As fall approaches, so have the rains arrived in the Big Bend. And so, it’s time again to backpack up into the High Chisos trails and camp on the South Rim.
You certainly don’t hear “fall” and “flowers” spoken in the same sentence, but then again, it’s a different place, the Big Bend. It was not long before the bloom brought on by a couple of weeks of soaking, and sometimes flooding, rains on the mountain put on a show:In addition to a wonderful array of flowers, the critters were all on the move, enjoying the explosive availability of water throughout the high country. The del Carmen whitetail deer, found only on this mountain and across the Rio Grande River in the Sierra del Carmen Mountains, display a real lack of fear born from evolving on this protected mountain alongside human contact:A young buck in full velvet in preparation for the fall rut:A couple of smaller visitors:The desert 2000′ below the rim has turned green, nourished by the monsoon rains:Even mushrooms grow in the dry, cool protection of shady plants:Campsite on the South Rim is cozy, with all the desert running away to Mexico:Sunset is a beautiful time of the day up here, giving way to the moon and Venus, the first lights of the night:Add Jupiter and Saturn, the bring on the Milky Way and Mars as its escort:Next morning, it’s time to head home, but one last visit from a setting of flowers, and an escort by another whitetail doe down the trail.Rain is the lifeblood of the desert, and proves that there’s something to see year-round if you slow down and look. As I have often quoted from Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire, “…crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe.”