Perspectives on Nature Photography
with 18 comments
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
Posted in nature photography
Tagged with animal, Big Bend, clouds, desert, illusion, landscape, nature, Trans-Pecos
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It’s the ever-elusive western hemisphere snub-nosed dromedary, Steve. Well caught.
December 13, 2015 at 5:42 AM
Now why didn’t I think of the snub-nosed part?
December 13, 2015 at 8:53 AM
I guess that was just too elusive for me.
December 13, 2015 at 11:13 AM
Ha! Can’t top Steve G! 🙂 How well it plays to the fascinating chapter in Texas history.
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.
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.
December 13, 2015 at 10:15 PM
I agree – nice shot.
December 13, 2015 at 1:31 PM
I remember driving through the part of New Zealand that you refer to as “the desert.”
December 13, 2015 at 2:48 PM
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.
December 13, 2015 at 10:11 PM
Speaking of which, notice the fourth paragraph and the last paragraph in this New York Times article.
January 9, 2016 at 12:56 PM
I’d caught a glimpse of the statue somewhere, but hadn’t read the article. It’s interesting, and the references certainly fit. The last sentence is particularly good.
As we say here, what goes around, comes around. A Confucian statue suffered the same fate only a few years ago. I wonder if we’ll get to the point in this country where battles of the bands are replaced by battles of the statues?
January 10, 2016 at 9:17 PM
I hadn’t heard about the statue of Confucius. As for battles over statues in this country, they’ve already been taking place, including right here in Austin:
January 10, 2016 at 9:28 PM
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.
December 14, 2015 at 7:24 AM
With a bit of imagination you can see so many things, it is such a fun landmark.
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.
December 16, 2015 at 4:19 AM
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