Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Gullywasher and a Shower

Hints of rain, a little rain, a lot of rain, and then one helluva windy gullywasher of a rainstorm all in the same day. Yep. All...in...the...same...dang...day. It was wonderful. Unhappily of course, I forgot to snap any photos of the tumult but I did notice that the new member of the family got a good all day shower from the incident. Now how many of us get to say that, huh? Yep. Now she's a brand new black. Well, you know, versus the dusty black that's usually the case around here. I know, I know, you might be a tad confused. But I'll show ya what I mean.

The new member of the family. Meet 4Runner. Now Lil' Red won't be so lonely. 
Yep. I got another vee-hickle. A 95 Toyota 4Runner. It's got that new-fangled Ay-Cee that throws out free air. I just love it. It's also 4x4 just like Lil' Red. In fact. The body and many of the functions are the same since Toyota did use the Pickup body and basic functions and motor as the basis for the creation of the 4Runner. I also like it for the extra room for groceries and hiking trips as well as to tote the kids to the Vet when they need it for their shots and basic care.

Which reminds me....(groan)...I'm sorry, did I just groan outloud? I've heard that we are expecting again. You know yer in trouble when you hear you're expecting, from the FedEx Driver. Not only that but it was the last thing I was thinking about while I was in the Big Bend Cafe getting a soda from the fountain. I'm just minding my own business, grabbin' the large size cup, nonchalantly placing it under the ice dispenser while thinking about my day ahead of me and arranging my work schedule, glancing over and saying another nonchalant hello to the FedEx Driver and...BAM!..."You have a chihuahua puppy on the way. Coco will be ready to take home in about four weeks."

Uh...I'm sorry...wha...what? That's when the cup over filled with ice. Well. Not only am I expecting but it's been named. Well, of course I will love it and give it a happy home. But it would be nice if I could have been informed about it before I heard it in the wait line at the Big Bend Cafe register. When I arrived home I just sort of threw it out there to Raoul, you know, in between petting the over exuberant Jeffrrey, the other chihuahua, and pouring myself a glass of milk. Raoul didn't even flinch. "You said you wanted another chihuahua." Me: "I said I wanted to see if the neighbors still wanted to find a home for their chihuahua, Chica." Raoul: "Oh. Well, they are not going to give away Chica."

Well. I guess that settled that. I've already seen a photo of Coco. You know it's over when you either see a photo of the darlin' or you look in their eyes. A word of advice....never...and I do mean NEVER look a dog or cat in the eyes. If you do...you might as well go to the store right then and there and buy the pet food. It's over.

El Rio Grande at the exit point of Santa Elena Canyon inside Big Bend National Park, August 2013
Raoul and I took the 4Runner for a drive into BBNP the other day. Drove down Maverick Rd and then to Santa Elena Canyon. Parked and walked to the river where we ran into a group of tourists swimming in the river. How do I know they are tourists? Because they're swimming in the river. A few locals may do that, but by and large, uhm...nope.

I took some photos of some wildflowers that we encountered along the way. You see? No matter what time of the year it is here in the Chihuahuan Desert, one can always find something blooming and thriving here. The desert is not the barren place that folks think that it is.

Santa Elena Canyon, BBNP August 2013
If you have never been to Santa Elena Canyon, you would probably not know this but this is looking into the exit of Santa Elena Canyon and you can't tell it, however, Terlingua Creek is emptying into the Rio Grande from the right of the photo.


One of the many species of wildflower in the daisy family blooming here in the Chihuahuan Desert, August 2013, Maverick Rd, BBNP

I think this is the Mexican Poppy but I am not sure, August 2013, Maverick Rd,  BBNP

One of many butterflies, a Sulphur I do believe, taste-testing the flora, August 2013, Maverick Rd, BBNP
After a wonderful drive and a bit of short hikes inside BBNP we arrived home to eat dinner. I was on the phone with a friend from California when Raoul rushes into the house and tells me that I need to come outside. So, with phone in hand and still talking to my friend Marafin, I see why Raoul is so excited. The sun is setting and due to the apparently large amount of haze in the air due to all the fires in California at Yosemite and Idaho and Colorado the sun is a giant ball of red. The usual unviewable glare of the sun has been diminished to a dull red glow. I rush to get my camera but I already know what's going to happen. I don't have that great of a zoom lens. Most of my shots are in the macro range. My kit lens picks it up as just a small red dot in the photo. But, as you can see, it's the sun setting, not the moon. It was beautiful none the less. After all, we have to enjoy it as it happens.

Terlingua Sunset, August 2013
The mountain you see in the distance is Sawtooth Mountain which is the usual landmark in many of my sunset shots as taken from the front desk of the Big Bend Resort and Adventures motel.

I hope you all have a great evening and remember...

The world is what we make it.

Charlton

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wonderful Times are with Wonderful Friends

The most wonderful time is a time spent with friends and food. This evening we invited a few friends over for dinner. Our place is rather small so we invited about ten friends over for the evening. Raoul (and I helped with some of the dishes...hint...I did the deviled eggs under strict supervision, the hot wings with assistance and I did stir a few pans on the stove) cooked and performed his usual magic in la cocina. His dinner theme was Chinese food. India and William, Mary and David, Anna Oakley and Jim Kearney, Sierra and Mike, Laura, Lisa and ourselves were in attendance. I think the hot wings and the deviled eggs were a hit along with the Mango Margaritas (aka Italian-Puerto Rican Margaritas).

Now, during the progress of the evening I really just picked something here and there to snack on but I never really sat down and ate a plate of anything...which is regrettable. India and William brought two pies, blueberry and apple, as a dessert. Weeeeelll. After everyone left and Raoul and I were cleaning up I realized I never had a slice of either of the pies. Soooo....I had a few more wings and then a slice of pie of each of the blueberry and apple pie. Oh mercy! It was deeeelicious. If you ever have the chance to go blueberry picking, cuz that's the only way you will know what I'm talking about, take a handful of those self-picked blueberries and pop them in your mouth all at once. Don't miss that one little stream of blueberry juice trying to escape down the corner of your mouth...that is what this pie tasted like. The apple pie was so fresh. I am still in the midst of devouring it as I speak. But instead of devour, I am attempting to control myself and savor each bite slowly.

India and William's Blueberry and Apple pies. Dee-licious!! Sabroso!!!
Ya'll have a great day and remember,

The world is what we make it.

Charlton

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Rainin'...just a rainin'

It's Rainin'...well, I wish I could say something else..but it ain't...it's just rainin'. But it is some beautiful storm clouds rolling through these here parts. The weather forecast is predicting rain for the next two or three days or so. This one was Wednesday evening right behind the house looking into Indian Head and Big Bend National Park.


It was a beautiful storm passing through but we, here at the Y in Terlingua didn't so much as see a tiny weensy itty bitty ...what the hell was that all about...drop. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Charlton

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Storm Weather

Today there are a few separate summer storms forming around us. We might get some wind since it's already kicking up outside. The power has been flickering on and off all day long. I went outside when it was calmer to see if I could catch a better photo of the flowers I spotted yesterday evening.

Terlingua Storm Clouds forming over Indian Head and BBNP behind our home.

Terlingua Summer Storm Clouds forming over Bee Mountain in front of our home


A flower in the Daisy family blooming all around us in Terlingua.


This is a close-up of the bloom I spotted yesterday but I needed to get a better, closer shot today.
Have a great day today.

Charlton

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shapely Clouds and Delicate Flora

This Terlingua Summer season is usually our 'monsoon' season here in the desert. The sunsets have been fewer since alot of evenings the horizon is obscured by clouds. But due to the clouds, sometimes the sunset is even more dramatic because of the sharp shapes of the towering, gigantic cloud shapes that form around the storms that come in. The storms can also be deceiving. We don't always get rain even if the storm appears inevitable. The thunder and the lightening is just as dramatically opposite as the lack of rain.

Terlingua Sunset with dramatic storm clouds as seen from the "Y" (junction of Highway 118 and FM 170)

I have always enjoyed watching color change with the difference in lighting throughout the day. I took a fantastic class on color at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. It's actually one of only two classes that, in my opinion, was worthy of my time and money spent at that money hole. The other class was beginning photography. That was in the day before the advent of digital photography and we actually developed our film with chemicals and a dark room. Anyhoo...while living in San Francisco for fourteen years, I had a habit of wandering the streets of San Francisco from sunrise to sunrise the next day during my days off. For the majority of my time living in The City working was the night shift. That was from 10:30pm until about 7:30am. Arriving home I would take care of some chores on my days off and then take a nap.  After waking, I would go eat dinner at my favorite taqueria and eat my favorite San Francisco burrito of which that City is famous.  Then I would get ready for the night and go clubbing or I would just pack something in my backpack and just go walking at night or during the day. During my nights out I was always amazed as objects, buildings, people, colors, etc., would take on a sometimes very different change in color, in the appearance of size and perspective.  Shadows that were not there during the day or were more subtle took on a stronger tone or accent.  Some things stood out in a way that during the day I would never have paid it a second glance. I didn't like the night more than the day but being a night person since birth, it seems, made it easier to observe these things.

This evening was no different. Walking back from taking in the sunset this evening, I noticed the wonderful warmth of the air as it passed around me. That was one of the reasons I chose to move down to Terlingua.  I passed by some plants at the side of the dirt road that seemed brighter. Perhaps that was because the sun wasn't beating down relentlessly on the ground while appearing to bleach the color from everything it touched.  We have had some considerable rain this season so far and some plants are blooming a second time around. The yellows and blooms just popped out brighter this evening as the light level dropped.

Ain't this the cutest thing? It's a seed pod from the Creosote Bush by our house. Yellow blooms are appearing again.

I have just loved these flowers of the Acacia shrub since the first time I arrived here. They remind me of pom-poms


 The tiny bluish shrub with it's minute trumpet shaped flowers seemed to shine just a little brighter than the disappearing light in the evening. I don't think I've ever noticed the blooms before. I had always assumed it was a Cenizo or Purple Sage plant. It may be a type of sage but most definitely not the sage I had thought it was. Notice the thorns hidden among the leaves of the same color.


The shrub above is the sage looking bush with the thorns and trumpet shaped blooms.

This place never seems to stop amazing me.

Have a great day and remember...the world is what we make it.

Charlton