This is dry: California desert, 2014

photo 2ALast week, we traveled from one desert through and to another: from high New Mexico to dry California. We combined a family visit with (for me) the annual JAWS conference (highly recommended, for all you female journalists!). The journey took us to San Diego and across to Palm Springs/La Quinta.

We’ve all heard about the California drought; to see its brittle nature is something else. It actually rained in San Diego, the day I left for the conference. I missed that. All I saw was parched brown vegetation and a landscape that looked as though it could catch fire with the slightest breath of wind and a spark. Here, I show you the desert high above Palm Springs. That green patch in the final image is where we had our conference: a damp oasis in an arid world. Coming from another desert, I cringed at all the watering I saw—and every green plant, every golf course, every whiff of humid air. I ran past the greens one afternoon and the air smelled of Florida. The desert should not smell of Florida in a year of drought. But here we are: California 2014.

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