Greetings from Joshua Tree National Park, which is magnificent in its wildness (I can't believe that we're just 150 miles or so from Los Angeles, here). I find large spaces very consoling - at some quite basic level, they remind me that the world is a lot bigger than I am. And one could draw a good number of cliched consolatory parables, if one wanted, from flowers blooming in a barren land, etc. It was also freezing cold, which is not a concept I associate with Southern Californian desert. Above, cholla cacti in bloom, and below, the strange ocotillo plant - which apparently grows and loses leaves up to five times a year, depending on whether it gets water or not. And it has red flowers, too, which seemed suitably wild and defiant against the racing dark clouds in the sky.