Smoketree Photos: The Ghosts of the North American Desert

Strange and beautiful

Smoketree- Ghost of the North American Deserts

(Image credit: NPS)

The fascinating deserts of North America have long been a unique land of discovery and inspirational wonder. Early 20th-century author George Wharton James wrote in 1906 of the American deserts that "the popular conception is that a desert is all sand — barren, desolate, unfruitful, shifting sands, where heat is frightful and where nothing can live. ... But in a material sense ... the desert is a place of fascination and surprises. On every hand are strange, wonderful and beautiful things - things that are unknown to cities and to the unobservant anywhere." Maybe James had just come across the "strange, wonderful and beautiful" Desert Smoketree in full bloom — his words certainly describe it perfectly.

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