It’s 3:00 PM and outside, in Yucca Valley, CA, it’s a pleasant 97 degrees with a humidity of 19%, so it feels like 94! You don’t get that in Charlotte, to be sure. :)

I’m holed up in my hotel room, hiding from the heat of the day. I’ll resume my photography this evening, after about 6:00 PM.

I don’t know much about photographing the desert; however, I do know to stay out of the sun, drink lots of water – all day long, wear long pants, shoes, and socks … and watch where you step. That seems to keep me out of trouble. To many, the desert, at a casual glance looks dead, desolate; however, it is anything but. Upon closer inspection, you can see amazing plant life specially adapted to what we would call a harsh environment. They have waxy leaves that don’t allow moisture to be wicked away. Many of the succulent plants, such as cacti, have defenses such as very thick skin and needle-sharp leaves to discourage eating by animals. One can find dozens of holes in the sand, each housing at least one or more critters. I’ve seen rabbits, quail (I think), a road runner and, of course, a number of insects.

In my drive across the Mojave, you can see evidence of human ‘progress’ all through the desert. We parcel it up, fence it off, and restrict access. I saw a number mountains stripped bare of their surface. I have a great respect for the desert and also, honestly, a bit of fear as I’m not so familiar with it and the terrain, weather, and lack of water seem so unforgiving; however, through my photography, I hope to learn more about it, to come to appreciate it even more than I do now.

State and National parks help to preserve that possibility by restricting development on pristine desert, forest, marsh, or other types of lands. Every once in a while, our government gets something right. As they say, a broken clock is right twice a day and every once in a while, a blind squirrel finds a nut! :)

I’ll be returning to the park a couple of more times. Also, hopefully Bill and I will hook up tomorrow. He’s a big fan of the desert. I could learn a few things!

A real Southern girl
High above the desert floor

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