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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

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