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Photographer's Note

The Baja Peninsula is a dry place, averaging between 5 and 10 inches of rainfall annually. Because it is long -- stretching approximately 800 miles over ten degrees of latitude -- and because of the varying geology (dominantly volcanic but also comprising salt flats and ancient seabeds) you will find several distinct types of desert here.

This is the desert in the mid-south. The green tint shown in the rock is accurate -- there is a high concentration of phosphate here, and a mine employing 1500 workers operates nearby. The biggest plants are the cardón cacti (pachycereus pringlei), the tallest cactus species in the world. The wispy bush is palo adan (fouquieria diguetil), related to the ocotillo -- like many desert species, it appears dead until it gets rain, then blossoms quickly at the end of its branches. The fuzzy-looking cactus in the foreground is the teddy bear cactus (opuntia bigelovii).

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Additional Photos by Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 258 W: 90 N: 498] (2182)
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