A meteor during the Perseids meteor shower viewed from Big Bend National Park near the Burro Mesa pouroff on August 12, 2016 around 4 a.m. Heavy clouds, part of a storm system from Mexico, made viewing difficult. However, at about 2 a.m., the skies cleared and debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet soared into the earth’s atmosphere. ©2016 Robert W. Hart
I sped out to Big Bend National Park, a mere nine hours west, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, last week with two goals in mind. One: Photograph the Perseids Meteor shower in one of the darkest skies in North America and two: Photograph the desert storms that develop in and around the park in August. A pair of Mexican storm systems almost thwarted my meteorite plans by stalling directly over the park and surrounding area Thursday night. Fortunately, on Friday morning, the peak time for viewing the Perseids, the clouds cleared at about 2 a.m. and I was able to shoot till dawn.
Unfortunately, the wall of moisture-filled clouds up from Mexico threw a wrench in my plans for storm shooting but one does not despair when faced with the prospect of two full days working in BBNP. I made for Terlingua to stay at Villa Terlingua, the beautiful guesthouse owned by my friend Cynta De Narvaez. It’s my favorite place to stay when I’m not in a tent in the park. It’s in the ghost town but far enough away from the store and the Starlight to be quiet, even during the chili cookoffs. I shot the Perseids image with the Nikon D810 and an f/2.8 17-35mm lens at ISO 2000 and a 20-second exposure.
Villa Terlingua in Terlingua Ghost Town: My favorite place to stay in the Big Bend.