Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A would-be desert denizen

with 18 comments

Big Bend Mound Like a Headless Camel 9891

This mound in the western part of Big Bend National Park attracted me when I drove by on November 22nd because it looked like a camel that had knelt on the desert sand. All that was missing was a snout.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2015 at 5:33 AM

18 Responses

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  1. It’s the ever-elusive western hemisphere snub-nosed dromedary, Steve. Well caught.

    Steve Gingold

    December 13, 2015 at 5:42 AM

  2. Ha! Can’t top Steve G! 🙂 How well it plays to the fascinating chapter in Texas history.

    Melissa Pierson

    December 13, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    • Now you’ve got me wondering whether a real camel ever made it out to this spot.

      Readers who would like to know more about the camel chapter in Texas history can turn to


      and the two posts that follow it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 13, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      • Thanks for the mention. As a matter of fact, the Army camels did make it to Big Bend in the 1800s. Maj. H. C. Wayne, who was charged with testing the beasts for suitability as pack animals, made one trip to Big Bend before the survey trip from Fort Defiance, NM, to California. Today, you can make make a trek with the Texas Camel Corps. I’m not sure I’m up for that one.


        December 13, 2015 at 7:59 PM

        • Now I’m wondering if any camels passed this spot in Big Bend, and if so, whether any of the people involved saw the resemblance. We’ll probably not know unless someone wrote about it in a diary.

          I’m not about to spend $750 for an overnight camel adventure.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 13, 2015 at 10:15 PM

  3. I agree – nice shot.

    Raewyn's Photos

    December 13, 2015 at 1:31 PM

  4. Now I have it sorted out. When I wrote about the camels, you mentioned Camelback Mountain (Phoenix) and Camel Rock (Santa Fe) in a comment, so this is a third, Texas camel. Or four-fifths of a camel. Did you happen to check near it on the sand for a half-sunk and shattered visage? You might have recognized it by its frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer. There’s no question that camels will sneer.

    The cloud is as interesting as the camel. If I don’t look too closely, it bears a slight resemblance to Arabic script, which only adds to the atmosphere.


    December 13, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    • No, this camel wasn’t named Ozymandias. I walked right past the place where the “camel’s head” would have fallen, but I found none. In fact I was on my way to the maroon and gray hill shown previously, so it’s not the case that “boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

      I like the way you see the clouds as Arabic script, something that never occurred to me but that does tie in so well with the desert.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 13, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    • Speaking of which, notice the fourth paragraph and the last paragraph in this New York Times article.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 9, 2016 at 12:56 PM

  5. Pues llevas razón, la semejanza con un camello descansando es increíble. Muchas gracias por compartirlo.

    Isabel F. Bernaldo de Quirós

    December 14, 2015 at 4:06 AM

    • Se dice en inglés “Seeing is believing,” pero no es siempre real lo que uno cree ver.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 14, 2015 at 7:24 AM

  6. With a bit of imagination you can see so many things, it is such a fun landmark.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 16, 2015 at 12:48 AM

    • And yet when I searched for “camel rock Big Bend” I didn’t turn up any other pictures of this mound.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 16, 2015 at 4:19 AM

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