Dean M. Chriss

Mummified Lizard and Yucca, White Sands National Monument

(Click image to enlarge)

The desert can be at once beautiful and hostile. We found this small mummified lizard perched in a soaptree yucca while hiking in White Sands National Monument. Perhaps it died naturally while looking out over its white desert home from atop the yucca. Or perhaps it was placed there mortally wounded by a bird that decided it was not hungry after all. Whatever happened, within this image are fragments of one story of life and death in a land where few things can survive. Whether the story is macabre or beautiful is yours to decide.