The Window Trail is probably the most heavily traveled path in Big Bend National Park, and for good reason. The trail is so aptly named for the framing of the western desert floor by Carter Peak to the south (left) and Vernon Bailey Peak to the north (right). Rain that falls in the Chisos Basin gathers and runs through this opening between the mountains, supporting residents of the park, animals and humans alike. The trail follows this gradual slope down to the opening, crossing arroyos and rolling foothills of scrub brush.Read More
In March, I was able to explore the backwoods of Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma, among the Ouachita Mountains. This mountain range extends into western Arkansas and south of the Ozarks, the Arkansas River separating the two.Read More
On this trip, it was unseasonably wet, as it has been in much of Texas this fall. Foliage and flower colors are especially vibrant when damp, and the muted light of cloud-covered skies only added to the effect. Many plants are even blooming out of season or have abnormally fleshy growth due to the moisture. It is a special time in the Chihuahuan Desert.
This post will cover the more herbaceous plant materials found in Big Bend National Park during my visit in November 2015. (Disclaimer: I realize not all of the plants described here are particularly herbaceous, but they better fit this post than my earlier post about cacti.)
I was especially attracted to this grouping of endemic species. Leucophyllum, Dasylirion, and Ephedra create a contrasting palette of color and texture, and are surrounded by red bedrock. Few could create a similar effect manually.Read More
When you're in the Texas Hill Country, you often don't think to look for all of the species of ferns that have made this region home. Ferns growing among cacti seems counter-intuitive. This site did not disappoint.Read More
Close friends of mine have a wild game ranch off of FM1431, east of Marble Falls in Burnet County. The tract is bordered on the south by the Colorado River and to the north lies the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Located on the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau, there is a large variety of flora found here between the limestone outcrops.Read More