Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Desert Shadows

For this month's Carnival of the Arid, hosted once again by Chris Clarke at Coyote Crossing, I thought I'd try to illustrate why I fell in love with Nevada and its so-called desert. Instead of explaining how it is I came to love this desert, I'm just going to show a few pictures. All but one of these photos were taken while driving Highway 50 through central Nevada; one was taken about 40 miles south of Highway 50.

Chalk Mountain from the south.


West side of the Desatoya Mountains.


Newark Valley, looking west.


East Northumberland Canyon, looking east.


Reese River Valley, looking west.


West side of the Desatoya Mountains.


Antelope Valley and Antelope Range, looking south.


Big Smoky Valley looking north from Spencer's Hot Springs.


The west side of Fairview Peak, looking south.


Chalk Mountain from the south side, different lighting.

Some portions of the Basin and Range of Nevada are technically desert or arid, other portions are technically steppe or semi-arid -- although people argue about these definitions all the time, and I won't go into that right now.


Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Amazing photos. I have to say, while I can certainly appreciate the beauty of the desert, I'll never love it in the same way I love my local coast/mountain/forest combos. I seem to be attracted to the cold wet places of the Earth!

Lockwood said...

Absolutely spectacular. Growing up in Ohio, the desert was an entirely new experience for me in the early 80's... one that I really didn't like very much at first. I don't think I could happily live there, but I don't think I could be very happy without regular visits there either. Beautiful pictures, Silver; makes me want a road trip.

Silver Fox said...

I loved it instantly upon arriving in 1975, it felt immediately like home - had been getting depressed and claustrophobic in green, tree-covered areas for way too long. Later, it got too bright and open, for awhile. Now, I like it here in big wide open country; I like it in colder, wetter, tree-ey places, also.

But you see, one thing that makes the "desert" great is that not too many people like it!!

Aurelian Roeser said...

Hi. Beautiful shots, especially the last one.

And thanks for following my blog. ;-)

GeologyJoe said...

I like that Antelope Valley one. the clouds in the foreground mimic the slope of the mountain range in the background.

Silver Fox said...

Hi Maple Leaf, glad you like the photos (and you're welcome!).

GeoJoe - yeah, I *had* to take that photo!

Stephanie Zvan said...

I love the starkness (that isn't really stark) of a desert, and these photos capture that really well, but I can only handle being in them for a couple of days at a time. Without trees around me, I start to go a little crazy.

It happened for the first time around Phoenix. I had no idea it was going on until we drove up toward Flagstaff. We started climbing and hit the trees, and my whole body just relaxed.

Silver Fox said...

StephanieZ, after growing up in Sacramento, I felt really claustrophobic after moving to the east coast where everything was growing all around and there were no real views, except through trees. After a very long time of living in Nevada, I noticed one summer in the late 80's that I suddenly liked having the blinds closed.

I got over that, but then after living 2 years in Alaska in the mid-late 90's, when I moved back to Reno, I noticed that I would feel so much less anxious when driving north into Oregon, as soon as I entered the area of the tall pine trees.

Nowadays, I get a mix of these feelings instead of one or the other, but I totally relate. Couldn't have related at all back then, 2-3 decades ago.

It's agoraphobia v. claustrophobia, and maybe I've found a balance?

EcoGeoFemme said...

Beautiful! I especially like the ones with clouds.

I had a similar experience to Lockwood of moving to a new biome and thinking I could never like it. Now I prefer the new ecosystem.

Diane AZ said...

Oh yes, these are awesome photos. What an interesting idea for a blog post...desert shadows!

Silver Fox said...

Yes, the clouds can cast interesting shadows and change the color of things. And sometimes rain showers and snow squalls will add to the effect.

EGF, glad you adjusted!

DianeC, thanks!