Time was drumming in my ears, get home, get to work, so I turned on the navigation and set my speed to match. Except there’s no signal in Death Valley, barely any turns to make, and its hard to look at the scenery when driving so fast. So I stopped when I saw this in my rear view mirror.

The photograph from the road was empty of foreground, except for dots, which niggled at me as I drove on. I passed a dirt road leading north, stopped, backed up. The dots were Joshua Trees. You can go to Joshua Tree National Park to see them in force, but they do grow in patches elsewhere. A patch consists of trees perhaps 50 to 100 yards apart, covering several square miles, like the opposite of a jungle.

I never did turn on the navigation, even when I got in cell range. And I kept stopping, even though the skies were grey and the photographs lacked light, because that fresh snow on the peaks was beautiful, and it seemed a shame to waste the drive.