Hiking – more history and meeting the local flora and fauna

9/30/2016; Big Bend National Park

Ruins of old pioneer ranches are still a desert oasis

Early pioneers dug wells that in some cases are still pumping water that support wildlife and non-native trees that they planted (cottonwood, pecan, figs).  I enjoyed the shade and coolness of a couple of these - besides the windmills, little else remains.  I saw the foundation of a dugout house and a partial adobe wall.  But, I like that the windmills are still running and producing water. Dugout Wells and the Sam Nail ranch are great places to rest a bit and bird watch.

The desert is full of stinging, biting, poking things!

Well, that's not exactly a news flash - but if you're careful, only the mosquitos will actually get you.

Agave - or Century Plant

There's been so much rain that the Ocotillo is leafed out and blooming!

englemans prickly pear

Blind PP - no big spines - lots of tiny hairlike spines

3-4 inch spines - red turning to tan


Much harder to photograph the moving things . . .

I saw deer and 3 bears, but moving too fast to get good pics.  The bear were so black they looked like bear-shaped cutouts in the landscape.

Bear butt - crossed the road and disappeared up the hillside.  I saw this same bear on 3 different occasions

I know that they are near - just where??

You see signs of javelina all over the place - but they've been elusive.

Prickly pear pad provided lunch for some javelina

Javelina print in the sand

I'll spare you the pics of javelina scat.  So sad, no sightings of actual javelina.

Bug day!

One day I saw a tarantula crossing the road.  I swerved to avoid hitting it and was sad that there wasn't a pullover so I could photograph it.  Then, the next time I stopped at an overlook, there was a tarantula!  And, for the rest of the day, I saw tarantulas every where I stopped - over a distance of about 40 miles.  

After that day, I haven't seen a single tarantula.

Saw these guys everywhere!

Greater Earless Lizard

Huge! and so brightly colored

Time to say goodbye to Big Bend for this trip

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