Carve impossible vistas.
Jumbled and stacked.
Boulders perch, tossed like balls.
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~”
Beautiful stark photos. What a landscape!
I love the desert and have been visiting it since I was a kid. It is a world unto it’s own.
Lovely photos–reminders of the wonderment of our days in The High Desert!
The high desert has such pure beauty.
Mother Nature is really amazing!
She can’t be bested!
Some of the forms look like sand castles from a distance. Stark beauty.
Yes they do, right before a wave washes them away…..
Mother Nature doesn’t mess around!
Such a beautiful and remarkable region!
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.
It is indeed! ♥️
Man can never reproduce that what Nature has left for us to enjoy. Great pictures.
We can’t even come close can we, which is just another reason why we shouldn’t ruin our natural places.
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!
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.
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.
Love all the photos.
Ahhh, makes me happy. Thank you.
If there were some Roos it could be Oz!
Same colours but no Joshua trees over here, at least I don’t think so.
Nope. You have to come over here to see them. I would love it if you and Jack would!
So would we, but I think our long distance flying days are sadly over.
I hear you. Flying is no fun.
how amazing, it almost looks otherworldly
Yes, it does always seem otherworldly to me.
Your words and photographs perfectly capture “Mother Nature’ iconic artistry.”
Merci beaucoup mon ami.
Beautiful captures, Cindy! This park is on our bucket list!!
Oh wonderful. Be sure and let me know when you head this way and I may have some insider tips…..
Will do! Thank you Cindy!
Oh that gorgeous blue sky! Fabulous rock formations, too.
We are lucky to have such an amazing variety of stunning ecosystems in this country. I still dream about your minks…….I have seen one in my lifetime!
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.
A gopher did exactly this to me here at The Holler. Still, not even close to how thrilled I’d be by a mink!
My husband and I enjoyed Canyonlands in Utah. It looks very similar. So pretty in its own unique way!
Canyonlands is drop dead gorgeous, and Arches, with the amazing rainbow bridges. Such ethereal beauty!
Yes! We went to Arches, too! Toured by road and by air. It was wonderful!
Arches is pure magic.
It’s beautiful! The sky is so blue! Amazing photos. 🙂
Ahhh, thank you & so happy you enjoyed them.
loved this post… muah
Hugs to you sweet lady <3
Awesome photos of an awesome landscape!
Thank you Dor and hope you and your family had a wonderful TG <3
I love Joshua Trees…one of my favorite places on the planet. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.
Thank you more for appreciating them & the desert.
That last picture looks an awful lot like a pig nose! We loved exploring all the different crags and monoliths while we were at Joshua. Was it very hot?
The desert is lovely this time of year, cool temps and no people, and you’re right, the metate does look a bit like Miss Piggy’s snout!
Marvellous and inspiring landscape. Thank you for the beautiful photos, dear Cindy. 🙂
Thank you more for your kind appreciation!
I love these!
Such interesting landscapes. I’m a fan of rocks. 🙂
Rocks are interesting, the product of Mother Nature’s forge.
Before my first trip to a desert, I thought they were just made of miles of sand and nothing else. How wrong I was. Wonderful photos showing the variety in a desert landscape.
Thank you & so true. The desert is full of hidden life which is a testament to biological resilience.
gorgeous, gorgeous photos.
So kind of you & so appreciated too! Lovely to meet you.
Lovely to meet you too, Cindy. Please stop by my blog sometime at http://www.racquelwrites.com.
I will do so now.
Desert + red rocks + variety of rock formations + bright blue sky = FANTASTIC!
Thank you Frank. It’s Red Rock Country. It gets in your blood, and never lets you go.
Desolate, but beautiful with signs of life everywhere! Great shots, Cindy!
Thank you Peter. It is amazing to consider how resilient life is, and how the harshest environments shelter very fragile life.
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.
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…..
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!
“Personally,I think I should still be 25!”
I like the way you think!!! 😉
WOW, beautiful! I marvel at God’s creations, so pretty! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures with us!!!
Yes. God’s creation is everything <3
So true, Cindy!💖
Aptly titled and beautifully framed, as always, Cindy.
Images like these remind me of why I believe in life on other planets.
Thanks so much for sharing.
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.
ain’t that the truth
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.
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
It’s been a long time since I’ve been there – I need to go back.
<3 I keep going bach.
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Stunning pictures of Joshua Tree National Park by Cindy Knoke.
You are a lovely friend Patricia. Thank you <3
Impressive pictures! Thank you, Cindy.
Thank you more for your appreciation & be well~
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!
Rocks are like silent testifiers. So happy you enjoy them too & sorry about the technical glitches. They make life frustrating.
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! 🙂 ).
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.
I love the colours – the blue sky – the desert colours, looks great in your amazing pictures.
Ahhh, thank you my friend & so pleased you enjoyed!
Reblogged this on Echoes in the Mist.
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!
The colours and shapes are fantastic. So abstract and yet all natural. Wonderful.
Sometimes natural scenes look like they were tinkered at by a great artist, which I guess, they are!
Outstanding beauty and it never astonished me that in the harshest of landscape nature survives … the Joshua Trees are amazing and the rock formations are breathtaking!
Ahhhh, thank you so much for appreciating this harsh, yet fragile, beauty Annika.
Awesome photos and such beauty too
Thank you & happy you enjoyed!
Most welcome xx
I am not a fan of deserts but they do have a raw beauty.
Like Edna said, they have a certain “savage beauty.”
A great description
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
As I look out of my study window on to rain and wind lashed garden, with summer seemingly miles behind me in the rear view mirror, I am transported as always by the amazing photography of Cindy Knoke and her desert moonscapes taken in the Joshua Tree National Park. #Fabulous
It is ridiculous that we can’t swap spots for a bit. You could soak up the sun, and I could sit by the fire with cocoa, relishing the rain. <3 <3
Would do it in a heartbeat Cindy ♥♥
wunderschön, liebe Cindy, hoffe, du bist gut in die Woche gekommen?
Danke und ja, alles ist gut. Ich wünsche dir eine wunderbare Woche, mein Freund!
bin heute verkabelt-Blutdruck und EKG, beste Grüße von mir zu dir
Ich sende dir meine Gebete!
You have made good use of the deep blue sky against the burnished rocks
Thank you. It was just waiting there for me!
Beautifully clicked! Thanks for sharing Cindy.
Thank you more for your thoughtful appreciation!
Except for the Joshua Trees, it could be another planet… Mars, maybe? 😀
It could easily be another planet. Not to far from here, many of the scenes from Star Trek and other such movies were filmed.
Well – that really fits! 😀
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.
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~
Uniquely beautiful! Thank you for the tour, Cindy.
Thank you more for traveling with me.
I’m not a fan of the desert after living in Phoenix but I will say that it definitely has a beauty all of its own. It can be amazing and you’ve captured it beautifully! 🙂
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
Thanks for the beautiful tour Cindy! What a strange and beautiful landscape.
Thank you for appreciating the desert’s unique beauty Brad & cheers to you!
There’s a lot of history in “them thar rocks and trees” Cindy.
Yes, indeed there is, and you can see it with your eyes and feel it in your heart.
I bet it would be an archeologists dream.
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.
Laughing……oh, how I wish!!!!
I knew it!!!!!!
Love to you sweet lady <3
Wunderschöne interessante Aufnahmen!
Sie sind ein wunderbarer Mensch. Vielen Dank!
I’ve lived in the desert areas for many years and always find it fascinating. There is beauty in every corner if you want to see it. Great photos of such beautiful landscape.
“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.
Amazing landscapes created by mother nature herself. Love it!!
She is the planets most gifted artist and always will be.
Nomen est omen 🙂
Ahhh, yes! Dangerous beauty.
These are all so beautifully composed Cindy. I’m always in awe by the beauty I find in the desert. There’s so much more than a colorless wasteland that some think it is.
Deserts are silent, still, peaceful and expectant. Until the sun goes down and they come alive with life and sound.
What a stunning place! 🙂 It’s often used as a movie backdrop, isn’t it. ;-9
Yes it is. This whole region has been extensively used for Star Trek, Lost in Space, and many movies and TV shows that depict people running around on other planets!
Very cool. I’ve been in the joshua trees, both inside and out of the part. I remember a day when my grandmother used to take those artifacts home.
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.
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.
Your kindness emanates Dewin and I can feel it all the way over here at The Holler! Thank you.
I have not seen Cappadocia, but I have heard of the caves and the houses. The Fairy Chimneys are so unusual! I would like to stay in one of the houses:
Be well my friend~
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 🙂
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.
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.
The vibrant colours respond to the beauty of the sunshine and blue sky!!
It is sunny again today, but there is RAIN on the horizon! 100% probability according to forecast. The desert and The Holler will rejoice!
What a beautiful landscape! The ways the elements have shaped the ancient lava flows is nothing short of amazing.
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!
Ahh, the beauty. Makes me miss beautiful Arizona. 🙂 x
I can understand why you miss Arizona. Red Rock Country gets more impossibly beautiful, the further you get from the coast,
One day I’ll return. 🙂
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) 🙂
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.
Love! Thanks for the info I had no idea the national park went thru CA. 😁
Hugs to you sweet friend <3
Cool Rock formations Cindy. Thanks for sharing.
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.
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
Your honoring of his memory is very moving Gary <3
Amazing natural sculpture.🙂
Yes. We live on a magical planet.
enjoy to reading
I am honored that you do and cheers to you!
GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS CINDY, VERY UPLIFTING AT THIS GLOOMY TIME, CHINA email@example.com
I am so sorry about the gloomy time, but the sun will surely rise again. Cheers to you & thank you! <3
Reblogged this on LIVING THE DREAM.
Thank you my friend & be well <3
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.
Wow! Stunning images and excellent information. 🙂
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.
Yes, the wind is being extensively harvested. The sun’s power in the desert fuels the wind.
These images are gorgeous. Funny how we can take the simplest things for granted.
Thank you very much. It is easy to overlook the beauty that is all around us.
Cindy, these photographs are beautiful!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Presenting some more beautiful photographs from Cindy Knoke!
I so appreciate your thoughtfulness Charles. Be well my friend & thank you!
Amazing facts. 😊☕💕
Thank you & cheers!
It’s just a stunning part of the world. Moonscapes is just an apt word for it.
Yes. I love the desert in every season.
Such a picturesque view 😍.
The last rock looks kinda like a pig’s snout though 😂.
Nature is pretty amazing ❤.
It does look like Miss Piggy!
Stunning is the best description
Sweet lady, thank you!
What a cute way to put that. Desert,dessert, ice cream. Love ice cream. Made us envision the landscape photo differently. Thank you.
Ahhh, so pleased you both noticed and enjoyed. A Dairy Queen Dessert in the desert is odd indeed. 😉
Thanks, Cindy. When I went in April of 2008, they were blooming. Really beautiful. Lucky timing.
That is a wonderful time of year to go!
Your camera gives eyes to all of us, Cuz. I really enjoy seeing the world through your eyes 😊
I really enjoy knowing you <3
Stunning beautiful. Thanks for taking us to such amazing places around the world. I travel the world through your blog 🙂
Thank you so much for traveling with me Anna. You make the experience better.
Thank you so much. What a nice thought!
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?
We were there a couple a week or so ago and are already home, but we visit regularly. So pleased you have been and Feb is an ideal time to visit.
It was beautiful.
Wow what amazing pictures!
Thank you & it is lovely to meet you.
beste Grüße und möglichst beste Gesundheit wünsche ich dir heute hier, Klaus
Vielen dank mein lieber Freund <3
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!
It is completely unique. Different than red rock country and so unusual. I have glad you have visited and appreciate the place as I do.
Great geography & great photography.
I am reminded of the landscapes of McKenna’s Gold.
Very pleased you enjoyed you are right! So many of those movies were shot in this region.
🙏 thank you 😊
Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness & be well my friend!
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.
Thank you more for your very thoughtful appreciation!
I’ve never been to Joshua Tree and thank you for sharing these gorgeous images. The deep blue background makes it all even more stunning.
Very kind & much appreciated!
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.
Awesome! And that last one looks like a piglet snout!!😉
hab einen schönes Wochenende auch wenn das Wetter nicht so toll ist.
Vielen Dank, mein Freund und sei gut!
immer wieder gerne
beste Grüße und alles Gute
Vielen dank mein lieber Freund <3
Your rock photos are stunning!
Very kind and most appreciated!
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
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!
Magic place, amazing click
Thank you & so pleased you enjoyed!
I love the desert. I wouldn’t want to live in one but I love to visit 🙂
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
I wondered where you were! So awesome to have you back! They drop people I follow too. Frustrating…..
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Vielen dank! <3
… maybe interesting for You,
Yes! Fascinating. Thank you for the link & cheers to you.