Saturday, March 14, 2015

Early Desert Spring

I usually think of the desert as a harsh, intense environment of extremes, especially in summer and winter.  In the daytime the temperature can be so hot as to be life threatening, and at night, freezing cold.  The landscape is defined by barren, rugged rock formations and mountains, intermixed with vast vistas dotted with unfriendly cacti and cacti like plants with sharp, prickly spines and needles.  And did I mention the rattlesnakes and scorpions?

This bloom is about 1/2 inch wide in real life.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

But then comes spring.  When spring is in full force, in about a month or so, there will be an explosion of big, beautiful, show stopping blooms of almost every color, that for me, will justify the reason for the very existence of cacti!   

But I'm talking about now, very early spring, when the desert wakes up after winter and shows a delicate, even dainty, softer side, seemingly out of place in this usually harsh landscape. The blooms are often found on unremarkable, even boring plants other than cacti, and are very tiny, so most people just pass them by, unnoticed and unappreciated.

But like most all landscape and nature lovers, (and photographers), I notice and appreciate them and delight in preserving their fleeting beauty with my camera.  I took all of these photos yesterday, which by the way, was an absolutely perfect 73 degree day in the southern Utah desert.

         This is a flowering groundcover.  The blossom is about 1/8 inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

 These blossoms are about 1/4 inch wide. 
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens) 

 The body of this itty bitty spider was about 1/4 inch long.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens) 

 This bloom was about 1/2 inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

  This is a cactus bud getting ready to pop open.  It was about an inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

 (Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

We have busy lives, and important stuff to accomplish each day.  But it doesn't take much time to be aware of our surroundings, to notice the beauty around us, and gives thanks to a Father in Heaven who also loves nature, because He has created beauty not only in grand vistas, but also in the smallest of details.



Robin Lamb said...

Karen, what beautiful images! The desert fascinates me. I've only been to one a couple of times, but I'm enthralled with them.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Gorgeous images. I smile when I realize that there are others who stop to admire and capture these tiny beauties.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Great post. You did well by exposing how beautiful the desert can be to those who don't ever get to witness it first hand. Nice in telling actually how small these flowers really are. One would not know otherwise. I should be down in our California deserts right now catching the bloom but unexpected delays are setting us behind. May miss it this year.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

ahhh, very pretty shots. Love the color of the last shot particularly.

TexWisGirl said...

such beautiful macro shots full of life and color. :)

Stewart M said...

Great shots - I really like that spider.

Glad you found my blog - hope you can keep visiting.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne said...

The miniature miracles all around us -- they're amazing and you have truly captured them in all their beauty.

Montanagirl said...

Gorgeous Macros, Karen! Just simply lovely.

Felicia said...

love, love, LOVE these Karen.

great job on these gorgeous macros.