Big Bend Country

It’s rare that a region is called by its Prehistoric name as part of daily life. In West Texas, everyone refers to the Permian Basin–news and weather cover it; mattress stores and car dealers serve it; maps and tourism materials reference it.

Making the geology and history part of banal life shows the respect and awe people have for the nature where they live. And it’s powerful nature. Wide open spaces fenced with barbed wire to keep the cattle in. Flat lands with striking mountains in the distance. Clouds and wind that move with determination.

This is Big Bend Country. And you definitely want to be here.

Taking It All In

With a panorama of gorgeous, how do you know where to look? Well, you stop and gaze at everything. It’s peaceful and energizing at the same time. How often can you experience THAT?

Click the pic to advance the slideshow of landscapes.

Don’t Fence Me In

Barbed wire fences are de facto. Somehow they’re unobtrusive despite being an obstacle.

My favorite are those that use tree limbs as stakes. No iron or factory-precise materials here. P.L.E.A.S.E. We use what the land gives us. Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Tumbleweed isn’t Just in the Movies!

As plants dry out–which they’re bound to do in the desert–they uproot, literally, and blow in the ceaseless wind. It’s often the entire plant, which is amazing. More amazing, they come from Russia! Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say (BTW, Dad (who hates Wikipedia), I learned this elsewhere, but Wikipedia just says it nicely.)

“It seems to have been imported into South Dakota from Russia in 1870 or 1874 in shipments of flaxseed. It has become a noxious weed that has spread throughout North America to inhabit suitable habitats which include areas with disturbed soils like roadsides, cultivated fields and eroded slopes, and in natural habitats that have sparse vegetation like coastal and riparian sands, semi-deserts and deserts. Though it is a noxious weed, Salsola tragus is useful on arid rangelands as forage for livestock.”

Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

And Then There’s Animals

The speed limit may be 75, but despite the fun of being able to go that fast when my trailer is unhitched, there’s too much beauty to see and too many animals to meet.

The javelina–this was a new one for me. Not just in sight, but in knowledge. I’d never heard of it and was giddy when I saw it AND had the park handouts to identify the critter. It eats cacti–spikes and all.

javelina

Cattle are everywhere. You may not always see them, but this land is their land. And after seeing the sparse feedin’, I understand why they go to Kansas in the summer to fatten up. 

cattle in West Texas

What are you looking at, woman? Don’t come any closer if you know what’s good for you.

I actually saw big horn sheep! It was a thrill. But I was driving too fast to slow down and return for a pic–I knew I would scare them off. So these pics are from Flickr. No, I didn’t see them butting heads, but it’s cool to see that here.

big horn sheep

West Texas, Big Bend Country, Permian Basin. Doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s amazing. What a treat to spend so much time here.

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Have you ever fallen in love with a place, yet known that you don’t want to live there?

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