Sunset and Prickly Pears Over the Rio Grande

Rio Grande Sunset by Anne McKinnell

From the Rio Grande Village Campground at Big Bend National Park, Texas, you can take a short hike up to the Rio Grande Overlook and find this stunning view! I like hiking, but it's nice to find a sunset spot where you don't have to hike down too far in the dark - or worse leave your spot too soon because you don't want to get jabbed by nasty cacti like these prickly … [Read more...]

Luna’s Jacal

Luna's Jacal

At the edge of Alamo Creek in Big Bend National Park, Texas, Gilberto Luna built this jacal which is made of rock, earth and plant fiber. It was a scorching hot day the afternoon we were here and I was surprised to find how cool it was inside the jacal. It must have been somewhat uncomfortable though. At only around 4 feet high I had to bend over quite a bit to move around … [Read more...]

Mule Ears, Big Bend National Park

Mule Ears, Big Bend National Park, Texas

One of the more distinctive mountain formations in Big Bend National Park is known as "Mule Ears". My husband insisted on calling them "Rabbit Ears" since there were so many jackrabbits in the park and we only saw a few mules. Please click the image to view a larger version. As we hiked along the trail to Mule Ears Springs in the evening before sunset, we passed a group … [Read more...]

Boquillas Canyon, Texas

Boquillas Canyon

In Big Bend National Park in Texas, Boquillas Canyon lies just a short drive from the campground at Rio Grande Village where we were staying. I love it when such majestic places are so close to the campground. We found an overlook where we stopped and cooked hotdogs on the barbeque before heading down to the canyon to catch the last light. The far side of the canyon is … [Read more...]

Chisos Mountains, Texas


I think the term "go big or go home" must have been coined in Big Bend National Park. This land of extremes is made of massive canyons, vast desert plains and rugged mountain ranges rising from the desert floor. It can be intensely hot during the day and freezing cold at night and during our visit the long standing drought made everything dry as a bone. The Rio Grande sits at … [Read more...]

Tequila Agave, Texas

Agave, Big Bend National Park, Texas

Another plant common in southern Texas is the agave, known as tequila or blue agave. Technically it is an "agave tequilana" although in Texas it may be better known as a blue agave since Mexico has claimed exclusive international rights to the word "tequila" and even stipulates which regions of the country the liquor may be made. The plant grows at high altitudes in … [Read more...]

The Prickly Pear, Texas

Big Bend National Park, Texas

If there is one reason to wear long pants when you hike in the desert, it's the prickly pear. They are everywhere and their spikes are very long and sharp. I cannot count the number of times I have been concentrating on making an image and I go to move my tripod just a little bit, take a step, and *wham* prickly pear in the ankle. Or even worse -- have you ever done … [Read more...]

Ocotillo in Texas

Big Bend National Park, Texas

This week I want to show you some of the interesting cacti I came across while in Big Bend National Park in Texas. This first one is an Octillo (although technically it isn't a cactus but we're not being that picky, right?). It looks like a cactus and it has those similar sharp spines - you don't want to get too close! The stems are 10-15 feet tall and the spines are about … [Read more...]