An article on Steamtown National Historic Site, located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, appears in the Winter 2008 issue of National Parks Magazine. Ian wrote and photographed the piece. The magazine is a member benefit of the National Parks Conservation Association. Visit NPCA.org to become a member and begin receiving this amazing publication.
At the end of a long day, I managed to stretch it out a little longer by spending an evening photographing scorpions in the pitch black along the Rio Grande River. The best part is that earlier today I learned that scorpions are much easier to find with a black light on them. So why not photograph one like that, too, right?
In the distance is a river. But unlike any other river – this is a river of borders, rules, laws and a separation of a society once whole, divided in two. On the left of the river is Mexico, on the right, Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA. There is nothing quite as warm as the light from a South Texas sunset or the starry sky that stretches out unimpeded across the desert night. Big Bend gets it’s name from the u-shaped turn the Rio Grande makes along it’s borders. It’s also the Rio Grande that lends so many great landscapes to visitors of this place. But despite these offerings, the river also serves as an inadvertent reminder of 9/11. There are no walls here like they build in other states. No fences. No patrol towers. In fact the river is knee deep in most places if not shallower. However, this border is “closed.” I learned today it wasn’t always this way but that Mexico and the United States shared the national park and that visitors could wade across the river and have lunch in Mexico and return a few minutes later, unimpeded and not labeled a criminal. Those days seem to be gone. Instead we stand at the edge of the river and look into Mexico and they look back at us.
Driving 60mph I somehow managed to see this guy as he left the pavement for the tall grasses.
This morning I woke up early, my first day in the park, and despite my own procrastinations and lack of coffee (thank you autofocus), I photographed this shot of a cactus as the sunrise lit up the top of the Chisos Mountains. More tomorrow…