Desert Dusk

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Long Quiet Dusk, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Long Quiet Dusk, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

If you are tired of crowds, stress, and noise consider a trip to a desert near you!

In the late evening, in summer, after the sun has set, there is a long dusk. The sky is open. The vistas are immense. The sounds are limited to wind moving through hardy brush, dry grass, and, in this case, Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia Engelm.).  There are no lights, no cars, no buses, no television, and no sirens.

It is still very warm at dusk, although it cools off later. The quiet masks the activity that increases after the sun sets. Animals are adapted to the heat. Even though deserts are sometimes considered vast expanses of dry, lifeless sand, there is a great deal of biological activity in a desert like the one in this photo. The animals find shelter or stay in burrows in the soil during the day. It is a good idea to learn about the activities of the snakes and other animals before walking around. Larger perennial plants are widely spaced, but in areas that are less disturbed, there are many grasses and other plants between the brush. A good way to find this out is to hike wearing shorts and then look at all the seeds that your socks collect as you walk between the brush.

This photo was taken in Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert of southern California, USA. It was an August evening, so the park was somewhat deserted. The summer heat limits the crowds. Standing in a place like this, away from the park access roads, you can let yourself enjoy the warmth and listen to the desert breezes.   Photo:  1/8 s at f/6.3

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