March 23, 2017

Photo Essay: The Creatures That Conquered the Desert

I'd seen some dinosaurs and other rusted metal sculptures out in the middle of nowhere in Anza-Borrego when I first visited back in 2009, but I didn't take particular note of them. They just seemed like they belonged in the desert.

But then I met their artist, Ricardo Breceda, when I visited his studio a couple of years ago—and after that, I started seeing his monumental wildlife all over Southern California.

So, it's been tough to forget that there were a bunch more of them that I'd missed out on, having given them only a passing glance in the fleeting moments of me passing by in my car.

But my recent trip back to Anza-Borrego to report on the wildflower "superbloom" was the perfect opportunity to make up for the missed opportunity...

...and to kill two birds with one stone by spotting blooms and beasts, all together in one place.

Seeing these wild animals all clustered together at the studio is one thing...

...but it's an entirely different thing to see them in situ.

The landscape behind them desaturates... they jump out into the foreground... some creature from some black lagoon...

...or some monster from some lake.

Since they first started appearing in 2008, they've seamlessly made the desert their home...

...rising up from some underworld beneath the sand...

...ready to lash out at this new world that greets them.

The sheet metal sculptures in this wild animal kingdom are supposedly based on what's been discovered in the longest continuous fossil record in North America, right here in Anza-Borrego.

If anything like these creatures actually roamed above ground here once...

Screenshot of "The Monster That Challenged the World" from DVDTalk

...who knows what long-buried monstrosities a little seismic activity could open the door for?!

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: A Metal Menagerie of Wild Animals
Photo Essay: A Treasure Trove of Roadside Dinosaurs
Photo Essay: The Living Ghost of Yermo
Photo Essay: A Roadside Cactus Ranch in Reseda

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