a brief taste of the high desert

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………

last week i dipped my toes into my 2013 conservation season with a brief venture (only 4 work days!) to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. this was my first visit and work experience in the high desert and it was MUCH harder than i expected. although JTree is about to enter it’s hottest season, we found ourselves in a cool and windy spell for the first three days. it was in the 60s and EXTREMELY windy, particularly on the ridge where our project site was located. then, by the end of the week the wind calmed and the temperatures rose. that’s why we are dressed for both winter and summer in this photos. in hindsight, i’m thankful for the varied experience in such a short amount of time. on the toughest day of work a few big horn sheep paid us a visit and just energized the whole group. the joshua tree blooms are also extraordinarily robust this year, so i was able to enjoy and photograph something a little bit rare. i loved the weird trees, the warm sun, the good company, the epic mountains, and the strangely hostile desert. on the other hand, i was happy to say goodbye to the blowing sand and total lake of humidity. my poor skin is still trying to recover! next up, spring in New Hampshire, blooms, bugs, TICKS, and then… Alaska! :)

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