Joshua Tree, outside Las Vegas (NV.)
Joshua trees are fascinating to look at, standing tall in the middle of the desert landscape. It looks like they are reaching up towards the sky. In fact they were named by mormon settlers, that crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The trees unique shape reminded them of a story in the Bible, where Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in a prayer.
Joshua trees in a desert landscape, along State Route 160, in southern Nevada.
These hardy little trees that grows in southern Nevada, southern California, and Arizona are actually very sensitive to our current climate changes. Scientists believe that their numbers could be reduced by 90% by the end of this century. Which would have a huge impact on the ecosystem, probably more than we can understand today.
Joshua trees aren’t actually trees, they are succulents, a type of plant that stores water. In their dry ecosystems, however, they are considered trees of the desert. They have a complex root system that consists of deep and shallow root. Their deep roots can reach a depth of 10-30 feet (!) and collect water that no other plant can use. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Joshua trees have been used for wood, and building materials for centuries. I think just looking at them is a treat. The way they reach up towards the sky is such a positive, hope giving gesture. Like they are giving thanks. I think they are among the most interesting, fascinating plants in the desert. What do you think? Have you ever seen a Joshua tree? How do they make you feel?
It was cloudy yesterday when I took these pictures, and the light was kind of flat. It was a lot of fun experimenting with my new camera anyways, and enjoying nature at the same time. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!