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November-December 2017

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Weatherscapes: Big Bend National Park — Frontier Desert Solitude

Located under skies of predominantly subtropical high pressure, the landscape of the Big Bend region is very much representative of the arid environment in which it exists: weathered and eroded geology mostly open to view, horizons chiseled by jagged desert peaks, and the landscape dotted by only the toughest of vegetation. But this Chihuahuan Desert realm is hardly devoid of life, as austere as the conditions may be. With a wide range of elevations, and hence climate zones, a variety of life abounds, including juniper, mesquite, oak, and pine, a wide variety of cactus, and an assortment of birds, reptiles, and land mammals. 


Weatherwise contributing editor ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer who covers a broad range of topics. His next book is The Final Mission of Extortion 17, published by Smithsonian Books. Learn more at

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