The images are truly remarkable, particularly those with the warm colors and long shadows of dusk and dawn, when more than half of the 80 photographs were taken. Mountains, rocks, and water are typical winning subjects, but wildflowers are particularly well served by Dykinga, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer with two other books on desert landscapes. That wildflowers should be so prominent is no surprise, since many photographs document the sensational desert bloom that followed the El Niño winter of 1997-1998.
Janice Emily Bowers, a botanist and writer, brings the desert to life with her first-person narrative of kit fox sightings, wandering boulders, and basic desert ecology. She also describes the increasing threats to the more than 100 rare plants and animals in the Mojave. Dykinga's selectivity--not one photograph shows any trace of human activities--is balanced by Bowers's portrait of a desert at risk. They succeed in their mission to make new friends for the desert and renew old ones. This elegant book is really a reminder that the Mojave and Death Valley are worth protecting, saving, and visiting. --Pete Holloran
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Hardcover : 143 pages