Those unfamiliar with desert environments might not think them full of photographic opportunities. Yet a careful look reveals much to appreciate in flora and fauna. From the reclusive gray fox to colorful Mojave Mound Cactus blooms, the Mojave Desert boasts a wide pallet of subjects.
I visited my parent's home near Twentynine Palms, California, recently (in April 2018) and early last year at about the same time. I'll share some photographs from those two trips here as if I had taken them during a single day.
For prints of any of these images, visit the Own Prints page, or contact me vie email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thought this poem by Sylvia Plath describes the desert nicely.
Sleep In The Mojave Desert
By Sylvia Plath
Out here there are no hearthstones,
Hot grains, simply. It is dry, dry.
And the air dangerous. Noonday acts queerly
On the mind's eye erecting a line
Of poplars in the middle distance, the only
Object beside the mad, straight road
One can remember men and houses by.
A cool wind should inhabit these leaves
And a dew collect on them, dearer than money,
In the blue hour before sunup.
Yet they recede, untouchable as tomorrow,
Or those glittery fictions of spilt water
That glide ahead of the very thirsty.
I think of the lizards airing their tongues
In the crevice of an extremely small shadow
And the toad guarding his heart's droplet.
The desert is white as a blind man's eye,
Comfortless as salt. Snake and bird
Doze behind the old maskss of fury.
We swelter like firedogs in the wind.
The sun puts its cinder out. Where we lie
The heat-cracked crickets congregate
In their black armorplate and cry.
The day-moon lights up like a sorry mother,
And the crickets come creeping into our hair
To fiddle the short night away.
After lunch we headed to Joshua Tree National Park. The park is named after the tree that is abundant here - and only here (almost). [The park isn't the only thing named after the tree. Fans of the Irish band, U2 will know that their fifth studio album was named The Joshua Tree.]
We hiked the Barker Dam Nature Trail (see below). Fortunately, the timing was right for my recent visit to photograph blooms on the Mojave Mound Cactus located along our trail.