The California Deserts (Mojave and Colorado) are unique and fascinating places, with many plant species and wildlife that are found nowhere else on earth.
When I first went looking for wildflowers in the desert over 20 yrs ago, one had to carefully to plan where to refuel and stock up on water and food. Lodging was dodgy so we camped. None of these is a factor anymore. Highways quickly get you where you want to go and pit stops like Mojave have become towns. The scary thing is that little desert towns have become cities. (Palmdale has an IMAX now!) All this means development – and loss of wild lands (and loss of wildflowers). Solar panels cover acres ( a double edged sword I’ll discuss another time).
Large numbers of these caterpillars were busy eating wildflowers – I hope they become beautiful butterflies!
There is a certain to beauty to desert landscapes and, as you can see, it is not a barren wasteland, but has its own ecosystem. The slides below were taken in the Mojave, just east or southeast of where the Sierra Nevada Mountains die out, near Red Rock.
I have hundreds of pictures – the trick is choosing the right ones. Don’t you hate to go to someone’s house and realize they have 300 slides of their trip to Disneyland with the kids and they haven’t even culled the out-of focus ones! (Rule of thumb: one slide/minute thus 60 is generally plenty for friends or a talk.)
I have emphasized wildflowers ( and some wildlife) because it is spring, but the rocks and sand dunes are interesting in themselves.
Have you ever visited a desert?