Weekly Photo Challenge: Fragile and Ephemeral Desert Beauty
…beauty consists of its own passing, just as we reach for it. It’s the ephemeral configuration of things in the moment, when you can see both their beauty and their death. ― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
During our recent trip to Arizona, we witnessed the mystery and magic of the desert. Purely by chance, we arrived after several days of rain and decided to go to Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction for our first hike. Unknown to us, this park is one of the prime locations in the state for wild flowers. As we walked the trails, we were stunned by the beauty of Sonoran Desert and the Superstition Mountains. The harsh landscape had burst forth into a riotous mix of greenery and wild flowers.
Hilltop in Lost Dutchman State Park. Shot with my Canon 40D.
Over the next week, we hiked along a half a dozen trails in Sedona, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. Here are a few of my favorite shots, which highlight the ephemeral nature of plant life in arid parts of the Southwest. Flowers bloomed in unlikely places–crevices in rocks, under cacti, and near dusty, well-trodden footpaths.
Hedgehog Cactus Bloom, Arizona. Shot with my Canon 40D.
Lone Violet, Shot with Samsung Galaxy S5
Pale Pink Beauty, Arizona. Shot with Samsung Galaxy S5
Red in the Desert, Shot with my Canon 40D
White Flower, Shot with my Canon 40D
Yellow Bloom, Shot with my Samsung Galaxy S5
Their beauty was fleeting. In our final two days of hiking, the desert landscape had changed again, the flowers withering and the plants fading to a tired green. But while they lived, these wild flowers gave us great joy. How fortunate that we managed to capture some of them digitally and share them with you all. I hope you’ve enjoyed this small sample gathered from hundreds of shots. You might say I got a bit carried away!
For more information on desert wildflowers, visit the Arizona State Park website.
For more interpretations of this week’s photo challenge, click here.
And have a terrific week, everyone!