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Saturday, January 21, 2012

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Desert of purple wildflowers

The cracks in the parched earth are clearly visible, but for a few short weeks - every few years - this remote section of desert is transformed into a magic carpet of purple.
The wildflower Scorpion Weed takes over this corner of the Mojave Desert in southwestern Utah when the conditions are right.

But its beauty is best appreciated in a photo- locals talk of the plants giving off a foul smell like human body odour.

Worse still, it's not called Scorpion Weed for nothing - pick this desert blossom up and you'll get a nasty rash akin to the perils of touching poison ivy or poison oak. 

The weed is part of the Phacelia family and it doesn't always appear every year.
But given the right combination of winter precipitation and April sunshine and you have deep purple time. 
The photo, named Badlands In Bloom, was taken by photographer and writer Guy Tal near the one-horse town of Caineville in the area known as the Colorado Plateau.

He wrote: 'Over the years, this magical and endangered landscape had not only been my home but also my sanctuary and my main source of inspiration.

'It is my goal as a person, as a writer, and as an artist, to promote and to share its wild beauty, and advocate for its preservation. It is a place like no other - a treasure for the soul that future generations deserve to experience in its wild state as we have been privileged to.'

The picture recently gain the recognition it deserves when it went viral in an email titled Extraordinary Pictures.

Now it's so popular it even has its own Facebook page!

By Mike O'Brien

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