Santa Elena Canyon were carved out by the Rio Grande river with it soft limestone rock wall which allowed the waters to carve out a path downstream towards the gulf of mexico. On this day the pre sunrise was spectacular with the colorful clouds over the Rio Grande river and Big Bend Landscape from this vantage point looking through the octillo along the limestone cliffs.
In this image in Big Bend National Park and state park out in west Texas and we found a few Bluebonnets patches along the side of the road. There were not many and appeared to be in clumps but what we did notice is they were taller than any other lupine we had ever seen before in Texas. The big bend bluebonnets grow to be 3-4 ft high and are a much deeper blue than other lupine wildflowers. In 1901 the Texas legislature made the bluebonnet the Texas State flower. However, in 1971 the Texas legislature made all Texas lupines as the state flower which include the Big Bend variety. The bluebonnet in Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park are a different variety of flowers from the rest of texas wildflowers the are taller and my drought toleriant and have a deeper blue color. http://www.beecreekphoto.com/blog/texas-bluebonnet-sunrise/
Bluebonnets are all along the roadside in Big Bend National Park. These are some of the tallest and deep blue bluebonnets. They are some sort of hybrid wildflowers that will only grow on in this desert area.
Bluebonnet patch from the Big Bend State park along the River Road, Hwy 170. These lupines in the Big Bend State park area are different than the ones we find in the rest of Texas. They are taller, darker blue, more drought tolerant, and bloom in Feb/March. In this image in Big Bend National Park and state park out in west Texas and we found a few bluebonnets patches mostly along the side of the road. Big Bend State Park is a massive park that run along the Rio Grande River with Mexico on the other side. http://www.beecreekphoto.com/blog/bigbend-national-park-bluebonnets/
Bluebonnets landscape along Big Bend Ranch State Park River road, Hwy 170. It was a nice scenic view from here with the road and mountains as a backdrop. These bluebonnets are a hybrid that allow them to grow in the desert region and they are darker and taller than any you will find in other places of Texas. Unfortunately they seem to only grow along the roads and many times they have to cut the grass along the road to prevent fires so they were cut in a lot of places.