Saturday, April 07, 2012

Big Bend, Frozen Hard and Dried to a Crisp

Last March of 2011, for spring break, I drove through southern NM to Big Bend and camped for a few nights. It was a brutal winter there, with temperatures hitting record lows and very hard frosts even as far south as Presidio. In addition, it has been unrelentingly dry. This combination led to very sere conditions, but beauty still abounded, as it does in the desert, even if times have been lean.

Echinomastus dasyacanthus at Anthony Gap, NM:

The expansive, completely deserted view from my primitive tent site at Big Bend, in Dagger Flats.

Up in Chisos Basin:

Opuntia rufida:

Grusonia densispina:

The sunsets were outstanding and heartbreakingly beautiful:

Echinocereus russanthus in Chisos Basin:

The limestone flats near Lajitas:

Thelocactus bicolor, hunkered down and dried out for the long haul, all spines and attitude:

Epithelantha bokei doing its best to look like soft serve ice cream:

Grusonia aggeria:

One of my favorite Big Bend plants, Echinomastus mariposensis:

Mammillaria lasiacantha:

Mammillaria pottsii:

An extravagant Thelocactus bicolor:

An unusually spined Echinomastus warnockii, with central spines reminiscent of unguispinus from down in MX:

Anotehr mariposensis:

An ancient Ariocarpus fissuratus:

Hechtia texensis:

One eerie morning, the entire Dagger Flats area was socked in with a low, silent fog.

The campsite:


A sign outside Lordsburg:

Astonishing Escobaria albicolumnaria near Terlingua:

Glandulicactus wrightii:

Wonderful Opuntia at Dagger Flats:

Another Echinomastus warnockii:

A beautiful Echinocereus outside Deming, NM, on the way home.

The distinctive form of Mammillaria grahamii from southern NM:

Echinocereus arizonicus nigrihorridispinus (I think) near Granite Gap NM.

Back in Big Bend, a very feathery Mammillaria lasiacantha:

In Granite Gap again, Escobaria orcuttii:

I stopped near Tucson on the way back and took some flower pics of Echinomastus erectocentrus. There were no flowers in Big Bend, so it was nice to see a few.

It was a very full week.

1 comment:

TexasRose said...

Lovely photographs of a serene land, replete with silence and savage beauty; It was interesting to see all the latin names of the cactus--excellent! Wondering if one of the long, spiny plants are the type that are good for teeth and gums?? Congratulations on a grand trip--the sunsets were fabulous! The Big Bend keeps calling one back for more silence and unbounded experiences of transcendental beauty.