This image has won first place in the Beauty of Plants category of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition 2016. It had to be one of my most memorable shoots - I was in New Mexico, USA, and the dunes really are white - they're silica, and cool underfoot even in the 90 degree heat that accompanied the 90mph gusts of the hot winds. The Indians use every part of the yucca plant, which has to grow tall and strong fast to outpace the fast-shifting dunes. This one, spotted when I was about the leave the White Sands National Parkwhen the gates were about to close at sunset. It stood strong with its seed pods empty - it had done it's job.Read More
We arrived in Kayenta, dusty, gritty and smiling ear to ear after visiting Upper Antelope Canyon on Sunday afternoon. It’s got 5 stars in every guidebook, but we almost didn't go - the websites weren't letting us book, the hotel phoned for us but "all busy".
It was hot, we'd been up and out early that morning to Horseshoe Bend, marvelling at the height, the colours, the hugeness - and the total absence of any safety measure - guards, barriers or tape - loved it! We’d stopped off at the dam before sliding into a booth for pancakes, bacon and maple syrup at Denny's (among the Mother's Day celebrations) then done a supermarket top-up for our coolbox in Page, town of churches. Fine, we thought.
However, our road out passed right by the site. We turned in on the off-chance - and left for the canyon on a bumpy truck 5 minutes later with languorous Franky, our Navajo guide. WHAT a treat it was!!! In the hottest part of the day, we had the place to ourselves, and once in the canyon it was cool.
The colours were indescribable. Lucky turn off, that.