Friday, April 08, 2011

Sunrise in the Desert

There could be a certain symbolism to watching a sunrise in the desert. It's the beginning of "something"; it's the spring; it's the dawn of a new age. Whatever. Or it could be just the reality of everyday nature on Earth that we have lost touch with.

We took our annual camping pilgrimage to Joshua Tree National Park. In the coolness of the morning, I woke up early to make a run from the tent to the toilet, and ended up watching the beauty of the stars -- with progression of "sunrise".

The arms of the Joshua trees embrace the starlight and crescent moonlight. Eventually the stars fade with the brightening sky glow.

The Earth's shadow recedes in the twilight. Twilight is a special time when it's neither day nor night.

As the rotation of the planet brings the sun into view, the distant mountains and rocks light up in orange. Orange turns to yellow, and the darkness vanishes.

And as the sunbeams fall from over the mountains, suddenly there's a "flash", and it is "daytime" already. For some reason I was caught unaware. I was left blinking my eyes in the full intensity of the sunlight and unprepared. Life catches you by surprise.

Here is our family photo where we look like we just woke up (which is true).

On our camping trip, Hikaru enjoyed sleeping in the tent, and he's getting quite good at climbing up the rocks. He's also an expert at scaring (us) parents, so we need to keep a watchful eye on him as he takes off.

For the record, here is the view of our campsite looking below from the top of the rock.

And this is another photo of our temporary home. It was windy when we arrived, so we located our tent close to a rock, and needed to tie it down with a few extra ropes.

Besides the sunrise, it is springtime. In the lower desert of Joshua Tree National Park, the flowers are starting to bloom. This is the desert dandelion.

Yes, there is gold to be found here!

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