On a recent visit to Palm Springs California, I spent a day hiking and photographing the local landscape. In the morning, I started out on the desert floor. The temperature was already in the 90′s and quickly got hotter. By the end of that hike, it was well over 100 degrees. The topography reflected this harsh environment with dry river beds, dusty trails and desert plants struggling to survive.
I did eventually come upon an oasis of sorts, a waterfall and shallow pond with cool water from the mountains above. I had been to this location before, and knew this would offer some relief from the heat.
After spending several minutes cooling off and enjoying the magnificent views, the arduous task of hiking back was underway. The second half of this journey rewarded me with wonderful photographic possibilities to the point where I almost forgot about the heat! I loved the way the light fell on the incredible rock formations lending to such visual interest and shadow play.
Later that afternoon, I took the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up into the mountains. It’s a two and a half mile ride, elevating 8500 feet above the desert floor to pristine wilderness.
Here the temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler, and the topography was much different. Pine trees replaced the cactus. Lush grassy plains replaced the dusty desert floor. The wildlife was abundant with birds and squirrels galore. It seemed like Spring was in the air.
Photographing this area was a much different experience than what my morning hike produced. It was fun to experience such a contrast in a short span of time, and I was rewarded with a diverse set of images.