Sep 07 2007
I apologize for the slightly dodgy quality of these photographs taken during my trip through the Mojave Desert. I was using my PDA/cellphone/handlink/external memory device as a camera while riding in a car doing 70 miles per hour, so there's bound to be a little image blurring.
Anyway, I hope that some of these photographs show why I love the desert so much. The landscapes are simply beautiful, moreso when you actually get to go walking around in the environment and not just watching it pass by. There's something about the dichotomy between the hard, dry earth, and the shapes of the mountains and hills that were worked by flows of water hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, and polished by decades of grit propelled by the wind that never stops hissing across the sand and rock and scrub. Looking out over the dried out lake bed, it feels as if the land goes on forever. Sometimes it isn't possible to see the horizon due to the haze and heat shimmer - I wanted to take off at a dead sprint across the land and see where my legs would carry me.
If I wasn't careful, I almost found myself thinking the same thing that has lead many people to their deaths in the desert - the heat shimmer really does look like water out there. Cool water, enough to drink and drink and drink.
What plant life is out there tends to be small, spiky, and usually set apart from others of its kind. Similarly, animals are quiet, blindingly fast, and not often seen during the brightest part of the day because the air temperature is high enough to steal strength and water alike. Still, there is a very important lesson to be learned here: Life always finds a way.
I really miss Home every time I drive through the desert.