Monday, April 29, 2013

A Terlingua Sunset

A beautiful Terlingua Spring sunset.

On June 21, 2013, Summer Solstice, the sun will be setting on the far right of this photograph. Storm clouds in the distance help assist the sky with a wonderful sunset yesterday evening.

Have a great day.


Sunday, April 28, 2013



On my hour and a half drive from Terlingua to return the engine core to Autozone in Alpine I was amazed by the abundance of blooming wildflowers along both sides of the highway. For eighty miles I saw nothing but a variety of blooms and color. The urgent need to stop was something I could not ignore. I had to return to Terlingua and the reality of employment by 2:00pm. I had left early in order to have the time to stop and photograph this possible spring event. At the time that I was leaving the resort property I had no idea that the blooms would be this numerous or abundant.

I stopped a few times on the way to gather photographs but then I forged ahead to Alpine, dropped off the core ran an errand to pick up a prescription for the General Manager. I was already in my truck and getting ready to pull out of the parking lot when I spotted some blooms along the roadside in town! It was incredible! There were flowers everywhere. I got out my camera and took some photos of them. I finally finished the errand running, grabbed some lunch at the local restaurant and I was on the Highway 118 once more. I began stopping almost immediately every couple of miles and began shooting photos of the flowers. In the five years I have lived in the Big Bend Area I have never witnessed this amount of blooming. It seems as if every plant that ever was is now blooming this Spring. Some of the blooms I shot were published in the previous post. I will post the remainder as I am able to process them....there were numerous blooms.

I think this is a Mallow of some kind. More research.

A member of the Daisy family

Another Mallow member

These Primroses were everywhere. Carpeting yards and yards of the roadside.

Another member of the Daisy family.

Another Mallow member

Daisy family

Not sure what this was but I loved the color.

Daisy family...I think.

There are more blooms to be processed. I'm telling you, there were many blooms that day. I will update the names as I find them in my research.

Have a great day.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Brewster County Nature Drive

Yesterday I drove to Alpine in my newly repaired truck to return the short block engine core to Autozone. On the drive I could not believe my eyes. I have never seen it like this in the five years I have lived here. There were so many flowers blooming. Some I had never seen before. It was amazing.
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja elmeri)
Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)

Tansy Aster (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia)

Still researching some of these.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Small and Fleeting

Flowers are so fleeting and their time, like our time, is limited to an instant. I think that is why I enjoy photographing them. A photograph does that. It allows me to remember what it was like in that instant. To see the color and feel the texture of the plant. To recall the sun and the sky as it was that particular day.

I see the bloom and many of the blooms that capture my interest are tiny or large. The tiny flowers draw me to them because I want to see closer into their world. And there is a world in the bloom all on it's own.  The moment that I am gazing through the macro lens I am transported into a world that is oblivious to anything outside of those petals. I see creatures living and moving among the anthers and pollen.

Aloysia gratissima (Bee Brush)
Bee Brush is a shrub and I found it while on one of my walks in the desert. It grows almost like a small tree that needs a good trimming. The flowers were what attracted me to it. The blooms are so tiny and compelled me to desire a closer look. Well, when there is anything resembling a slight breeze it's almost impossible to get a clear photo. I just waited and kept shooting and then went home hoping that one of them at least was clear. Above is the photo that was shot on site and the shot below is a cropped photo of the one above. Notice the detail and tiny hairs on the bloom.

Aloysia gratissima (Bee Brush) a cropped photo of the one above. A native Texan plant.
The shot below is called a Desert Olive (Forestiera angustifolia).  This was also shot on the same day that the Bee Brush was shot and the wind wasn't cooperating either at this point. Again, I just began pressing the shutter release until I felt I had a few that could be used.
Forestiera angustifolia (Narrow Leaf Desert Olive)
I had walked by this plant on many occasions while looking for spring blooms and I never noticed anything unusual or remarkable about it. Then a couple of days ago we were walking along the same path and there they were, this strange dark blue fruit attached to the limbs of this bush.  Later on in the evening during my search for an ID on the internet and in my plant books I stumbled across a description and photo of the plant. It says the blooms that produce the fruit are small, a light green and unremarkable. Well, I guess so since I certainly don't recall seeing any blooms on this plant. The color is wonderful and reminds me of indigo or blue ink.

Enjoy and have a great day!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Trailing Four O'Clocks in the Terlingua Desert

"If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?"
-Khalil Gilbran

I found some flowers blooming today and I have been wanting to get a closer shot of the flowers with their anthers and pollen. This morning I was able to do that despite a slight breeze. When taking a normal shot, a breeze may seem insignificant. But up close, very close, even a slight breeze can shake the anthers and make a shot almost impossible because of the blur factor.

The flower is a Trailing Four O'Clock (Allionia Incarnata).

Have a great day!!!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flowers and Sunsets

"It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased."

-Georgia O'Keefe

Prickly Poppy

Prickly Pear

Stinging Cevallia (Cevallia sinuata) also called, Stinging Serpent
Do not touch or handle. Blooms, leaves and stalk contain minute needle like hairs that can cause extreme pain which will reside after awhile. Redness and itching can continue for days afterwards.
Well! Thank the stars I did not touch or handle it. It was a windy day that day and sometimes I will grab a stalk to take back to the studio.
Beauty and color thriving in the dry heat of the desert at mid day. Dry sand and volcanic tuff along with an stunted acacia and mustard plants were all that surrounded this single plant in bloom.  That is what living is like in Terlingua. One must find a way to create their own unique beauty and color in what may seem an inhospitable environment to outsiders.
The Sun, with the last of her glowing rays reached out to caress the yucca, the cactus wren, and the javelina before she descended below the sky. It was as if it was a last goodbye, but fear not she said for this is not goodbye or farewell or even adios. I will return the morrow and greet you with a warm good morning and it will be as if I never left at all.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunset and Snakes on the Menu

"I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset - tears are words waiting to be written."

-Paulo Coelho 

It's been an eventful last two days. Yesterday morning, Raoul and I went for an early morning walk. (by early I mean 8:ooam which is usually no small miracle for me but hey, there are flowers and colors out there to discover before the wind kicks up).

I will post them once I process them all. We happened upon quite a few new ones that were not there two days ago. They seem to sprout up very quickly here. Perhaps nature senses that time is of the essence.

The sunset yesterday evening was spectacular as usual in Terlingua and the Big Bend.

As Raoul and I were making our way through the golf course at the Resort property (Big Bend Resort & Adventures), we spotted some beautiful white blooms in a grassy area along the pathway so we stopped. We had not seen these two days earlier and we had stopped here to photograph the Blue Curls that were blooming in the same exact location. We are always aware of the possibility of snakes so we always bring our walking sticks with us in order to beat the bushes so to speak and scare them away. Well, both of us went about our way and began finding a good position for a good photo of the wonderful blooms. Neither of us wanted to wade into the dry grass so we attempted to keep looking for some specimens in a better area. I finally found a good place to set my tripod. I kneeled down and was concentrating on the shot with my face looking through the viewfinder. I tell you, sometimes, it is not the most comfortable position.

While looking through the viewfinder, I heard Raoul say, "There's a snake behind you." Well, I almost said, "That's not funny", but, I didn't because there was nothing funny in the tone of his voice and I so wanted there to be. Neither did I want to turn around for fear of finding out just how close it really was. But, I did turn around slowly and there it was. Coiled up and calmly laying there under a creosote bush. We didn't know it then but we knew it was either a Western Diamondback or the dreaded Mojave. I was stunned. I had walked around the dry grass area to avoid the possibility of snakes and was watching and scanning the ground intently. While doing so I had walked right by the creosote bush and the snake with my ankle just two inches away from it's fangs. It had blended in perfectly with the dry ground. Lord have mercy.

I immediately grabbed my gear, tripod and got away from there and hopped over the dry grass I had avoided earlier. As soon as I had regained my composure, I did what was only natural and placed the camera back up to my face and snapped a few shots of the snake still coiled calmly in the same spot. I think the only thing that saved me was the 55 degree temperature that morning. Snakes are usually more lethargic when it's colder. Raoul then used his metal hiking stick to stab it in the head. And that was it.

On we went, pretty shaken but we continued our search for wildflowers and that much more aware of what was out here with us.

Evening Primrose (not sure of variety)
Aster bloom- The one I've been searching for nearly three weeks

I hope today is a better day for everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to those effected by the explosions during the Boston Marathon.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Terlingua continues to Bloom!

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."

- Georgia O'Keefe

These past few days have been a whirlwind of color, of flowers, of beauty and warmth. Three days ago and yesterday I went on a walk in the desert to look for wildflowers blooming and I found such color and flowers. Some I have seen like old friends that meet again and others I have seen for the first time. It's amazing at the variety of plants and flowers that are blooming this year. I have posted some of them below. I am still waiting for my truck to be repaired so that I can drive out to my property and see what is blooming there. The mechanic said another week. But for now, I can enjoy the blooms within walking distance of the BB Resort property where I live.


Southwest Cosmos, Big Bend Resort & Adventures April 2013 (studio shot)

Mallow, Big Bend Resort & Adventures April 2013 (studio shot)

Southwest Cosmos, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (studio shot)

Bristly Nama, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

Huisache, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

White Prickly Poppy, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

(natural setting)

Prickly Pear, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

White Prickly Poppy, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

Strawberry Pitaya, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

Guayacan, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

Mallow, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

Silverleaf Nightshade, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

Prickly Pear, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

Seed Pods from Creosote Bush, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013
 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

(natural setting)

Creosote Bloom, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

(natural setting)

Catclaw Acacia, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)

Velvetseed Milkwort (natural setting)

Dog Cholla, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, April 2013 (natural setting)
I hope you enjoyed the blooms. There are so many more to enjoy and the year is young yet. Stay tuned.