Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park

One of our hikes yesterday was into the Boquillas Canyon. Here the Rio Grande River has, over the years, cut through the massive rock walls to carve out the canyon.
As we were hiking into the canyon I heard someone singing. I thought at first it was the hikers ahead of us trying to hear the echo of their voices in the canyon. But no, it was a man on the Mexican side of the canyon singing. Then I noticed a can on the river shore with a sign attached to it: "donations for the singing Mexican". I must say that is a clever way of picking up a few dollars! We did not stay in the canyon very long because of a strong wind which was churning up the sand. Our arms and legs were starting to sting from the pelting grit. We stopped at a visitor's center for the canyon on our way home. At the cactus garden outside of the center we saw a beautiful rainbow cactus, which is pictured below.
We were surprised to see that cactus in bloom as we had not seen many blooming since our arrival in the park.The ranger in the center admitted that someone had watered the garden last fall. That is the time of the year when cactus should receive rain in order for them to have beautiful spring flowers. Unfortunately it has not rained in Big Bend since October so hopes are not high for a beautiful flowering spring here in Big Bend. Before I close I would also like to mention a few of my bird sightings here in the park. As we entered the park Tuesday I saw a black-chinned hummingbird drinking sweet water out of a dish which a ranger had set out for him. In our campground I have seen the vermillion flycatcher, he certainly has some very bright red feathers and it is hard to miss him! Today, as we hiked the Lost Mine Trail (more on that in my next posting), we were greeted at the top by the noisy chatter of a Mexican jay, he has very bright blue feathers.

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