©Bert Gildart: Yesterday, Janie and I hiked to an incredible area in the southern part of Anza Borrego Desert State Park looking for pictographs, which after several years of searching we finally found. Don’t expect a detailed map to the area, but I will report on this incredible Native American art form in my next posting. Sadly, so many antiquities have been destroyed that various laws have had to be enacted to protect them. Fines help — and they have ranged in the thousands — and that is good, but money can’t restore defaced rock art.
While on the trip it was encouraging to see a few flowers starting to rear their lovely heads. There has been so very little rain this winter that some are saying there will be but few flowers this spring. And it is true, the flowers I show here were confined to areas where the little moisture that has accumulated tends to collect, such as in boulder fields and in protected pockets of south facing slopes.
To make these images I used various techniques, which one must employ to dramatize their beauty and intensify their color. For the purple penstemon, I used two strobes; for the fish hook cactus, I blocked the sun using a broad brimmed out – else the plants would have been filled with contrasty light. And for the yellow agave flower I used back lightening, which always seems to work well for plants that are colored yellow.
Because these are some of the first flowers of spring, it does suggest that other species will soon follow. However, the presence of only a few also suggests that some looking will be required.