Chuckwagon sunrise in the Chihuahuan Desert

Photographer finds beauty among cowboys’ teepees

We left headquarters at 5:30 a.m. to head out to camp for breakfast. It took a good 40 minutes by truck on a caliche road to reach the north end of the 173,000-acre ranch at the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. Cowboys on this and many big Texas ranches camp in teepees around the chuck wagon each night during spring branding. When we arrived at camp, the orange glow of the sun had just begun to peek over the horizon to meet the fading night sky. Cook made pancakes and bacon under the canvas wagon fly as it perfectly reflected the lantern light. Cowboys stood around their teepees, drinking coffee and talking about the cattle they’d gather after breakfast. I couldn’t stop photographing the scene, so I just had coffee.

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