Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Near the Mesquite Camping Area

with 23 comments


Park Road 5 is the main thoroughfare through* Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas panhandle. On October 20th we drove as far southeast as the road goes. Near its end I pulled into the Mesquite Camping Area to take pictures of attractive geological formations close by.



The trees give you a sense of how large these formations are.



* Almost no native English speakers know that thorough and through are
two forms of the same word. If you do a thorough job you go all the way through it.
A thoroughfare is a road that goes all the way through a terrain.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 7, 2023 at 4:27 AM

23 Responses

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  1. I’ve never been in this part of Texas and it looks so amazing


    January 7, 2023 at 5:09 AM

  2. What an interesting area, and just a four hour drive directly west of where I live. Those formations are grand. I had no idea they existed.


    January 7, 2023 at 5:49 AM

    • If it’s only four hours away, then this is the year you’ll have to go there. It’s well worth the drive, as the three posts from Palo Duro Canyon so far have shown, and two more will confirm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 7:24 AM

  3. The wave-like formations running along the top of the formation in the first photo are especially interesting, and it’s always fun to have a tree around to provide perspective for something like those huge rocks. When I scroll-cropped that image to eliminate the sky and the trees at the top, I was surprised by how much more strongly the diagonal ‘perch’ of the larger tree jumped out at me. I imagined the tree saying, “Onward and upward…”


    January 7, 2023 at 5:55 AM

    • Those “waves” across the ridge are what attracted me to that part of the formation, and I tried out various compositions. With regard to the scroll-cropping, I’m tempted to say Z for Zorro.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 7:28 AM

    • The trees on the diagonal caught my eye and imagination too. It made me think of a child skipping ahead of its mother as she struggles up the hill carrying heavy shopping. (Flight of fancy there!)

      Ann Mackay

      January 7, 2023 at 7:52 AM

  4. Having the tree in the image really does show very large the dunes are!


    January 7, 2023 at 8:54 AM

  5. An extraordinary site, the landscape makes me think of camel backs.


    January 7, 2023 at 10:59 AM

    • An extraordinary site, indeed. You’re not alone in thinking of a camel backs. That ridge grabbed my attention and led me to take of pictures in various compositions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 1:53 PM

  6. That is some beautiful red rock, Steve! I’ve bookmarked etymonline.com.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 7, 2023 at 11:01 AM

    • It’s a good website. Etymology reveals so much that I wish it were a part of our standard curriculum. And Palo Duro is a great place to spread the word about.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 1:56 PM

  7. Thanks for the thorough job working through the word. It’s interesting to see the different thicknesses of the sandstone layers as they were built over time.

    Steve Gingold

    January 7, 2023 at 12:49 PM

    • Once again your keen photographer’s eye tuned in (if I can mix metaphors), in this case to the different thicknesses of the layers. Stone is usually opaque, as are many word origins.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 1:59 PM

  8. Outstanding photographs! It is difficult to imagine that over the centuries humans have inhabited such a harsh environment.

    My mind’s eye squinted to see the spiny back of buried Stegosaurus in that first image and a footprint in the second image where a Pterodactyl touched down briefly.

    My mind’s eye blinked and all I could envision for that third image is how it might be slightly uncomfortable to hike around that formation in late August.

    You certainly did a thorough job of guiding us through this very unique piece of the Lone Star State.

    Wally Jones

    January 7, 2023 at 5:20 PM

    • Thanks. You saw a stegosaurus where another person saw camel backs. You remain unique with your pterodactyl.

      By mid-October the intense heat had abated, which is why we traveled then. While it’s hard to imagine living there in August, people have done so for thousands of years, almost all of them without benefit of air conditioning.

      There’ll be two more posts showing Palo Duro Canyon. I took lots of pictures and could easily show more, but it’ll be time to move on to other places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2023 at 5:47 PM

  9. Count me among those who didn’t know the relationship of thorough and through, but it’s great to learn something new. Now we’ll see how long I can remember that. 🙂

    Todd Henson

    January 15, 2023 at 12:58 PM

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