Big Bend Bluebonnets with Mule Ear – One last Big Bend bluebonnets photo from our trip to Big Bend National Park in February this year. This show the bluebonnets with an octillo and shrubs with Mule Ear in the background. The bluebonnets were spectacular and this spot with the wildflowers growing in this desert landscape along side the octillo with the Chiso mountains was a nice landscape find. This is a desert so you expect to find octillos and shrubs cactus but the bluebonnet just gave this barren landscape life. The bluebonnets in Big Bend are a special lupine that can grow several feet tall and thrive in this hostile environment and this year was the first time we have seen them like this, just the right amount of rain in the fall and other conditions that were just right led to the best blooms we have ever seen here in the last ten years we have been coming to the park.
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.
Davis Mountain State Park sunset Pano at the rock overlook at dusk just after sunset. This old rock building was built by the CCC as a place to rest up after a day of working the area and has a nice sweeping view over the desert and mountain landscape below. The sky picked up these wonderful colors right after sunset over the rock shelter and the distant landscape with some nice post sunset colors of pinks and oranges which made for a nice end of the day. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which was created to help put young males to work during the depression. The CCC helped build structures like this rock shelter along with other building, picnic tables, fire pits in the park which was officially open in 1938, The park is 2709 acreas with an elevation between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. The nearist town is Fort Davis Texas in Jeff Davis County. Also located in the area is the National Historic site establish as protection in the area from the Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails. It bacame a historic site in 1961 to preserve one of the best remaining military post of that era.
Check out this wonderful sunset over the Santa Elena Canyon from the Sotol Vista Overlook in Big Bend National Park. You can see Santa Elena canyon throught the sotols as the sun went over the mountains in the distance view looking toward Mexico from Big Bend Park. The Santa Elena Canyon are some of the tallest cliffs in the area and rise up to 1500 ft down to the Rio Grande river below. Santa Elena Canyon is the most impressive in Big Bend National Park and can be seen from ten miles away. It is a good distance from the main area of the park and will take about an hour drive. Sotol Vista Overlook is one of the places to capture the canyon which is located off the Ross Maxwel scenic drive and from this view point you can see the entire western side of Big Bend Naitonal Park. This is one of my favorite images we captured on this trip to Big Bend, we have tried to capture a good sunset from the Sotal Vista Overlook in Big Bend National Park before from this same location before but the weather and hazy skies just did not coorperate till today. The Santa Elen This evening we were rewarded with a wonderful colorful sunset over the solols at the overlook and we are very happy for that.