Big Bend, and Unbending Border Folk

Huge wind, and a tent guy fighting his tent guys.  I wandered away lest I became swept up in this folly.   Later I saw no guy and no tent.  Either he had moved to a more sheltered spot, or flown like Mary Poppins into Mexico.

Then the wind dropped and it has been hot sunny days and cool nights.  These became noisy, since my 3-month-old “breathing machine” died, and Elaine awoke to my snoring.  Heck … even I woke to my snoring.   Something had to be done, and temporarily Elaine moved to the other room on the blow-up bed.

The simplest solution was for Louise to ship my old machine down here, and FedEx seemed best.  Two days and $265 to be delivered into the Chisos Mountain Lodge.   Of course none of our insurance policies covered shipment of machines, and then the box was held up in US Customs.   With no cell phone coverage, communications with FedEx were a challenge.  They wanted to send faxes, and no matter how hard I searched the truck and trailer, I did not find a fax machine.

Miraculously there is wi-fi in the laundry room here in Rio Grande Village.   Finally an e-mail form with many unanswerable questions.   I filled out the best guesses and sent it to FedEx.    What could be the problem?  Aha … this was a MEDICAL device, and had to be cleared with the Food and Drug Administration in Washington.  Another day or two, but this is not all bad.   Big Bend National Park is at its best, and a trip up to the Chisos Mountains was on the agenda anyway.

Down by the Rio Grande

I vowed not to do any more travelogue stuff, but this next bit is for Vi and others who appreciate the beauties of nature.  Click on a picture if you want to enlarge it.

Desert Flowers at Big Bend National Park

It rained heavily a few weeks ago, which woke up the desert flowers and greenery.

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In dry weather, occotillos look like this

The ocotillo is a weird plant:  it usually sits there looking as dead as the one in the picture (which really did die).

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Ocotillo after a good rain

But the rain brings it into leaf, and whole mini-forests of ocotillos carpet areas of the park.

Flowers abound, and the trees are all in leaf.

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Creosote Bush — In Flower

Even the miserable creosote bushes decided all was not lost to the drought, and flowered.

Then the insects woke up, and mercifully most of them did not bite.

Roadrunner Looking For Dragonflies

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Whole flocks of dragon flies, some of them captured by leaping roadrunners.

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Tree covered in Queen Butterflies

One bush was covered in Queen Butterflies.  These are subtly different from Monarchs, but congregate in much the same way.

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Queen Butterfly

My cheap little camera excelled itself and captured one of these beauties and actually got it in focus.

Our Neighbour — the Grey Fox

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A grey fox lives near our camp site, and he is more elusive to photograph, in our out of focus.  I have contemplated buying a good camera and the right lenses, but then realized that traveling to warm places might be a better use of funds than buying photography bags full of telephoto lenses and stuff I don’t want to carry anyway.

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Two of the Passing Javolinas

Seven javolinas wandered past today, munching on the green grass, made even more tasty because of the monthly irrigation of these areas.

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Part of the Extensive Irrigation System

The irrigation was built around 1900, and still works well, though an electric pump replaces the earlier water turbine. This was cleverly driven through gears from a good old-fashioned water wheel!   One could wish that my computer, still lacking a battery, would last even a tenth of the time as this irrigation system, but we bow our heads to progress.

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Oh yes … the breathing machine came.  We went to the Chisos Mountain Lodge, had lunch, and took a few pictures.  This is perhaps the most magical place we visit on these trips.

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Adults can take their own chances!

It’s mountain lion country, and after a child was attacked a few months ago, new signs have sprouted at all trail entrances.  Liability is no doubt the issue!

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Elaine Only Needs a Stick for Rough Trails

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Onward now to our usual winter stamping grounds in Fort Clark Springs.

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One Response to Big Bend, and Unbending Border Folk

  1. Vi says:

    Hi there .interesting trip for sure. Beautiful pics. I have never seen a javolina before or even heard of them. does it go by another name.i Will be waiting for your next post.I surely enjoy these little get togethers. Have fun and keep safe.. Love Vi

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