Ocotillo blooming in Anza-Borrego State Park, California. 2017
People who haven’t spent much time in the desert will declare it “barren” or “empty”, which of course it’s not — at least not yet. The deserts of the American Southwest, at least, are teeming with life: plants that store water for months, animals that migrate from shade to shade or come out only at night, and flowers that bloom, gloriously, for just a few weeks each year.
We also know that all this life is fragile. The Joshua trees are dying as their home turf grows hotter. There’s far less rain than there used to be, and droughts stretch on for years. The “superblooms” that draw visitors from hundreds of miles away may end too, in time. We’ll see what life comes to take their place.