Conditions above 5,000 feet in the western United States are hot and dry. Soil is thin to non-existent in the rocky terrain of Grand Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Yet, vegetation from wild flowers to trees found ways to grow.
I was fascinated how trees would grow on the sides of cliffs, in hot desert environments and at the edge of massive rock formations. During a typical year, these trees are subject to intense heat to extreme cold with little rain. When rain does fall, it creates flash flooding and carries soil away with some of the trees living in that soil, too. These trees have learned to get their water from the air as it condenses in the cool nights on leafs and needles.
Pinyon Pines were my favorite tree to photograph in the parks. They grew into mangled looking specimens. Which made them photographic to my vision.
You can see the kind of soil these trees try to grow in. Yet, they survive even if it is on the wall of the Grand Canyon.
I found this large Pinyon Pine growing in the shadow of Skyline Arch in Arches National Park. The ground was a layer of sand with hard rock underneath. Didn’t seem to phase the trees and brush growing there.
Life finds a way. Which leads me to believe there is life beyond Earth and lots of it.