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 here in Kayenta two nights ago, dusty, gritty and smiling ear to ear after visiting Upper Antelope Canyon on Sunday afternoon. We almost didn't go, for one reason and another - the websites weren't letting us book, the hotel phoned for us but "all busy". We were quite relaxed about it - it was hot, we'd been early that morning to Horseshoe Bend and marvelled at the height, the colours, the hugeness; had stopped off at the dam; breakfasted - or maybe brunched - in a booth at Denny's (among the Mother's Day lunchers) on pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, and done a supermarket top-up for our coolbox in Page, town of churches - what busy little bees we were. However, our road out from Page to Kayenta passed right by the site, so we just called 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!!! It was pretty quiet, and lovely and cool, and the colours were…indescribable. We're still speculating as to the why and how - no doubt there are dissertations on it, somewhere.