Turning Around on the Chisos Mountain Trail

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View from the trail of the volcanic Casa Grande formations in the the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, West Texas. The word "Chisos" is Spanish for ghosts. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

View from the trail of the volcanic Casa Grande formations in the the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, West Texas. The word "Chisos" is Spanish for ghosts. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

Through berried junipers and dry

Scrub oak, we amble along a steadily

Upward trail toward much higher

Pinnacles with gliding ravens hoarsely

Squawking like spirits of the mountains

Overlooking agave, prickly pear and

Yucca about to bloom, and from the

Branches of pinon pines comes a

Sprite-like cheeping of white-breasted

Nuthatches as volcanic Casa Grande

Darkens in an approaching storm.

We scamper up a lichened-notch to get

A better view of the cold front coming in

With layers of damp-gray snow clouds

Just as a big blue Mexican jay screeches

A warning for us to descend from our

Perch above Boot Canyon where lower

Arroyos still shimmer in heat to the lea.