Spring in the Texas Big Bend can be a colorful experience or just a drab prelude to summer heat. It all depends on rainfall. In the past year extreme drought conditions have eased somewhat which means the possibility of spring flowers. Depending on the altitude, flowers start appearing as early as January and are gone by April. This year I caught the end of the wildflower bloom. Regardless, a trip to Big Bend is always a reward in itself.
There are many opinions about crude oil and gas extraction that involve the future of the planet. Here concerns are rather less grand but more important in the moment. There is a stereotype of brash oil millionaires in urban folklore. The reality in the oilfield is of people working long hours for regular pay. The mineral wealth of Texas has allowed generations of families to prosper here.
Before petroleum there were ranchers on the plateau. The land is not fit for farming but cattle do well as long as there is water to drink. A cycle of drought stretching back into the nineteen fifties or further to the dust bowl has depopulated the land. Still some cattle ranchers hang on. Others have turned to sport hunting of exotic non-native species to make ends meet. You see a curious mixture of ranchers in old pickup trucks and modern SUVs full of well heeled hunting guests on the back roads.
The Guadalupe Dance Company performs folk dances at Luminaria Arts Night. San Antonio has a rich and diverse arts scene which is reflected in venues across the city. Luminaria Arts Night is an opportunity for artists of all types to showcase their work to the public in downtown San Antonio. Streets are closed and artists take over the city center for the evening to the delight of huge crowds. In many ways the combination of artists and audience of thousands of people are performance art.