To me, the word “desert” calls to mind a place of emptiness, desolation, and dryness. It’s a place you might not choose to go if given other options, a place rarely associated with abundance. But what I experienced recently was just the opposite.One destination in our California trip last month was Joshua Tree National Park, which includes sections of both the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Of course I knew about the Joshua trees (not actually trees but a variety of yucca) though I was surprised to find so many other forms of life here.Even in the rockiest places, plants of all kinds sprang forth. Were it not for the quickly rising heat, I could have spent all day examining the various succulents, flowering plants and unexpected beauty.
As it was, we spent a few hours in the early morning exploring, returning at sunset to see more of the desert terrain before darkness fell.
And in fact, we stayed well after sunset to watch the sky fill with stars and to experiment a bit with astrophotography. (Not a complete success, but we learned a few tricks!) After daytime temperatures well above 100 degrees, it was surprising to feel a cool breeze and to wear a jacket after dark. I was already wishing we had more time to spend in this beauty-filled place!