It’s #FunFactFriday so I thought I’d write about the geology seen in Big Bend National Park (Texas). The Chisos Mountains (part of which you see in the image above) are volcanic in origin. One of those volcanic things you’ll see while driving the road through the park are intrusive dikes. Igneous means the rock is volcanic in origin. Dikes are igneous, and they are called “intrusive” because the magma intrudes upon and into the existing rock layers above it. You can see a long stretch of dikes exposed and sticking up out of the ground in this shot. The rocks around the dikes eroded away, leaving those flat-looking walls of rock, sort of like a zig-zaggy-edged rock fence running over the hillsides and up into the mountain flanks.
I’m looking through past Big Bend (as well as other parks) images to see if there are shots I have not edited, or – at the time – didn’t do as good a job of editing. I honestly can’t remember if I ever posted this image or not, back in 2013 (can it be 7 years ago??) captured during my December visit to this national park in southwest Texas. It was my first (out of four) trips there.
It’s Trivia Tuesday, folks! Did you know that the ocotillo, found all over the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend National Park in Texas is a shrub and not a cactus? Those spindly, evilly-thorny branches can grow up to 20 feet tall! In the spring, at the tips of each branch grow a cluster of little bright orange-red flowers, the nectar of which attracts carpenter ants and hummingbirds.
The view along the Lost Mine Trail, Big Bend National Park, in Texas
Hey folks, it’s Fun Fact Friday! Here are some interesting facts for you about Big Bend National Park, in Texas.
There are over 60 species of cactus, 450 species of birds, 1,200 plant species, and 3,600 insect species found in this national park.
The name Big Bend comes from a bend in the Rio Grande River, which runs along the park boundary.
In 2012, the park was named an International Dark Sky Park, which means it’s awesome for star gazing.
I first visited this national park in 2013 and made 4 more trips there before moving out of Texas. I visited during the winter and spring, when the temperatures were at their most ambient. Late spring was awesome for blooming cactus. And, speaking of visiting, Big Bend is entering it’s busy season, so if you are planning to travel there anytime soon, you’d probably better have alternate lodging plans in case you can’t find an available campsite, according to an article published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.
To read more of that article, click on the image at the top of this post.
A strawberry pitaya bloom, Big Bend National Park, in Texas
Whether people want to believe it or not, climage change is a real thing and it’s being factored into many things, such as the water supply for the Chisos Mountains Lodge at Big Bend National Park in West Texas. There’s an article about this in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.
Ok, so say a loving aunt gave you $100,000 for Christmas, and you have to spend it in the next 365 days. Let’s also suppose you have to use at least some of that money for national park travel. Where would you go?
To read the short article and leave your own comment, click on the image above. I left my comment so you’ll know where I would want to go with that amount of money.
On a side note: this image is a 14mm wide-angle shot of the Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park. It’s a cool hike with some great desert, valley, and mountain scenery.
Where will that park road take you? Well, if you are driving through the park road above, which winds through Big Bend National Park in Texas, you’ll be taken to some pretty neat photo ops.
And, speaking of neat photo ops, I’m interviewed in this week’s National Parks Traveler Podcast, Episode #44, about most photogenic parks to visit (some of which might surprise you). The podcast also discusses the invasive animal species in national parks (such as Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park, and wild hogs in Smoky Mountains National Park, and even feral cats at Cape Hatteras National Seashore) and how the National Park System is working on the problem.
If you feel like sitting back for an hour and listening to the podcast (and these podcasts are quite popular, according to our stats), then click on the image above to be taken to the podcast.
The road to the desert, Big Bend National Park, Texas
And just where will that road take you this weekend? Perhaps some of you have taken Friday off to make it a nice, 4-day weekend? Certainly enough time for a short visit to a national park like Big Bend National Park, in Texas. It’s in a remote part of southwest Texas, but it’s definitely worth a visit, with great landscapes, interesting desert and mountain ecosystems, neat birdlife, and wonderful geology. Just take plenty of water with you.
I’m headed off, myself, to Stehekin, WA, this weekend, for a few days exploring Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park.
Big Bend National Park is out in a remote portion of southwest Texas. But if you can get there, then you won’t be disappointed with what you see. This national park is full of interesting volcanic geology and gorgeous landscapes of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Chisos Mountains. Sunrises are lovely here. This shot was taken right off the side of the road, not looking toward the rising sun, but instead, toward the mountains and desert which the winter sun gilded.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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