Persistence of Fragility

Bush, canyon wall and granite boulders in Sandstone Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. January 2014.

Bush, canyon wall and granite boulders in Sandstone Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. January 2014.

Photo of the month, January 2014. You can buy a print of this photo in my store (opens in a new browser tab/window).

Also picked as a favorite of 2014 because it symbolizes what’s so unique about the desert to me.

Nowhere else does the fragility of live itself, and it’s persistence at the same time, become more apparent. The shrub looks like it maybe even went over the edge of the cliff above, and tumbled down into the canyon at some point – I’m not sure, but it happens all the time. And it survived. It found a way to plant it’s roots into the bed of granite boulders, and continue to grow. At the same time, any monsoon storm in the summer months might see another flash flood ravaging the area, forming the canyon, moving the boulders, washing everything away with it… before the place gets baked again in temperatures over 100F/40C.

It’s this contrast that makes the desert so appealing. The reduction to the essentials, the visibility of the raw, brutal forces of nature, that allows us to re-discover the miracles on Earth that are around us, all the time.

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