Waiting for Rain

Image: Waiting for Rain

Description: Description: Dead Teddy Bear Cholla are locked in time with upraised branches, as if reaching for the rains that never came. This is an all too familiar sight as one hikes through the Sonora Desert.

Specific Feedback Requested: Any thoughts, advice appreciated? Muted colors versus a true monochrome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Technical Details: Nikon D850, Nikon 70-200 mm f/4, ISO 1600, 122 mm, f/22, 1/400 sec.
Processed in LR, color, adjustments, small area of cloning of a smooth area where a branch appears to be sawed off. Plant is located near a desert trail in a regional park.

1 Like

I like this side-lit treatment Marlin. As a desert rat myself, I spend a lot of time looking at the fine details, and I have felt great sadness seeing so many of the cacti in Joshua Tree National Park dying from thirst. Yesterday I photographed dead Cholla, Beavertail and Joshua Trees. I think this one would make an excellent metallic print in color or B/W.

Thank you for the review of the image and your comments. Recent rains won’t fully make up the deficit or rescue already dead or severely stressed plants, but it is amazing to see how surviving vegetation responds to the rain, when we do get some. Big picture is still concerning.

Agree – along with the dead cacti and trees in Joshua Tree, there were desert oak trees yesterday which looked dead but had tiny leaves sprouting.

Marlin, this is an excellent example of the skeletal remains of cholla as they whither away toward becoming ground debris. The overall DOF works nicely here with the two upright plants or stems. A glimpse at a desert dweller in need of the precious rainfall… :sunglasses:
As a side note: Years ago I started wearing snake guards. Originally for the name sake protection. However, over time it has become more a prevention against ALL types of cacti especially the Jumping or Teddy Bear Chollas. I mean those needles and barbs are just flat nasty devils… :fearful:

Thank you, Paul. Unfortunately lats of these stems around.
I love your comment about the snake guards. I moved back to AZ about a year ago and am finally getting out intot he desert more regularly, so, I hinted that snake gators would be a good Christmas gift, for both of the reasons you describe. A good, sturdy comb is also part of my desert gear!