I photographed this panorama of the desert flora sunset during my trip to Big Bend National Park earlier last year. The clouds were sparse but the desert flowers were amazing. I have been told by many people that this is about as good as it gets in Big Bend and that I may never see the desert floor light up like this again. I hold out hope that the next time I go it will be this magnificent.
Desert plants are amazing! They are programmed to take advantage of the rainy season and reproduce with great efficiency. These plants often appear to be dead or dying during the dry seasons but they are simply waiting for rain in their own way. Drought tolerance refers to a plant’s ability to withstand desiccation. Most plants wilt and die within days after the soil dries out. Many non succulent desert plants survive months or even years with no rain. Some plants shed their leaves during the dry periods to reduce the surface area of the plant and thus reduce transpiration while others develop waxy coatings on their leaves that act as a shied. The roots of a desert shrub are more extensive than those of plants of the same size in wetter climates. They extend laterally two to three times the diameter of the canopy. This allows them to more efficiently capture the tiny bits of moisture that might remain. Then, the rain comes and the desert comes alive all at once and the cycle repeats.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 Lens set on 24 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/14, shutter speed at 1/25th of a second and the ISO set at 100. I took a total of 6 photographs and stitched them together in Lightroom. Final processing was done in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
This image is best viewed large. Click on it to enlarge it. You can see other photos of my trips to Big Bend NP here. Please use the section below to post your comments, questions or suggestions.
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