One of the earliest memories of my life was excitedly running out the door of our house in Twentynine Palms with my younger sister and seeing snow for the first time. Snow in the desert—it was like a miracle for a five-year-old.

Among the other wonders I remember were the mines. There are pictures of me toddling into the old abandoned shafts in what is now Joshua Tree National Park with my Marine dad, following quartz veins where he actually found bits of gold on occasion. I need to say here that I do not recommend that anyone go into any old mine shafts that might still be accessible. Age, weather and earthquakes have made most of them highly unstable. What the heck was my dad thinking?! But still, these were great memories.

Joshua Tree has its seasons and moods, and I keep going back to capture them—snow in the winter, wildflowers in spring, and spectacular sunsets in both the spring and fall. And always the rocks, Joshua Trees, pinyons, junipers, cacti and other succulents. This place in the desert is always alive with wonders. All photos © Lee Reeder

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