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Cactus Plant

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"Kodachrome moments notwithstanding, the California desert has often been reduced ... to little more than a barren, bleak broiling gravel pit through which the wise traveler rapidly accelerates on the way to more temperate climes. Not everybody's cup of tea. An arid wasteland. A moonscape. A cracked, parched, malignant home of sidewinders and scraggly plants..."

From "Outposts of Eden" VOICES IN THE DESERT by Page Stegner

Joshua Tree National Park, which we visited in March of this year, was a bit of a disappointment. It had been a very dry winter so the wildflowers and cactii weren't showing many signs of blooming, and the vegetation in general was much less verdant than it would have been - even in the desert - at this time of year. However, there were still some opportunities to capture an image of cactus against sandstone - a very familiar scene in this part of the country.


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Our first morning photo outing at Joshua Tree brought us to a sunrise setting at the Jumbo Rocks area, and as you can see these are aptly named. It was one of those fortuitous photographic moments to find the moon still nicely visible in the sky, in sharp contrast to the red rocks that were being given that fiery glow by the rising sun. As is often the case, the entire scene changed ten minutes later; the moon was no longer visible, the sun had risen enough to make the rocks look washed out, and all that remained for me was this image. I'll keep it with fond appreciation...

If you are interested in excellent landscape photography, take a look at NATURE'S AMERICA which captures images from around the US, or PLATEAU LIGHT which contains images from the Arizona-Utah redrock canyon country, or ARIZONA: THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL. All are reasonably priced for photography books of this type, and you'll find them endlessly enjoyable.

Also, there are many resources on the Web concerning various aspects of landscape and environmental issues, and more. Among the more interesting ones I can suggest are the Bureau of Land Management's Visual Resource Management program, the National Park Service, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

If You'd Like To Explore Some More...

There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.

Entire contents of this website Copyright © 2007 Gil Gordon Associates