Touring Big Bend National Park, TX  Part III

Johnny and Belinda, Casita owners from Colorado, whom I met in Morro Bay, correctly identified this bird for me; A Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis.  Thanks go to J & B.

On "River Road" a Road Runner, Running.  You can get an idea of what the "road" looks like, in it's normal pristine state.

Same one, different view.

Further down the road and having already "crossed" the road, a male Road Runner.

At my campsite in the Rio Grande Village, a female, only distinguished by a slightly duller color and less likely to show off her crest.

Same place. These two Road Runners appeared to be paired up and doing the nesting thing.  The male here, the female above.  The male was carrying twigs around but all I got was a very not appealing, rear shot.  I really liked how he displayed his headdress.  You can see the photo of the previous male, that the headdress at rest, covers up the colorful head.  Another bird that knows how to accessorize. A handsome dude for sure.

I can't remember how many Road Runners I have seen previous to this, without ever getting a chance to photograph one, then, two days in a row, four in a row.

Probably a "junior" Cactus Wren.  Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

A "Turkey Vulture"  born to scavenge and ravish the desert.

Lupine x one million

Cactus budding,

Cactus blooming,

A macro (close up) shot

Super Macro shot.  I love this lens, my wide angle zoom: 24-105mm L IS 1:4 USM lens, taken with f13, 1/1250", ISO-1000, @105mm settings, Tv mode.

Cactus flowering and PYF (pretty yellow flowers)

The previous page has a photo of the same type of cactus but this one has more flowers and seems to have been damaged, laying horizontally instead of upright.

Just North of Bakersfield, correct?  lol.

According to Iris (Los Gatos, CA) "The white poppy-looking flowers are probably matillija poppies, sometimes called fried eggs, or desert evening primrose. "

Ouch!, if you try to pick one.

There was lots of mud and I kept looking for animal tracks but surprisingly, only one or two mud spots, had actual animal prints, out of the more then 100 I looked at.  Truly a desert.  These prints were cloven, like I imagine a Javelina (pig) would make.

The "Rio (not so) Grande" river as viewed from the American side while stopped on the River Road, in the middle of nowhere.  I don't think there is anyplace in the continental 48 United States, that is more wild or isolated.  Truly, an America Outback.  I read an article on the "Rio Grande" and it mentioned that the Rio Grande was made to look bigger then it actually is, to fit the script.  Silly American film makers.

Left behind by a Hawk, which escaped my photo taking.  I observed the hawk drop something about 50 yards ahead of me while traveling in my car.  This is what I found, a tiny morsel of a rabbit. I couldn't find it's fifty or so relatives, to notify them that this one wouldn't be home for dinner.

Silly me, thinking I had a four wheel drive tough enough to navigate this road, oh yeh.  I think I'll stick to four wheel driving on snow only roads, after this one.  Maybe I should write to Toyota and tell them about a road they could road test their Land Cruisers on. lol

All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 5D MKii camera body and a 100 to 400mm 1:4.5-5.6 L IS telephoto zoom lens as well as a wide angle zoom: 24-105mm L IS 1:4 USM lens.


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