Monday, April 14, 2008

Deserts and wildflowers

Sketches from the Antelope Valley
Miki Willa
For the past week, I have been visiting the place of my childhood, the Antelope Valley in Southern California. The valley is very large and surrounded by wonderful mountain peaks which are covered with snow part of the year. The desert floor seem vast and empty at first. That is before you get to know it. The two major cities are Palmdale and Lancaster. If you drive east from Palmdale, you are into the land of Joshua Trees and buttes. This time of year, there are also carpets of wildflowers.
About 15 miles west of Lancaster is the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. I spent two mornings wandering the trails wondering at the intense golds, yellows, ochres, greens, and purples covering the desert floor and the sides of the Antelope Buttes. All of this set off by the clear blue skies.

This last photo shows how big the fields of color are from a distance. The first day, I took the trails that lead across the tops of the buttes. That is where I took this photo. The second morning there, I took a trail that led down into the area shown. The colors are amazing from a distance, but incredible when you are in the middle of them.

I am looking forward to working on my desert wildflower and geography series. Look for them starting tomorrow.

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