Leaving Fort Davis on Highway 17 North, this is my favorite cottonwood bower. The shapely trunks are handsome even in leafless winter. During walks in the area, one can distinguish the different timbres of the wind through various leaf shapes. Cottonwood leaves sound like hundreds of rustling round tympanums, very unlike the baritone wind through the long-needle ponderosa pine.

Few people think of winter when they think of the Trans Pecos. But winter brings snow, heavy frosts, and ice storms in all their hoary glory. The first scene is of Alpine. The second shows the rhythmic shapes of the cacti outside Fort Davis.
winter frost in alpine texas