“There are no vacant lots in nature.”

My photos of southern Nevada illustrating the musings of Edward Abbey, – the “Thoreau of the American West” – from his collection of essays, Desert Solitaire (copyright 1968).

snow-capped Mount Charleston, Nevada


 “There are no vacant lots in nature.”



“Alone in the silence, I understand for a moment the dread which many feel in the presence of primeval desert, the unconscious fear which compels them to tame, alter or destroy what they cannot understand…”

ruins of El Dorado mines, Nevada



 “How difficult to imagine this place without a human presence…”

Petroglyphs, Valley of Fire, Nevada, 4000+ years old
neon signs, Las Vegas, 70+ years-old



“Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each herb and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life-forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” 



“One more expression of human vanity. The finest quality of this stone, these plants and animals, this desert landscape is the indifference manifest to our presence, our absence, our coming, our staying or our going. Whether we live or die is a matter of absolutely no concern whatsoever to the desert.”



“Light. Space. Light and space without time, I think, for this is a country with only the slightest traces of human history…from the mortally human point of view the landscape of the Colorado is like a section of eternity—timeless.”

Colorado River, El Dorado Canyon, Nevada



 “Water, water, water…. There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount, a perfect ratio of water to rock, of water to sand, insuring that wide, free, open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here, unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”

snowman on Mt. Charleston April 2011, just north of Las Vegas



“You can’t fight the desert… you have to ride with it.” ~ Louis L’Amour