Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big Bend...More Good Stuff.


14 December

We woke up to howling coyotes, which is how I prefer to be woken up really. They sounded quite close so we dragged ourselves out of the tent and into the bitter cold to look for them. There were 2 of 'em less than 100 feet from our tent, nice! (top photo: Mexican Jay with a Pine nut, Pyrrhuloxia below)
I made coffee. Lots of it. I forgot the coffee press that goes with my Jetboil so I had to do some serious makeshift coffee filtering. Took longer than it should have, but it got the job done. Afterwards we went to look for the Tufted Flycatcher (that's him below) one more time. Scored again on that one - and still no other bird nerds around looking for him. (Roadrunner from later in the day below him) Nature Notes
We did a short hike by the Rio Grande, where the canyon narrows. Pretty cool spot to watch the sun come up and the shadows disappear. Wish we would have brought our kayaks...Here's a shot of the sun behind one of those big rock walls. (below: my handsome husband)
After we packed the tent up, we drove up to Panther Junction. We left our Big Bend trail guide at home (oops) so we were going to look at some books at the visitor center to find a trail. We left promptly though because the jackass ranger was there again. (This guy shouldn't interact with people. We had issues with him in 2008 also, some pompous arrogant ass. Also, he couldn't identify a Red-tailed Hawk which amused us greatly. I'll just leave it at that).
We decided to head to the mountains instead. Put the tent back up and did a short hike before the sun went down, down, down. We ran into a guy with a giant lens who said he was looking for cougars and bears...in the middle of the day?? We headed in at dusk with the hope of seeing a black bear that frequents that trail, but no luck. Great little trail though!

17 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Such a treat to get a preview of Big Bend. I'm so looking forward to seeing that park first hand. Any specific recommendations?

Miss Becky said...

what a visual treat you've laid out here. I think I want your life :)
that second photo from the bottom is extraordinary. my fave? the roadrunner. beep beep.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful birds. I've never seen that flycatcher. Sad about the ranger -- guess there are misfits in every line of work. We loved Big Bend (but we had our RV that we lived in then and had to stay too many miles away in some tiny little nowhere place. People don't know what big country is until they've been to BB. I wonder if people are still wading across the RG to sell walking sticks.

Woody said...

Sounds like you had your share of jackasses that day but you were rewarded handsomely.

I love cardinals and she's a beauty with her little red patches.

That shot with you is awesome, what a background for a photo!

Out on the prairie said...

Marvelous share, I need to get back there again.

LauraX said...

so many wonderful images of nature...you are so blessed to be able to hike and capture these precious moments...and we too are blessed to see what you see. Thank you for taking us with you!

Ms. Bake-it said...

What awesome shots! The birds are beautiful as is the landscape. I hope to get to Big Bend one of these days. For now, I will live vicariously through you.

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us!

~ Tracy

KT said...

Yes...Kayaks would be awesome...we rented a canoe and put it atop our little rental car. An adventure...but so worth it!

Go back sometime and float the Santa Elena canyon...just beautiful!

Great pictures.

Leora said...

Lovely! I liked the Tufted Flycatcher especially. The Mexican jay is quite cute.

Stewart M said...

Really like the roadrunner (neep-neep!)

Sorry, could not resist.

Splendid pictures.

ChrisJ said...

What a privilege to see that tufted flycatcher! I envy you your trail wanderings.

Steve Borichevsky said...

That's quite the Pyrrhuloxia.

biobabbler said...

wow, on so many levels. NICE!!

re: Pyrrhuloxia, I've seen them ONCE, when we were driving off 10 in Texas (on fumes, desperate for gas) and despite my freaking-out-re:-getting-stranded-in-nowhere I shouted TURN AROUND! as something grey and red flew across the now TINY road we were one. So we did and WOW, they were there. So exciting;totally freaked!

BTW, since am former NPS nerd and husband and huge %-age of friends still are, do you have that fine gentleman's name (biobabbler at g mail dot com)? Just curious if anyone I know knows him. Sorry he was a total dork. My NPS friends are awesome and ALL know redtails, for heaven's sake! Thanks for sharing, as ever. =)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I laughed at the jackass ranger comment for I have come across a few myself. But on the other side of the coin, to see some of the yahoos and clowns that NPS people have to contend with on a daily basis I can understand the occasional ranger having a bad day. I understand your guy though was just one who needs a transfer to a forest lookout station. Great post.

jason said...

The roadrunner shot is perfect! Right on the side of the road.

What a fantastic collection! The Big Bend area is so awesome. Lots of beauty and discovery down there.

Kala said...

That tufted flycatcher shot is great. I do enjoy reading about your adventures Jill.

Dominic Gendron said...

Great serie, you managed to get a Roadrunner!!! Are they as hard as in the cartoon? ;)