When I look at the wider landscape in the desert, it appears almost impossible that life could flourish there. The rock formations are gorgeous but don't look hospitable to plants.
I love the color of the rock formations, so much like the glowing chocolate of Shyla.
When we explore the desert world more closely, we find beautiful flowers in the nooks and crannies between the rocks. This is one my favorites - the Claret Cactus - which is growing in a dirt spot between the rocks.
Despite severe drought in the Utah desert, the Claret Cacti were blooming strongly!
The blooms' red against the blue sky with cacti spines all around them caught my eye many times.
In some areas that we visited, the paintbrush were also in full bloom.
Some flowers, in the "4 O'Clock" family, open their blossoms late in the day and through the night. This prevents them from losing too much water to evaporation in the hot sun. This one looks very closed at mid-day.
But each of those white balls becomes a flower at night when it opens.
The flashy purple member of that family opens its flowers wide late in the afternoon.
Every time we visit the desert, I am awed to find these plants so strong in such a tough environment. It looks so dramatically tough - but they manage to bloom even in drought years.