Mojave Poppies at Sunrise

Mojave Poppies near Cottonwood Springs, Joshua Tree National Park

Behind the scenes of this photo

Taken in Joshua Tree National Park, California on February 24th, 2008

The winter of 2008 started off as a wet one, which proved fortuitous for the desert wildflowers. On this weekend in February I arrived in Joshua Tree to find carpets of flowers of all colors covering the desert floor. Wanting to be near the action come morning, I hiked about a ways into the park, pitched my tent, and slept surrounded by wildflowers. Early the next morning I woke before the sun and raced up to a slightly higher elevation where the poppies were blooming in full force. Then, once the sun rose above the horizon, illuminating the poppy fields and turning the clouds into bright nuggets of color in the sky, I snapped this photo.

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