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Aug 6th: Joshua Tree National Park (Ocotillo, a shrub)

August 7, 2007

160 miles driven, 65 photographs taken, 1 Americano Grande’s drunk, 1 Starbucks City Mugs acquired (Palm Springs).

Accomodation: Caliente Tropics Resort unchanged from previous day

Picture: This is a close up of the Ocotillo. Its not a cactus but a thorny, multi-stem shrub. It is both wood and deciduous. It can grow and drop its leaves five times a year – its not seasonal in the traditional sense of the word. From a distance you think you are undersea, looking a strands of seaweed.

A first real experience of desert today, although not a full one. A longish circular drive with multiple photo stops. So many that the plan to take a ranch tour in the early evening was lost. A long hot climb on Interstate 10 was relieved by a stunning set of panoramas as we headed east on route that would have taken us to Phoenix. Turning off into the national park the contrast of perspective was the amazing. From a distance, barren; close up a rich a fertile source of life. I spent too much time trying to take a picture of a Jack Rabbit, the desert wood rat was evident from its traces but the ravens were ubiquitous and a connection to climbing in the more fertile slopes of Yr Wyddfa.

Contrasts, like counter-factuals tend to promote those memories and make connections between places and people.

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