Friday, August 6, 2010

Vistas, Skies, Rocks, and Streams

I went out to West Texas for ten days with my best bud Ann Marie and got back this week. Have had a little trouble getting back into the groove! I've been thinking about this blogpost, and the next few, and wondering how to condense 10 days of activities and about 400 photos into something worth reading. A chronological account would be tedious for all concerned, so some of my favorite pictures are inspiring the text, at least on this first post.

I don't hate where I live, but after 10 days in West Texas, my area pales in comparison. Sure, the woodland landscape has its own beauty, and I appreciate it, but it's somewhat lacking in vistas, big skies, and mountains. Here are a few vistas that I enjoyed -- we don't ever see all the way to the horizon here! The one above is a view from the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, just south of Fort Davis. A very worthwhile place to visit offering a desert botanical garden with clearly marked plants; a greenhouse full of thousands of cactus and succulents; miles of trails going down into a beautiful canyon and skirting the edge; a knowledgeable staff and a great gift shop. OK...I love gift shops!

The vista below is a view near Iraan, a town we passed through coming and going. By the way, it's pronounced Eye-ruh-ann, after Ira and Ann Yates, who donated 152 acres to build the town. I guess they could afford it after the big oil boom of 1926!
Highway17 north of Marfa. I love the West Texas big sky!
Also near Marfa -- cool anvil cloud!
There were threatening skies the whole time we were there, but the storms were all at night. The clouds are beautiful, but my thoughts tend to turn to flash floods!
Here's an early evening sky shot that I like.
Something else that West Texas has that East Texas doesn't is rocks. Oh, you can go down to your local rock store and pay $300 for a palette of rocks, but out west when you buy land, the rocks come with it!
I don't know much geology but I do enjoy the different colors and forms and textures of rocks. The above was taken at Point of Rocks, a roadshide park near Fort Davis, and maybe you can spot the graffiti. The rocks below are in the canyon at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center.

They look different, but the rocks below are in the same canyon. There had been quite a bit of rain in the area before we got there, and streams that are dry almost all year were running. You can barely see the shallow water between the rocks at the bottom of the picture, but when we got back up to the Nature Center we found out that we were the last people allowed to hike down there because of anticipated rain. That water can rise quickly!
This beautiful stream was on land owned by friends, and had just started flowing two days earlier. That rock really has presence, doesn't it?
Too bad I don't have a sound track of the water splashing over the rocks...
I'm thinking this last one might look great as a watercolor...
Next blog -- ART seen out west!

9 comments:

Campbell Jane said...

Big sky country! Beautiful photos!

Cynthia said...

Yes -- I love the big sky, and although you can't tell by my photos, especially at night! Thanks!

paula said...

love it cynthia! but i want to know about marfa too :) i will wait, i know you have studio time this weekend!

Betty said...

Great writing and pictures. And, I love the previous article about your walks with Sparky!

Cynthia said...

Marfa is next Paula, or actually art that we saw in a variety of locations. But yes tonight I am enjoying studio time!

Thanks Betty! If you don't already know, Sparky has his own blog at
www.sparkysdogblog.blogspot.com
He'd love for you to check it out!

amandala said...

nice! any small, eclectic towns you could see me living/teaching in? =)

Cynthia said...

Mandy -- Marfa is certainly small and eclectic! It's arty and has a big event in October that attracts a lot of people from everywhere. But the rest of the time...it's very small! The downside about a place like that is it's SO far to get to a city of any decent size. I'm not sure if you would like it or not. Alpine is maybe 25 miles from Marfa and has a university (Sul Ross) but is still not a big place. And of course both are pretty close to Big Bend which is a big plus. Hope this is slightly helpful...

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Susie Flatau said...

Cynthia...I love these photos and the narrative that goes along with them. West TX is another world unto itself, for certain. What a beautiful trip to make - on many levels - art inspiration, friendships, relaxation, discovery, joy. Yowza!