Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sonoran Desert

Photograph: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, United States

I spent a few days in the Sonoran Desert at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona on the border with Mexico. This is a wonderland of plant and animal life, but it's also a place where everything has a bite. Survival of the fittest rules this environment.


Photograph: Saguaro Cactus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Even the human inhabitants have a bite. Every other car on Arizona highway 85 to the port of entry in Lukeville is a US Border Patrol vehicle. Roadblocks are routine and helicopters frequently shatter the pristine silence of the desert. Illegal immigrants willingly face this hostile environment every day, hoping to evade the natural and human roadblocks in their way. Is this bravery driven by the depths of desperation, or is it those ""who would use this openness to harm our citizens through trafficking in drugs, or trafficking in human beings, or by committing acts of terrorism"?


Photograph: Cactus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, United States

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