A sudden realization in the sun.
Originally uploaded by Douglas Remington - Ethereal Light™
So camping out on at Joshua Tree NP was not as fun as usual. Had gail force winds battering my tent all night long, so I didn't sleep at all of course. When I got out of my sleeping bag and tent to go shoot sunrise, I noticed my Cousin Paul bailed out of his tent and was crashed in his Jeep. I took the drive out to the cholla gardens, grabbed gear and started to hike around looking for my comp when all of a sudden I felt a strong "sting" on my right ankle. My immediate reaction was," oh my god, I just got bit by a rattlesnake. To my surprise, I had a nice "cholla ball" imbedded deeply in my ankle. Looks like the strong winds were not going to give me a hall pass. Ok, so try pulling one of these out of your person, it's not easy nor fun! Cholla cactus spines, or needles, have barbs and hooks that are made to never come out of anything. I had no pliers, comb, nothing to get them out. I had to grab my sock around the cholla ball and rip the ball out of my ankle with the sock. Many barbs stayed behind and it was very difficult to pull those out with no tools. So yes, now I had bloody puncture wounds in my hand to boot. And those were yet difficult to pull out as well. In fact, parts of those stingers had to stay behind in my flesh to dissolve naturally. Not sure how I actually photographed this landscape (which I made after the incident) given the circumstance. I made several more as well, and then drove to the nearest town for some first aid. Don't get me wrong it was still worth it and any discomfort I had was only temporary. It could have been worse, that really could have been a rattlesnake instead.