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Photos (page 2)

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A powerful monsoon thunderstorm illuminates the night sky behind a Joshua tree in this 3-minute time exposure. Picture taken September, 1999

A steep hillside near Globe, Arizona is carpeted in Mexican gold poppies (Escholtzia mexicana) after excellent rains in the winter of 2000-2001

Mexican gold poppies set the foreground ablaze, while a grandfather saguaro cactus anchors the slope behind

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This vivid scene shows a teddy-bear cholla cactus in the background, brittlebush as the yellow flowers in the middle, and a mosaic of orange-yellow Mexican gold poppy and blue Arizona lupine in the foreground

Two adolescent saguaro cacti and Engelmann's prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii) watch paternally over a frolicsome array of poppies and lupines

Close-up view of the intensely yellowish-orange hue of Mexican gold poppies 

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Macro shot of a Glory-of-Texas cactus flower (Thelocactus bicolor)

A little-known fact about ocotillos (Fouquieria splendens) is that, in fall, their leaves turn colors such as gold and the interesting shade of russet seen here. Photo taken in late October, 2000

  Engelmann’s prickly pear serves as a backdrop for a jumble of Mexican gold poppies and Arizona lupine (Lupinus arizonicus), with a pink phacelia (Phacelia species) thrown in for contrast

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A complex petroglyph watches mutely over a red barrel cactus (Ferocactus acanthodes) in Grapevine Canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

An ancient juniper struggles for a foothold in the poor, gravelly, and arid soil of Grapevine Canyon

A one-seeded juniper (Juniperus monosperma) brackets a view of the dramatic white- granite spires towering over the rim of Grapevine Canyon

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A standing rock manages to grip the surface of a steep white-granite slip face above a Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) in Grapevine Canyon

This 4-hour time-exposure view of an ocotillo near Yucca shows the stars to the north whirling overhead. Almost in the center of the circle of wheeling stars is the North Star, Polaris, named for the fact that the northern axis of the earth points almost directly at it. Polaris is a critical navigation tool at night in the northern hemisphere

A two-minute time exposure of a Mojave yucca and the volcanic tuff cliffs off historic Route 66 in the rugged Black Mountains. The bright spot in the lower right is a 10-foot-tall Christmas cross lit nightly during holiday season by a local homeowner. Unfortunately, the detail of the cross is washed out by the necessarily long exposure. Note the cloud movement visible due to the extended exposure

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Petroglyphs centuries old adorn the darkened exteriors of granite boulders in Grapevine Canyon. The dark patina is known as desert varnish. It forms naturally on many types of rock surfaces over the course of centuries by a poorly understood process of chemical weathering, exposure to decades of sun and rain, and the activity of microscopic organisms living on the rock surface

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the town of Oatman hosts a "Christmas Bush Decoration Contest". Local individuals and families pay an entry fee, choose a shrub of any type along Route 66 somewhere near Oatman, and decorate it to try to win prizes for creativity and artistry from local merchants. This is one of the entries for the Holiday season 2000

Another entry in the Oatman Christmas Bush Decoration Contest. The entry next to it (not shown) was decorated in raw carrots and strings of popcorn, in a nod to one of Oatman’s claims to fame -- the herds of feral burros that roam the surrounding Black Mountains. Tourists purchase carrots and unsalted popcorn to feed to the burros. When the sun goes down and the tourists leave for the night, the burros "commute" back to the desert for the night, returning again in morning for more handouts. Needless to say, the carrot-and-popcorn-salad entry did not last long once the burros found it. We believe it still won third place in its decimated state, nonetheless