April 2018

Some of our Austin photography group, Bruce, George, Terry, Lucas and I, made the trip to Big Bend the third week in April. The timing was chosen to take advantage of a period of dark skies with no moon. Click here for our itinerary.

One of objectives for the trip was to explore the El Solitario area of Big Bend Ranch State Park. My neighborhood friend Bernie and I did this on April 15/16. The area is defined as the site a circular laccolith that collapsed, and is obvious on topographic maps and from the air. The campsite, Tres Papalotes (Three Windmills), is in a very remote area, about 95 miles from Terligua by road. It is about 4200 ft in elevation making it fairly cool at night relative to Terlingua. The most interesting photo opportunity there was a Milky Way shot...

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Milky Way panorama from Tres Papalotes, El Solitario, Big Bend Ranch State Park

Other objectives included shooting Milky Way images at other interesting places in the area, including the Dorgan House in the national park, the movie set and the hoo doos in the state park. Drought had returned to the area so the wildflowers were few and far between. But, looking closely, there were a few that were worthy of a photo. There were even three new species for my collection. Click here to see the recent ones, and here to see all the Big Bend wildflowers in the collection.

© Tom Lebsack 2019