Desert yearnings and a colourful sunset!

I’ll be honest, yearning is a bit strong here, but I like the word. I am missing the desert, a feeling brought on by the green eyed monster when I heard a friend was travelling down to Palm Springs this week. Lucky her, and sorrowful me. Still, being a friend, I did recommend she take the aerial tramway. I know, I am a bad person, but I have used the word yearning in this opening paragraph. Twice now.

Layered landscape
Layered landscape

I was going to share the photos here in the middle of winter, as a warming counterpoint or interlude during what will likely be endless forthcoming posts about snow, snowboarding, snow, snowshoeing, snow, building snow forts, and snow. With photographs of snow. However, my aforementioned jealous streak had me looking at these evening desert shots from the summer, and, having no impulse control, I decided to share them this week.

Steady enough

I took these the evening of the same day we enjoyed the aerial tramway. I’m amazed my hands, knees, and overall self were sufficiently recovered to hold the camera steady enough.

The light fades fast…

We headed into Joshua Tree National Park, just before the fast descending sunset, and managed to pick out several vantage points to enjoy it all.


The sky was beautiful, and in the short time it took for the light to fade, we were astounded by the colourful show.

The hush of sunset

Perhaps due to the heat of the day, there were very few fellow visitors nearby, so we were able to enjoy the hush of sunset, to feel the “loveliness and quiet exultation” Edward Abbey refers to at desert sundown. (I’ve been reading Desert Solitaire, marvelling at Abbey’s descriptive abilities, and trying hard to get a measure of his challenging ideas and notions. An interesting person, and perhaps I’ll write more about him later, after further reading!)

So colourful!

Other than cropping these pictures, what you see here is a fair reproduction of that desert sunset – a favourable recommendation for our trusty little red Nikon Coolpix. It’s barely bigger than a credit card, inexpensive at around $90, and has travelled with us for three summers without a problem. I believe it may be idiot proof.

Album cover?

The sunrises and sunsets we’ve experienced at Joshua Tree are wonderful. I know I’ve written this before, but it is at Joshua Tree where I really see how the light can change quickly, and how it is so captivating for painters, writers and photographers. I can imagine becoming rather addicted to trying to capture the light in some form. Failing that, it is an absolute delight to have been fortunate enough to see it.


So there you have it! A brief post highlighting a little red camera, a green eyed monster, lots of snow references, and a desert light show we really treasured. I’ve been yearning to write a colourful post…


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share a story or leave a comment, and keep your guy ropes secure.

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

34 thoughts on “Desert yearnings and a colourful sunset!”

  1. Thank you for the photos, and memories. I grew up in Orange County and used to camp with my family at Joshua Tree as a kid. Living in the Great Lakes region (which I do love), I too sometimes miss and year for the rough and tumble beauty of the desert. Great post!


  2. Hello Plaid Camper
    Thank you for this sunset post and sunset photos. Special mention – Album Cover? Just beautiful. Sunset is my favourite colour. It is like my best friend, my favourite book, my favourite music and my favourite wine. I look at the beautiful sunset and I smile. To me, happiness is looking at a beautiful sunset.


  3. Beautiful photos; desert light that words cannot describe. But you make me want to visit Joshua as soon as possible. I’ve seen the light of sunsets in southern New Mexico, so I know the feeling such environments bring on. As for the old desert rat, Ed Abbey, he’s the man in charge, and Desert Solitaire is the bible of the sand and rock and cactus. Thanks for this, Mr. Plaid!


    1. Mr. Abbey sure can write about the desert! I hope you get back to the SW deserts sometime – they do have an extraordinary pull, and once experienced, they become a little part of you. (Thinking about it, I guess that’s true of many places we live in or visit!)
      Thanks Walt, and have a great weekend! (Spending mine with Beautiful Like a Mayfly)


  4. As always…beautiful photos. I love how you captured the sunset highlighting the clouds, giving the rocks a golden grow. I’m wishing that I was under that big Wyoming sky. I won’t go as far to say yearning….I know eventually it is going to snow there.


    1. Once you’ve enjoyed a mountain winter, you’ll yearn for the snow (at least, as a photographer you might!)
      We got lucky with our desert timing, and the light was just right, or so it seemed. The rocks really do glow early morning and late evening, it’s a sight to see.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very happy you enjoyed these! We really love visiting the desert. Soon, it’ll be posts about snow and yet more snow…perhaps you’ll be ok with that, as it’s part of your heritage!
      Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these photos. I am a Western girl who married an Arkie. I now live in Arkansas, but grew up out West. Have lived in California Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. My father was a welder and we moved constantly. Love the Rocky Mountains and the desert. Have seen some mighty big snows in Idahao, Washinton and Oregon. I have been out West many times since I moved to Arkansas, I miss the West. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.


    1. Highly recommended – but maybe not in summer, although that is the quiet season if you prefer fewer people about. It is beautiful, and such a contrast to western Canada. Hope you get to Joshua Tree one day!


  6. woo hoo plaid camper, I sure enjoyed this colorful post. I’m glad your traveling friend and the green-eyed monster got you looking at these photographs, because they sure are spectacular. And besides, there will be plenty of time ahead for the snow. Had to laugh that you recommended the tram! I find Joshua Tree such an unusual and sacred place, and you captured it so well in your photos. I love the silhouettes, and I think my fave photo is #5 titled “Glowing” — wow, really captures that amazing place.


    1. “Unusual and sacred” – well said! It is such an easy place to enjoy…
      I know, the tram. She’s back now, didn’t take the tram, so we’re still friends!
      Glad you enjoyed this one, always appreciate your visits.


    1. You’re so right! The difference is what I enjoy about Joshua Tree – the contrast with up here is huge. (But with great sunsets in both places!)
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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