We first arrived in the California desert expecting to find Lawrence of Arabia–all romantic, pristine sand dunes with wisps of dust devils trailing off into the air. The reality was more of a trash heap, at least in the more accessible areas, with all manner of household and industrial waste strewn across the landscape.
Nowadays, he realizes things are a little more nuanced than either impression. One thing is certain–as this photo from the Anza-Borrega Desert shows, nature isn’t taking the human invasion lying down. Sooner or later, everything gets swallowed up. It might take decades or even centuries, but the desert is a living, breathing organism that has been around for eons longer than we have and will remain long after we’re gone.