Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 28 May 2009

A Sense of Perspective

Fort Davis, Texas

It was cool this morning at 3AM. The Milky Way is out and bright, running from the horizon through the triangle formed by Deneb, Vega and Altair. Fortunately, we are usually spared the sight of the outer edge of our own galaxy. Otherwise we might always feel depressingly small and insignificant.

The Davis Mountains were called the Apache Mountains before Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, established the Fort to protect against raids by the indigenous hostiles. The fort was abandoned during the Civil War. In 1866 the Ninth Cavalry, consisting of black "buffalo soldiers" reopened the fort.

It's high here and cool this morning. Today we plan to see the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, drive a long wildlife loop and go to the Chihuahuan Desert nature center. Maybe we will get lucky and see a black, hairy Javelina?

We drove to the West of the Pecos museum yesterday. It's located in Pecos. The bar has real bullet holes in the wall where two men were killed in a shoot-out. The bartender, Jesse, tells the story when you trip a motion detector entering the bar.

The drive to Pecos winds about 30 miles though the Davis Mountains and then another 40 over tabletop desert. I amuse myself trying to photograph mirages in the desert. This is a shrub desert without much diversity. Yuccas and agaves, growing with grasses and creosote bushes, give this desert its shrubby appearance.

They filmed "Lonesome Dove" here, so I guess that we've accidentally found it.

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