Searching for the cottonwood – California

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. It began as an accidental flood plain of the Colorado River, today it is polluted  by agricultural run off  and disappearing.

The scene is eerie, out of balance and surreal. There is no fresh water coming in,  birds glide above, fish bones crunch underfoot; this pastel coloured crushed bone has become the shingle sweeping the shoreline.

Out on the outer flats, bird nests appear  white and fossilised, as do other remains of life, delicately encrusted with talcum soft salt  reminiscent of  volcanic ash.


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  1. This is fantastic Esther, your photos are amazing and your descriptions very evocative. I’ll be following! X

  2. Loving your pictures, esp. this one, tremendous clouds and light combination with the tree. I think I started to love extreme landscape when I was travelling thro the Mohave many years ago.
    Keep the pictures coming. x

    ps I dream of going to Burning Man did you enjoy it?

    • I was just further south of Joshua Tree and then drove on to the Anza Borrego Desert. My connection to the desert has become stronger since the accident (which was in a semi desert area of spain). I first went to BM in 2002 and it can be quite life changing because levels of connection with people and inspiration runs so high. I really love it – there is no other place like it for free collective artistic expression and experience. I recommend!

  3. The landscape is similar to a place not too far away from the Salton Sea called Racetrack Playa in Death Valley. It’s a very strange place and one of the flattest on earth. From one end of the valley to the other is only millimetres higher than the other end. I spent the night there in the pitch black of night where you could see Jupiter and the Milky Way.

    Beautiful photograph.

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