On a couple of my visits to Joshua Tree National Park this winter I have been treated to dramatic skies. This has been a special treat as frequently, being a desert environment, there isn’t a cloud in the sky.

Back in November, I arrived in the Park about 45 minutes before sunrise. Stepping out of the car I was greeted with a blustery cold wind. It was a very chilly wait for sunrise, but the light clouds in the east lent hope for a beautiful sunrise. In fact, as the sky started to lighten it looked very promising. The wind grew stronger behind me and, looking back, I could see a mass of dark clouds blowing towards me. A short time before sunrise it started to snow. Even worse, the clouds continued their trek to the east and very shortly obliterated any hope of a beautiful sunrise! The photo shows the view looking east shortly after what would have been sunrise.

Looking East

There was a silver lining though. The storm that blew in quickly also passed through quickly. My patience was rewarded with the dramatic skies associated with a clearing storm!

At one point, as the sun broke through the clouds, it cast a beautiful warm glow over everything.

As the morning progressed, it started to warm up a bit and most of the snow quickly disappeared. And, of course, the clouds disappeared from the sky, as can be seen in the photo below. The stone almost seems to have a face carved in it!

Rock Face

Towards the end of my visit, I managed to capture this image of a Mountain Bluebird against the clear blue sky. This was even more special as it’s the first time I have seen a Bluebird in Joshua Tree (or Southern California for that matter).

As an antithesis to my topic of “Drama”, the following image of cactus thorns is almost ethereal.

On a subsequent visit to Joshua Tree National Park, I found the skies no less dramatic, although without the discomfort of a snowstorm and cold winds. This time, sunrise truly was spectacular, both looking towards the rising sun as well as the sky in the West.

Looking East towards the rising sun
Looking West

Following sunrise, the drama in the sky didn’t diminish.

To close off this post are two black & white images that really emphasize the dramatic skies.

For more of my photographic art, please visit my gallery at neilmillerphotography.com – and while there, sign up for my newsletter.

This entry was posted in California, Landscape Photography, Photography, Travel, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Drama

  1. Leanne Cole says:

    Wow you aren’t kidding about the drama, you also got some incredible skies.

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