Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
View to the west, looking toward Ysidro Peak from the dunes off the Thimble Trail. Taken about half an hour after sunrise. I enjoyed having this part of the world all to myself for several hours before, during and after sunrise.
El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico
The sandstone bluffs of El Malpais National Monument provide a panoramic view of the volcanic landscape in the high desert below. But I was particularly taken with this pine tree growing out of a crack in the sandstone. The soft lighting seemed to accentuate its loneliness. There were lightning storms off to the west, and the cliffs are susceptible to lightning strikes, so I kept a close eye on the storms’ movement while I took this photo.
El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico, August 2013
A wider view of the pine tree standing sentinel with the meandering storm in the distance. An hour later, that storm was unleashing lightning on these cliffs. Fortunately, I had already retreated to safer ground.