Deadvlei: 3 Trees
This photograph of dead Camel Thorn trees was taken in the Deadvlei, Namibia, shortly after sunrise. The trees were just glowing in the light reflected from the hard clay pan below them, while the sand dune behind them was still in shade.
The white clay pan known as the Deadvlei ("Dead Marsh") is found in the Namibian desert among some of the tallest sand dunes in the world - over 1,300 feet high.
The clay pan was formed long ago during river floods in a much wetter climate period, when there was also enough water for the camel thorn trees to grow.
The climate changed, drought hit the area, sand dunes began to move in, and the trees died.
Incredibly, the trees are estimated to be 700 - 900 years old! They are not petrified; the climate is so dry that they do not decompose.
-Jack Opler Award, 2019 Arts Alive Art Show, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, AL