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April 17, 2008

Dormant Shrub in Anza Borrego Desert

Dead Shrub in Anza Borrego Desert - Warm GreyDead Shrub in Anza Borrego Desert - Color

Here are a couple of versions of a dormant shrub in Plum Canyon at Anza-Borrego State Park. Dead and dormant desert plants can make pretty interesting subjects for photos because of things like their starkness, their shapes, and the fact that the elements often exposes a lot of the grain in the wood.

This spindly shrub caught my attention among the wildflowers. I developed a couple of versions of the photo: one accentuates the yellows in the wood, while in the other I worked to develop a warm gray. I wonder which one you prefer?

View and compare them in the Plant Photo Gallery

(Dial-up optimized Plant Photo Gallery)


Larry Hogue said...

Hi John

Nice photo, but that's not a dead shrub. It seems to be just emerging from dormancy. Later this spring or early summer it should have some nice blossoms on it. (I should know what it is, but can't call the name to mind right now.)

This may seem like a quibble, but much damage is done to living desert plants that people think are dead. These plants' ability to make it through the heat and aridity of summer and fall by dropping their leaves (thus appearing to be dead) is one of their most remarkable features.

The ocotillo is a good example. In summer it looks like a bunch of dead sticks stuck in the ground. But a few days after the first rains, the branches open out, it sprouts a bunch of green leaves, and shortly thereafter it sprouts bright red blossoms.

That said, a lot of shrubs in anza-Borrego died off during last year's drought, so there are some dead ones out there. But this isn't one. I hope you'll change your description to "dormant."

Thanks! Your other photos are great too!

John Corney said...

Hi Larry,

I actually did entertain the thought that it was dormant as can be seen in the text I posted with the image in the galleries, for example here: Shrub in Anza-Borrego. But your point is well-taken and I will update the title to "Dormant Shrub". Thanks for your interest in my photos.

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