Vast, bold, dangerous, unpredictable, still, calm, violent, glorious. These are just some ways to describe a desert environment, one of my favourite to visit and photograph.
There’s a misconception that deserts are void of anything, or one day is just like the next. I’ve camped, road tripped and off-roaded in the Australian Outback, the Rub Al Khali (or Empty Quarter) bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and in America in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts.
Sand storms, twisters, dramatic vistas, strange, often spikey plants, secretive but deadly animals and night skies comparable only to a collection of royal jewels busy with satellites, falling stars, bright planets, clear constellations, and in the southern hemisphere, a front row seat to the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Sure there’s heat, dust, dirt, grit, sand, cloudless skies sometimes, but rarely does a desert disappoint.
A Joshua Tree isn’t pretty in the sense of a deciduous tree, all a-flutter with the burnt edge colours of Autumn, but in silhouette it’s a silent drama, sharp and spiney in contrast with the bread dough boulders of the surrounding national park.
It’s somewhere ‘other’.
Well worth a visit.
Pack light, live long, travel far.