Desertscapes

What is so fascinating about the desert? Well, for me personally it’s a combination of pure solitude, unspoilt land as far as the eye can see and a landscape that although beautiful demands respect at all times.

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I grew up in a part of England that along its coastline a lot of fine sandy beaches are to be found and thus sand was always a part of my life. I am no beach bum by any means, for me sitting or lying in the sun is connected with boredom pure but warm sand between your toes on a sunny day near the sea is definitely a piece of living standard. As a kid I loved to be on the coast especially in Newquay or Carbis Bay on the north coast of Cornwall. Our nearest beach was just a couple of miles away at Portreath and even in Summer this was an uncrowded beach with fine, light beige sand. I am sure that these memories have remained with me until now strengthening my pursuit of these endless horizons.

A recent trip to Dubai this year took me to the desert region in the near to Al Ain to Al Faqa. Al Faqa is a known meeting point for “Dune Bashing” where groups of tourists are driven over sand dunes in off road vehicles the likes of Toyota Landcruisers or quad bikes, a popular tourist attraction. This takes place in an area of the desert open to such activities but generally the desert is a huge preservation area guarded by the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The reason for this is to conserve the varied wildlife to be found there. I was quite amazed on my bus trip to Al Ain to witness a fence lining the motorway for miles on both sides.

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“The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation.

Walter Elliot

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Did You Know?

There are parts of the Atacama Desert in Chile where rain has never been recorded. Scientists believe portions of the region have been in an extreme desert state for 40 million years, longer than any other place on Earth. And yet more than 1 million people live in the Atacama today. Farmers extract enough water from aquifers and snow melt streams to grow crops to raise Llamas and Alpacas.

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