Series > Desert California:
Shadow on dune, Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
Badlands. Anza Borrego State Park. California.
Swallenia alexandrae, Eureka Valley dunegrass, Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
Una Palma. Anza Borrego State Park. California.
Colorado River. Picacho State Recreation Area. California.
Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
Anza Borrego, California.
Flowering Joshua Tree, Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, California.
4 burnt palms. Salton Sea Beach. Salton Sea. California.
Century Plants. Anza Borrego State Park. California.
Hospital. Manzanar, California.
Snag and boulders. Joshua Tree National Park. California.
Badwater, Death Valley National Park, California
White Wash. Picacho State Park. California.
Dry waterfall.  Anza Borrego State Park.  California.
Camping at Lake Isabella, Kern County. California.
Electrical poles in water. Niland. Salton Sea. California.
Donkey. Mammoth, California.
US Army tank in park. Bodfish, California.
Dumpsters. Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. California.
Trona, California.
Aircraft nose on pallete. El Mirage, California.
Aircraft storage facility. Mohave, California.
Waste dirt. Lancaster, California.
Oil well. Taft, California.
Off road damage, Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
Cut Across Trail at Fault Wash. Anza Borrego State Park. California.
Ruins. Niland. Salton Sea. California.

Desert California

This work reveals this iconic landscape as both a natural phenomenon and a tableau of human endeavor.

Arriving upon this dry, vast land we are awed by a geology laid bare by millennia of heat and wind. Upon closer inspection, we become captured by the patient and persistent existence of both flora and fauna and find ourselves dwarfed by the timelessness of this land's dynamic and variable character. This is our earth primitive and enduring — the human lifespan represented by only a thin veneer marking the surface.

Yet, this open landscape also offers us a divergent reality. This is the story of a temporal existence preserved and enshrined, as if etched into the geologic record. Dirt tracks divide expansive valleys, only to find dry gullies hosting abandoned mines. Weather-beaten towns stand stark. Flourishing agriculture is enveloped by arid surroundings. California is arguably history's most successful desert civilization and it is here, well beyond our urban centers, that America's ambitions are writ large.

Thus, the timeless and the temporal, both core to our perception of the landscape, form a paradox in the California desert. The passion and vigor with which we build our lives and reshape our world seem of little consequence to this ancient landscape and the eons described upon it.

All Content © Thomas Bachand