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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some Random Photos of our Recent Return to Big Bend

Jan and I recently returned to Big Bend National Park a few weeks back, and this time we got to see lots more of the surrounding area. Things have been pretty hectic around here since our return home, but I wanted to post some photos to give you an idea of the places and wildlife we saw while we were there. Above is a photo of Casa Grande, in the Chisos Mountain basin. I had taken a photo of this stunning rock in my previous Big Bend post, but I really liked the way the shadows looked on the rock this time. I hope you agree.

We toured the area this time with two friends, Bob and Ann, who are avid birders. So I got a chance to test my photo skills on birds. I realized very quickly that there is a lot more to bird photography than there is to landscape or still life photography. The hawks and other birds were very far away and didn't "pose" for photos for too long. I gave it my best effort, with mixed success.

Above is the view of Casa Grande from the road leading to the Chisos Mountain Lodge. The air was clear and the scene was kind to my camera.

This hawk let Bob and me get close enough for me to get a pretty good shot, before it flew off. Jan and I had fun spotting the birds from the car as we drove along the road. Jan has very good eyes for spotting birds! 

Birds were not the only animals that caught my attention as we walked the paths in the sunlight. This little lizard almost got away before I could get a shot, but I got this one. I felt lucky.

Later in the week, the morning air was particularly hazy, and it made for some interesting photos. This is a photo of The Window in the Chisos Mtns, with Casa Grande behind it. The ocotillo and sotol in the foreground make the photo more interesting to me.

 I was told that this little bird is a Rufous-crowned Sparrow (thanks Bob Z), and I found him on our hike to The Window early in the morning. He watched me for quite a while as we passed, then flew on.

As best I can tell from the butterfly ID websites, this is a Painted Lady. There were quite a few varieties of butterflies passing through the area, and I'll be posting more photos as I can. I also got some pretty good photos of some rock formations and sights along the Rio Grande river. I hope you'll come back and visit again soon.

Mike Z

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Langtry TX, home of Judge Roy Bean

Hello! It has been quite a while since I have posted anything on the Mem'ries, but I didn't want anyone to think I have been lazy. :-) There has been a lot going on, so in the next few days and weeks you should see lots more activity around here!

This post is sort of a "prequel" to our second trip to Big Bend National Park and surrounding areas. While on the road from Del Rio we stopped in Langtry, TX to see the original home of Judge Roy Bean, Law West of the Pecos. I had posted a photo of the replica of this building when I wrote a while back about Pecos, TX, and in that post I mentioned that one day I'd like to see the original site of this colorful and historic character.
I also included the historic marker which I thought was most informative.

Going through the front door of the Jersey Lilly, to the right was the "bar side," with an original photo of Lilly Langtry, a soul mate of the judge's. Sad note: the historic marker says that the judge never got to meet Ms. Langtry, as she made her appearance in Langtry a few months after he passed away.

The other end of the room, looking from the bar.

Adjacent to the bar, is the Billiard Room. Lots of photos from the time Judge Roy was active in the area. The artifacts in the lower right corner are the legs from the billiard table.

Overlooking the bar and the billiard room is a rare Eclipse Model 10 ft windmill that is part of the Cactus Garden exhibit next door. A very beautiful windmill which has been well preserved.

The last photo is of the Opera House, where Judge Roy lived, listened to opera, and dispensed justice West of the Pecos. I suppose this is where Lilly Langtry performed when she was there.

Thank you so much for stopping by My Photographic Memories. I hope you've enjoyed this visit to Langtry, TX. We sure enjoyed visiting there.

Until next time,
Mike Z