Desert Moonscapes~

Carve impossible vistas.

Jumbled and stacked.

Boulders perch, tossed like balls.

Cracked spines.

Desert ice cream cones.

Joshua Trees twist in tortured poses.

Mother Nature’s iconic artistry.

A gift to treasure and protect.

Joshua Tree National Park encompasses almost 800,000 acres and straddles both The Mojave and Colorado Deserts in Southern California. Joshua Trees are not trees at all, but a variety of Yucca, sculpted into bizarre shapes by desert winds. The eerie rock formations were formed eons ago by cooling lava, that cracked and split from fault uplifting, and eroded over time by wind, water and sand.

100’s of species survive in this harsh desert landscape, despite summer temperature that reach well above 100 degrees fahrenheit. Native Americans inhabited this region for thousands of years and their artifacts remain scattered throughout the park. Be careful or you will walk right by them! We encountered this metate, or grinding stone, on a hike.

Cheers to you from Joshua Tree’s stunning and fragile ecosystem~

276 thoughts on “Desert Moonscapes~

    1. California, despite her fires, her earthquakes, and all her troubles, has so many different national parks and ecosystems, and such an incredible wealth of natural beauty.

  1. No sights could be farther removed from our gentle well-watered eastern coastline. It’s said we Americans don’t all live on the same planet; geography and climate are clearly part of that! Wonderful shots, as always, Cindy!

    1. I love that our country has all this incredible natural diversity. The more beleaguered California becomes, fires, floods, earthquakes, border conflicts, the more I treasure her, and want to protect her. She has always been my home. Someone was telling me recently that they live in the most beautiful place in the world and aren’t interested is seeing other places because they won’t measure up. It is good to be content where you are. It is also good to move about, and see the incredible variety of beauty that exists on this very small planet of ours. Hugs to you and Marian.

      1. You have opened our eyes to the beauty of many places, and we now look forward with great anticipation when we see a post from you has arrived! Thank you! Happy as we may be with the places we call home, our lives our enriched by your travelogues and photos.

      1. Oh, those minks, cute as all getout. My son was fishing in a river recently and he saw one approaching. He stayed still and it came right up to him, touched his boot, then slowly looked alllll the waaaaay up…. “YIKES!” and was gone in a flash. Hehe, I can just imagine its surprise.

  2. Hi. Thank you for this. The American Southwest is the next destination in planning, but deciding where to go is complicated given all the beauty. This park is now being seriously considered.

    1. If you are planning, talk to me. I can help and would love to. I have been traveling through the American Southwest all my life, and sadly, I just looked in the mirror, and was shocked to see I am no longer young!! There are lots of very cool reptiles too…..

      1. I will love to get suggestions from you! Thank you for the offer! In truth, the trip shouldn’t happen for a long time. However, my traveling companion is adamant, it may happen as soon as spring time. Hope I can enjoy the scenery with cute lizards running around! “Inside every old person is a young person wondering wth happened.” (-unknown) I don’t think you’re old, beautiful. Personally,I think I should still be 25!

    1. Yes. Hostile and formidable to us, may be nirvana to others, and there are universes upon universes, we know nothing at all about. We have enough trouble figuring out how to live on our own little planet.

  3. Your photographs are truly beautiful and your captions perfect. What a lovely place this must be to visit: I can imagine a warm wind on my face, skin prickling slightly and the feeling of awe from being in the presence of such catastrophic earth movements now left in silence.

    1. How beautifully you describe the incredible feelings the desert in SoCal can evoke in a receptive person. I can imagine that if you were actually here, you would realize how accurate your impressions really are. The faults may be silent now, but they are just waiting, to roar once again, and upset everything <3

  4. Wow! Really wonderful! I do wish I could reblog some of your posts. Right now, I’m not even able to “like” them. There is a technical problem. I’ll try to get it resolved. The rocks are really amazing!

  5. You live in such a beautiful country, Cindy. It’s a pity that beauty is often obscured by other images which come to us from the US. You are a great ambassador for America the Beautiful (and America the Kind! 🙂 ).

    1. America is incredibly beautiful. She needs to work on the kindness. This sorta sounds like an elementary school report card doesn’t it? Which is fitting, since kindness is elemental. Without kindness you have nothing.

    1. You fixed the technical glitch! Hooray.A day without a computer glitch, is a good day indeed! I even dream sometimes of viruses taking over my computer. I am becoming melded to my machine!

  6. The landscape is so surreal and amazing. The Flintstones’ come to mind as well too, yabba dabba doo! 🙂

    Nature is truly amazing. It’s incredible to be looking at these scenes and think of how people passing by hundreds and thousands of years ago, see the same thing too as these formations are shaped very very slowly.

    1. It is mind boggling to think of geologic and biological time isn’t it. But now I keep thinking of Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Pebbles too of course, driving off in their stone age car, powered by Fred’s floppy feet!!! Be well Halim~

    1. Thank you Linda and I hear you. It must be hard to live full time in the heat. I remember when you moved and were worried about the cold. It sounds like you have adapted well. Good for you <3

  7. Gorgeous shots of a very beautiful place, Cindy!
    Lol! At first I read: Moonscapes Desert – I thought, okay, now she’s done it! She’s been to the moon.

    1. “There is beauty in every corner if you want to see it.”
      So true of everywhere in the world, especially the places where you must look a little harder to find it, but when you do, it is a joyful surprise.

    1. So happy you have been here and experienced the desert first hand. Your grandmother wasn’t alone. Museums did this on a grand plundering scale. Hopefully no one is doing this anymore.

  8. Namaste Cindy 🙂

    Mother Earth excels herself in wondrous ways. She is poetry in motion, but yet, within such a landscape of (perceived) permanence we may never live long enough to witness her change. Your sumptuously-coloured photographs bring us closer to Her: she is amazing!

    As widely travelled as you are, I wonder if you’ve seen the fairy-chimney’s of Cappadocia? Elements within the Joshua Tree landscape and Cappadocia are strikingly similar and yet each is as dis-similar as are our fingerprints.

    I Thank you for posting: I think you’ve added another destination to the list of ‘must-see places’. If only I had chance to see them all! 😀

    Hoping all is well in the Holler, or wherever it is you may be. Take care.

    Namaste 🙂


      1. Namaste Cindy 🙂

        Thank you: one could say much the same about your kindness and generosity, it is unbounded and inclusive and never-ending, thank you.

        Turkey is a wonderful country so rich with history and so eager to be part of the larger world. I have visited but once and thoroughly enjoyed my experience in ways I had never imagined possible: from staring into the marbled-eyes of Hermes to walking in the footsteps of Saint Paul through Anatolia my visit was superb. Cappadocia is breath-taking, spell-binding, enchanting, but above all the sense of spiritual presence – like all ‘holy’ places – permeates every facet of the landscape. It is truly amazing in every way – baked by an intense Sun – and so well worth visiting. No doubt your adventuring ways will take you there at some point in the near future.

        Take care my friend of one and all as you always do.

        Best wishes, Namaste 🙂


        1. Who knows where life will take any of us. That is the mystery and the wonder.
          The only thing I do know, is that one must grab the mystery and wonder of life while one can, before it becomes too late.
          So here’s to you! And living life.
          You don’t have to go places to live life. You can travel galaxies in your mind, which is what you do.
          You will never get old and face death saying to yourself, “Why did I never live?”
          Because your mind enables you to travel farther than I ever could.

          1. Namaste Cindy 🙂

            ‘Who knows where life will take any of us. That is the mystery and the wonder.’ Indeed, these are wise words: a mantra of sorts in that every day we extend ourselves into a new beginning ready to embark on fresh adventure, ever eager for immersion within the great wonder that is Love, Life and Living. It is a never-ending dream that never ceases to amaze.

            We all have the ability to imagine and flow energetically into our dreams. We are limitless in that regard: unbounded by physicality, unregulated by rules – free to experience life beyond the beyond. It is both liberation and freedom.

            I love to imagine as dearly as you love to travel and experience the totality of a location: tis why I enjoy reading your Blog…your photographs paint a thousand words from which I take what I need to make my dreams more clearly defined: to add depth and substance and in so doing make those dreams more real to me. But I can never linger for to long before I’m ready to roam some more: the quest is never-ending nor that sense of being driven, of relishing the next dream, the next thought, the next world…and I imagine it is no different for you…if space-flight were affordable, no doubt you’d be one of the first in-line waiting to go! 🙂

            Hoping all is well in the Holler. Enjoy a most pleasant evening.

            Namaste 🙂


    1. I get a sense in the desert of expectancy, for what I am not sure, just a feeling of waiting. Maybe just waiting for darkness when the creatures come out, or waiting for rain, or the patient wait of geological time. I think it is the latter I feel the most in the desert, that, and the assurity that Mother Nature is not done shaking this earth up!

  9. A fascinating place, you can imagine you are on a different planet in such place. The artifacts make it even more exciting (perhaps they made by aliens visiting us a long time ago) 🙂

    1. Who knows about the aliens? None of us do.
      Us people now, remind me of the ‘Flat Earth Society,’ in Columbus’s day.
      “The world is not round,” they told Columbus, “You will fall off the edge!”
      I don’t think we have advanced very far past that basic knowledge leap that the earth is round.

    1. I hadn’t seen anything from you, in my reader, for a long time. So I just now looked you up, and read about you. You basically impress me a lot. You have this essential joie de vivre. It is such a pure life force. You have also been through significant trauma, and probably, still, will face more, like all of us. But I suspect your joy in life will never leave you and I admire you so much for it.

      1. Thanks Cindy. You know I started blogging in Sept of 2017 just after Terry passed away and hsve been blogging ever since writing about my thoughts, things I am doing and how I am coping since Terry passed. Never changed Terry’s blog intro ( wanted to leave it in tact). Some day I need to modify it . For now, I didn’t want his memory to fade. Thanks Cindy. Gary

  10. NASA did some astronaut training, albeit in the more barren locales, for landing and walking the moon The other location was the floor of Haleakala crater on Maui. They may reprise their roles in preparation for any landing mission to Mars.

  11. It’s interesting, what you said about the power of the wind in that rather stark place. We were there once, but it was the sun’s power that we felt. I’m glad that wind power is being put to good use now down in the valley.

  12. I knew where you were from the first photograph! What a magical place. We visited in February for the first time and stayed nearby. How long will you be there?

  13. From your first picture, I thought, “Is this Joshua Tree?” There is something about the light there, and or the rocks, and or the color of the sand…but it has such a unique signature about it. Beautiful shots of an amazing place!

  14. Absolutely gorgeous photos. I have never visited in a desert. In the 70s, I ordered Arizona Highways magazine and it was then a first when I saw photos o desert. Thank You sharing these photos with us.

  15. The splendor of Mother Nature. Beautiful pictures and interesting history. I’ve never been to the desert but I can’t help but wonder how Native Americans were able to live there. Yikes!! When it get to 1 degree over a 100 I’m ready to pack it in.

  16. Funny, this area reminds me of some scene’s in Star Trek (the original) Maybe like when Kirk battles Gorn. That rock might have been ‘THE’ rock, LOL ! Check out the link for fun

    1. It reminds me because you have a good eye and are correct. Many science fiction movies and shows were shot in this region, including Star Trek! Good on you, perceptive lady!

  17. Well, I finally figured out why you haven’t been posting. They dropped you from my Reader. I’ve been waiting for you to show up. I hate when they do that. So sorry. I’ll try and catch up. Merry Christmas and may you have a wonderful day and a happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for all the joy and beauty you bringing my life

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