During the winter of 2005, it rained a lot on the desert where i grew up, a narrow valley near Lake Mead and not far from Las Vegas.
It was only the 3rd time in my life when there was enough for all the wildflowers to drink up, sprout and flower:
once when i was an infant, so my mother told me;
once when i was in college, so my mother shared with me in photos from her Kodak Instamatic.
i went back to Nevada, in April, to photograph what i had never before seen and felt with my own eyes, my own skin.
Without question, there are areas of the southwest where wet winters produce far more dramatic wildflower displays. But that will be for another journey. Last year, i needed to see these.
one or two of the images, those with snow on the mountains, and the purple swaths of wildflowers (cattle love to graze on these, so my brother-in-law told me) were photographed in Utah (i chose to fly into Salt Lake and drive south, purposely avoiding Vegas and chosing to immerse myself in the phenomonal geography of Utah and Nevada instead). One other image, the rock-face with a pool of yellow poppies in flower at the base, was either in Arizona or Utah...i'm not sure...it was taken the day we (my niece, sister and brother-in-law) drove up into Utah and then back down into Arizona, over teeth-rattling, bone jarring dirt roads to a place on the north rim of the Grand Canyon called Tuweep. No, i have no pictures of the phenomenal view...i could barely inch myself to a place to sit near the edge...but not with my camera in hand...i was overwhelmed with the forces eminating from the chasm...for whatever reason, known only to my psyche, whenever i approached with camera in hand, the feeling of being pulled over the edge was compounded...i regret this...but...that's how it is for me in the desert.
My wonderful neice and i sat near the edge talking while swallows zipped past our heads, out over the canyon, up-down-around...and hawks rode the thermal waves floating upward.
In truth, i seriously doubt any photograph could have captured what i saw in the blazing sunlight of that day...but my mind holds fast to the raw forces of creation seen looking deep into the earth....lava flows of 2-3 miles deep, strata tracing millennia we can only imagine. So, my apologies for only whetting the visual appetite for these by telling you all this. You must go, one day in your life, to see for yourself...but do go to the north rim...actually, email me, if you wish, for a suggested itinerary, if you have never traveled in this region.
i created a slideshow of these shots, including music, to send to family via cd last Christmas, but it is a massive file to post here and i do not wish to impose that upon anyone. Instead, i offer this long post and even bigger snapshot album (very little attempt was made to create art; simply to document)