LEast Mojave National Preserve
San Bernardino County, CA

The desert woodland around a unique geological feature called Cima Dome lies at approximately 5000 feet elevation and has the highest concentrations of Joshua trees in the world.
Not all nights in the desert are clear and calm. An approaching storm forced cancellation of my imaging session this particular evening, allowing me to catch up on
some image processing and a lot of much needed sleep.

Set up and ready to go, awaiting dark. To me this is the most magical time in the desert, when a dead calm prevails and nocturnal wildlife
begin to stir from their underground dens.

Another view (facing southwest) looking down on the observing site. Large boulder masses and an abundance of Joshua trees make this a beautiful location,
particularly when the lengthening shadows of late afternoon provide a high degree of contrast to this angular landscape.

Part of the desert experience for me is capturing images of the native wildlife. Here an American Kestrel is seen leaving its nest high in a Joshua tree. All wildlife images on this page were taken with a Canon 20D and Canon 300mm f/4 L telephoto lens.

Cottontail and Blacktail jackrabbit are prolific breeders and can be seen most everywhere during all times of the day. The Cottontail seen here is standing on its hind legs and pulling down a branch to reach the tender young shoots and flowers of a desert bush.

The Whiptail lizard is a voracious hunter active during the daylight hours searching for its prey of small insects. Ever wary, it's quite hard to get close to these reptiles, so a telephoto lens is the best way to capture them in their native environment.

The Desert Kingsnake has a striking black and white pattern that is easily
seen as it warms itself on the hot asphalt of a desert road at night. Its
prey includes everything from rodents to rattlesnakes.

A small Mojave Green Rattlesnake strikes a defensive pose. The venom of this
species is considered to be one of the most virulent of any American pit viper,
similar to the neurotoxin found in cobras.