Joshua Tree

October 3, 2015 at 8:56 am (California, Mojave Desert, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )


Joshua Tree National Park is one of my favorite places in California. It’s relatively close by, and I’m smitten with the “wonderland of rocks” and the quirky Joshua trees.


As with any place, the “golden hour” of dawn or evening provides the most spectacular light, especially if there are clouds that provide an ever-changing backdrop, or a gauzy filter that reddens the lowered sunlight.


You don’t always get the light full-strength, but that sometimes creates a gentler mood.


Most of these images were made on the Hidden Valley trail. As with everywhere in the park with a significant pile of rocks, there were folks honing their climbing skills.


It’s long past flower season in September, but a bright red tuna (the seedpod) on a prickly pear added just the right touch to an otherwise monotonous palette.


Same rocks, different cactus.  (Cholla).

Loggerhead shrike

Loggerhead shrike

I almost didn’t see this guy, as I was aiming for a stark tree silhouetted against the sky. Normally the loggerhead shrike won’t allow a close approach, but as I found out when it tried to fly away, it had a broken wing.

Campground coyote

Campground coyote

I heard this guy barking/whining near the campground in a way that wasn’t quite domestic. So I waited, and it crossed the road and trotted through the desert. It’s probably the same opportunistic scavenger I saw in May at the same campground.



I believe there had been a wildfire in the park years ago, which might account for some of these dead trees.


This is more a portrait of the clouds than the landscape.


I love the framing, with two Joshua trees book-ending the rock formation, and the naturally vignetted foreground.

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

An appropriate Halloween photo – Skull Rock.


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1 Comment

  1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary said,

    Such beautiful photos! Love the sky and perfect lighting!

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