Photo: The soft beauty of Joshua Tree at dusk

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115 of 1005

California's Joshua Tree National Park is a special place where almost 800,000 acres host the meeting point of two large ecosystems, high and low desert. In the eastern part of the park, where the elevation is below 3,000 feet (910 meters), the Colorado Desert sprawls out, filled with creosote bush and small stands of ocotillo and cholla cactus.

But it's the cooler and wetter environs of the higher-elevation Mojave Desert where the magic of the namesake Joshua tree happens. Large stands of this gorgeous, unruly member of the Agave family cover the western half of the park, giving it a surreal feel, as if straight from a desert fantasy – all of which is so beautifully represented in this image showing the soft, dreamy side of a desert sunset.

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