Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

There’s more than Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park

with 6 comments

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I expected to see Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park when we spent much of the day there on November 5. I wasn’t expecting so many conspicuous piles of boulders, which impressed me more than the Joshua trees did.

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© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 29, 2016 at 5:04 AM

6 Responses

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  1. I’ve seen plenty of photos of the trees at Joshua Tree, but this was a surprise. I was even more surprised when I used “Joshua Tree geology” as a search term. I had no idea it was such a starkly beautiful place, or that remnants of earth’s earliest history could be seen there. I like the contrasting rocks in the first photo, but my favorite detail is in the second photo, where that little tuft of green near center-right has gained a foothold.

    shoreacres

    December 29, 2016 at 5:35 AM

    • I knew practically nothing about Joshua Tree National Park when we went there (the teacher should have known better and done his homework). I was as surprised as you find out how many geological formations the park includes. The region is dry, straddling the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert, and yet I often saw plants that had gained a foothold in seemingly unlikely and inhospitable spots. After all, in the desert almost every spot is inhospitable, so other than a few oases plants don’t have much choice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2016 at 8:58 AM

  2. Wow how does that all hold together?! Looks as if it could all dislodge and come tumbling down, such impressive erosion!

    Nature on the Edge

    December 29, 2016 at 5:54 AM

    • With the passage of time it doesn’t all hold together, and the tumbling you mentioned happens. Many of the boulders along the bottom in the second picture must have started out higher up. The winter cycle of freezing at night and warming during the day causes cracking and destabilizes the rocks. Joshua Tree is an impressive place. The American Southwest is a long way from South Africa but I hope you’ll make it there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2016 at 9:08 AM


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