The Big bend national park is situated in Texas, USA. The place is an arid desert but with immense diversity of cactus. Before we go to places, we try to read as much as possible about the biodiversity of the place and it was only then we realized that cactus was not native to India. Even though we are used to cactus in India , it is a native of the deserts of Mexico and USA. When we got to know this, our entire focus went around the cactus species found here. Our trip here was full of events and small adventures , which we will cover in a different post but below are pictures that I personally enjoyed. We got to meet the road runner as well as see the beauty of Woody Crinklemat.
Coyotillo / Opuntia azurea – Some of the most beautiful flowers are found with some of the most sharpest spines ! This one could be an excellent example for this case. Found only in the Big Bend region of west Texas, Opuntia azurea is an attractive plant, with bluish, reddish or purplish-green stems (bright red-purple when young) bearing long red spines. The cactus flowers profusely in early summer, producing large, yellow-red blooms, followed by red/purple fruits.
The female of Cassin’s sparrow (Peucaea cassinii)
Showy desert marigold is a 12-18 in., mound-shaped biennial or short-lived perennial which blooms after good rainfall in the desert. Its daisy-like flowers form impressive mounds of nearly solid yellow. The long-lasting, bright-yellow flowers rise on nearly leafless stems above the mounds of woolly, grey foliage.
The pyrrhuloxia or desert cardinal (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a year round resident of the desert and has an amazing song.
The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a famous bird because of the cartoons. Unlike the cartoons he himself is a very strong hunter killing rattlesnakes for food.
The Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) is a medium-sized woodpecker. The face looks like a clown makeup 🙂
This blue bonnet grows much taller than the other bonnets, sometimes at 3 to 4 feet in height. They can be very numerous in places and cover stretches of desert landscape. The flowers are deep blue with a yellow patch in the middle.
The vermilion flycatcher or common vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus obscurus) is a small flycatcher. The first time we saw it was like a bright red ball jumping from one branch to another. The female is much paler in colour.
Woody Crinklemat / Tiquilia canescens – One of the desert bushes that one can miss because it is close to the ground and the flowers are small. What the flowers lack in size they make up in quantity and they can literally cover the entire bush. The plant is a desert perennial which blooms in low elevations of the american deserts during the months of March, April and May.