Saturday, March 30, 2013

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”

Jack Kerouac, On The Road
Against A Terlingua Sunset Sky This evening. 032913
Whew! I think the economy is looking up. The spring crowd visiting Big Bend National Park and this area is up versus the last four years. I didn't pause once this evening between greeting the guests. In a way, the early spring showers and the one small snow that we received seem to be a good portent to the year. The weather forecasters are predicting another prolonging of the drought for this year but there are more wildflowers this year than I have seen in the five years I have lived here in the Big Bend area.  This morning I ate a quick breakfast and dashed outside to take photos of a couple of wildflowers that I discovered two days ago.

One of the flowers is so tiny that when I view it from where I stand, the blooms appear as tiny white dots in a green carpet of tiny leaves spreading along the ground. This morning I was determined to get as close as I could to them and photograph them to see what kind of detail I could obtain. I think I took some pretty good photos of them but I want to get even closer. The blooms are unusual. I placed a penny coin next to them to show the scale of their tiny proportions.

Have a fantastic evening.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Bright Spot of Yellow

Yesterday as I was beginning my very short journey of 100 yards and returning from photographing last night's beautiful Terlingua sunset, the available daylight was waning. I drove the golf cart on the road leading to Indian Head and I noticed a yellow spot of color on the side of the road. The bank was descending slightly so I stopped to investigate. There were a few beautiful yellow blooms just sitting there and seeming to glow in the dimming light. So I got down on the ground with my face just a few inches from the soil and began taking photos. There was a slight evening breeze so it was a bit difficult to get a good shot without too much blurring.

I took some more close up shots of the few flowers that appeared just a few feet from the front door of our house. It's difficult to obtain a good shot without the color being washed out. The petals have a very, very, slight shade of pink. I can't seem to capture the color since the flowers only open in the middle of the day and then close up in the evening.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Bend Resort & Adventures

This is the view which greets guests residing for a stay at the Big Bend Resort & Adventures. In the background is Maverick  Mountain and Tule Butte in Big Bend National Park. Big Bend National Park in the background is only a short three miles to the entrance from the RV Park.

The RV Park has full hook up amenities and 120 RV sites with both 30 and 50 amp sites. My own property is off the main Terlingua Ranch Rd which would be 50 miles round trip so I live on the BBRA property in my own RV which is much easier on my truck. Grocery and Convenience stores are close by with the gas station a stones throw away. Restaurants are also nearby. I love living here in this area.

Big Bend Resort & Adventures, Terlingua, TX
Have a great day!

Winter is still hanging around and wearing out the welcome really fast.

This evening's Terlingua Sunset however, more than made up for the chilly day. The sun made a spectacular exit as usual.
Terlingua Sunset, evening of 032513
Have a great day!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Springtime's Wrestle with Winter

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.
Robert Frost (1874–1963)

It was a beautiful warm day today and by warm, I mean high 80's. I love it. I can tell that the warm days of summer are here. I can smell it in the air. Yesterday and this evening there was another magnificent sunset. The last of the Bluebonnets are producing their seed pods and their beautiful blue will soon be gone.

I'm hoping that Gil will finish with my truck soon so that I can go looking for more wildflowers and blooms. I'm curious as to what is blooming on my property off the main ranch road. Yesterday, Raoul pointed out some very interesting blooms I had never seen before. They remind me of violets or phlox. Pinkish blooms on a very low growing clump of thin long leaves.

Terlingua Sunset, Friday Evening, 032213
Terlingua Sunset, Thursday E3vening 03211

A Cold Front is forecast for this coming week. These photos will have to get me through those. I will not be sad to see the last of the cold days of winter.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blooms and Karaoke in Terlingua


Terlingua Desert Living

La Kiva Restaurant & Bar, Terlingua, TX
My friend Mary talked us into going to karaoke night yesterday evening at one of the very unique watering holes and restaurant here in Terlingua. La Kiva. It is what the name implies. It is made of rock and half buried in the ground. The front door is counter-weighted since the door opens upwards. I've never been to a karaoke night much less to the one at La Kiva.  It was alot of fun and a chance to get out of the house for something different. Mary urged me to sing the popular number, Wild Thang. So....I did.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tim Reveille was behind the bar fixing our drinks. Tim also sings and plays the guitar every other Wednesday. I enjoy his style of music. It's sort of Appalachian style folksongs. Tim has an album out which Mary and I purchased awhile back last August right before we departed on our roadtrip to my hometown of Galax, Va to visit my family and attend the Annual Fiddler's Convention. Tim is from Tennessee and was familiar with the Convention. Check out Tim's Album online.

Claret Cup Blooms spotted this evening!
Such beautiful vibrant color in a Claret Cup bloom
This evening, my friend Mary of Mary Paloma (Diesel) fame, had dinner at our friend Lauren's place. I took my camera just in case I spotted any flowers etc,. I was not disappointed. It just so happened that I have been searching for five years now for the cactus blooms of the Claret Cup Cactus. This evening I saw one. The blooms were as spectacular as I had heard. There were also the usual wildflower blooms showing themselves as well all through the desert.

Big Bend Desert Dreams come alive out here.
Have a great day!


Monday, March 18, 2013

A beautiful warm and welcome Terlingua sunset

A warm spring night tonight to bid adieu to a setting Terlingua sun.
Spring Break crush is over yesterday and we have survived. It was rather pleasant and almost fun this year. I don't know if it's because this is my fifth year of doing this or if it is because the crowd has changed. Perhaps it is due to the fact that spring with all of it's blooms and green leaf buds has made a showy arrival but I am appreciating it thoroughly.  The weather is great and the temps are in the eighties now and I love it that the evening's are warm after the sunsets. One of my favorite feathered friends has returned, the Cactus Wren along with it's noisy and fun chatter. The skies have also been clear of clouds for the most part which means a sunset of a glow on the horizon instead of the grand display of color. But I enjoy it just the same.

The bluebonnets are still in bloom for a few more days

Manana I will contact Gil to see what the status is on my truck and if I will have my truck back soon. Oh I hope so.

Happy Spring Ya'll!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Broke!


 It's only one word that I use to describe today. The beginning of March Madness or what is normally called, Spring Break. Lord a mercy. And it arrived with a vengeance. As I went to work this afternoon the wind was blowing madly. My truck is getting an engine block transplant so at the moment I am driving a golf cart to work. As I live in the property, it's not far. I can hardly wait to get my truck back. Awhile back a piece, it blew a head gasket which allowed the coolant to mix with the oil. This basically contributed to the bearings corroding and BAM! There it was, that horrible racket that every owner of a vehicle dreads to hear the most. It's the sound of a engine block purchase in the making. So, currently it's at the mechanics awaiting the delivery of the block from Autozone. Autozone stated that it would be arriving around April 2nd. That's so nice. Hopefully it will be repaired before the desert flowering season is over. I really would like to document the flowers and cactus blooming on my property out on the Ranch.

There was a very tiny lull in the arrival of Spring Break guests so I rushed outside of the lobby to snap a photo of the sunset glow on the horizon.

When I closed up and left the front lobby the wind was blowing something fierce. I guess with the arrival of Spring Break is also the arrival of the March winds. Just so lovely. I don't mind the wind so long as it's not wild enough to turn over my RV. A few years ago, we had a microburst come through here and rip off the roof to one of the buildings here. At the time the wind was blowing 100 miles per hour. It was a sight I will not soon forget. I just knew it was going to overturn some of the RV's in the RV Park but thankfully it never did.

It's late and already it's the next day. Today will be a repeat of yesterday. I will be wearing the equivalent of skates every day this week. Enjoy the sunset.

Terlingua Sunset 030913
They say there is a cold spell coming in the next few days. The temperature will plummet all the way into the 60's. LOL Actually for me, that is freezing. I want to feel the warm breeze of at least 80 degrees.

Have a great day.


Friday, March 8, 2013

A Beautiful Turquoise Sky

"Gamma? Ain't at bootiful?"
    -me at six years old to my Grandma while taking a walk in the country. She never let me forget that I said that to her.

"I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds."
    -Mike Tyson

Beautiful puffy clouds in a Terlingua Sky 030813
Today brings back a memory of me arriving here on the fourth of March in 2008, what seems so long ago and yet as if it was only yesterday. At that time, the temperature was in the 80's and it was beautiful. I had left California a few days earlier and it was cold there. I was so thrilled that I had finally arrived in a place where warmth was at the low end of the temperature scale. The sky was so blue and the clouds just seemed to hang in the sky so close that if I reached out I wouldn't  have been surprised to touch them. It was also the beginning of what everyone has come to know as Spring Break. All four weeks of March were booked solid and it was almost as if there were a sea of people checking in one right after the other.

The clouds this evening were like those on that day five years ago. Then I recall stopping every other mile to take photos of the wide open space, the turquoise sky, and many yucca decorating the roadside. Today was so warm and inviting that when I had free moments from checking guests into their rooms and RV sites, I went to the front door and stood in the open door to soak up and simply enjoy the wonderful warmth of the air. I always bring my camera wherever I go because I never know when a moment may arrive that I want to capture in a photo. I hurried back to the front desk to grab my camera while I still had a moment to myself and record this awesome sky in front of me.

Spring Break begins tomorrow and ends next Sunday. It is an understatement when I say that I probably will not have an opportunity to take a photo of the sunset at anytime until Spring Break is over. Please enjoy this following tonight's sunset. Happy Spring Break!!!

030813 another color filled Terlingua Sunset
Have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring has Sprung in Terlingua and the Big Bend!

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad
    with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
                                                                                 - Iris Murdoch

Another Terlingua Sunset Thursday evening.

Spring has Sprung here in the Big Bend area and Terlingua! I am so excited. Like the Pointers Sisters said, I'm so excited and I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control and I think I like it. Oh yeah!

This afternoon after Raoul arrived home from work we went for a little hike on the back of the property at Big Bend Resort to hunt for wildflowers. I have been waiting for this Spring for two years now. The past couple of years the drought has been so severe that there almost were no wildflowers or cactus blooming anywhere in the area. Now that we have experienced some rain and one snow the moisture has been enough to germinate the wildflowers and cactus.

At this moment there is an explosion of color, there's no other way to put it folks, in the Big Bend and Terlingua. Bluebonnets are carpeting the side of the roads and hills around us here in Terlingua. There are so many varieties of wildflowers blooming that some of them are new to me. The photos that follow are all of wildflowers spotted late this afternoon between Big Bend Resort & Adventures and Maverick Mountain. Enjoy.

This is some sort of ground cover with beautiful violet blooms.

I have no idea what this is but it is everywhere on my property
at Terlingua Ranch. I have been here five years and today I finally
get to see what the blooms look like. This blooms even earlier than
the blue bonnets since many of the blooms are already spent and seed pods have
dispersed their seeds.

A variety of Feather Dalea

Ocotillo preparing to bloom now

A variety of hedgehog cactus with double blooms now blooming

A variety of yucca in bloom

Blue bonnets covering the hills around Maverick Mountain.
Maverick Mountain straddles the boundary to BB National Park.

An arroyo and remnants of a mercury mine.
Notice the small white cross at the side of the road
at the bottom of the photo.

Bi-color mustard blooming

More Bi-color mustard blooms.

I have no idea what this is yet but I love this color!

I hope you enjoyed the floral show. You should make plans to visit the Big Bend National Park or Terlingua soon in order to enjoy this wonderful fiesta of color. March - May are the main blooming season for cactus, however, there is always something blooming here at some point even if it is very small, the wildflowers continue blooming when the main event of large showy cactus flowers have already performed their main event.

See you in the Big Bend!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring has sprung here in the Big Bend!

Following the 1183 eruption of Indonesia's Krakatoa, brilliant sunsets appeared around the world, one of which is said to have inspired Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's painting, The Scream.

-Coco Ballantyne

Terlingua Sunset 022813 as seen from the lobby of BBRA

This past Thursday my friend Mary and I went into Big Bend National Park to look for blooming wildflowers and signs of Spring. We didn't have far to look since the Park Ranger at the entrance told us of wildflower sightings about four miles down Maverick Road just inside the park entrance. Well, we were elated when we spotted not just a few but hills decorated with the intense blue color of Big Bend Bluebonnets. There are several varieties of bluebonnets in Texas but the variety inside Big Bend is known for it's tall shoots loaded with that blue color. We also found in the same spot, blooms of Bicolor Mustard, Bristly Nama, Desert Evening Primrose, Resurrection Plant, Blue Bonnets of course, stalks of yucca loaded with red tinged yellow blooms. It is rumoured and local folklore that mesquite does not begin to green out until threat of a frost has passed. Today we encountered mesquite with green leaf buds sprouting from their limbs.

Big Bend Bluebonnets 022613

It was an exciting day for both of us. We had lunch at the restaurant at the Chisos Mountains Lodge. Afterwards we drove to the visitors center at Persimmon Gap and went on a small hike up to some interesting examples of geology of rock formations typical of this region.

Today marks the end of yet another month in 2013 and today's last sunset of February.  This evening marks the 19th recorded sunset for February. As I have noted before, I am attempting to record every sunset within a year beginning with January 2013. For me, a remarkable sunset is one which stands out as colorful, contains clouds to reflect the sun, or in some way is more remarkable than simply a glow on the horizon. This is my definition only. Stormclouds blocking the sun and horizon altogether will not be recorded unless they are significant in some way or remarkable just prior to when sunset should have taken place. Now enough wordiness. Let's get on with the obligatory photos, shall we?

Desert Evening Primrose, Maverick Rd, BBNP 022613

Bi-Color Mustard, Maverick Rd, BBNP 022613

Big Bend Bluebonnets with Mary for scale, Maverick Rd, BBNP 022613

Blue Curls, Persimmon Gap, BBNP 022613

Yucca with Blooms, Persimmon Gap, BBNP

I think this is Cowpen Daisy, BBNP 022613
Bristly Nama, Maverick Rd, BBNP 022613

New growth on a Prickly Pear, Maverick Rd,BBNP 022613

At the end of our day as we made our tired but satisfied exit out of Big Bend National Park, we encountered the ultimate beautiful ending and we just had to stop and admire the magnificent sunset

Sunset, BBNP 022613
Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful day.