For the Love of Quiver Trees

During my travels across southern Africa, I have grown very fond of the arid lands of the south-west, and especially the life that thrives in these areas.

The Quiver Tree (Aloe dichotoma), not technically a tree but a type of branching Aloe, grabbed my attention from the first time I saw them in person back in the Richtersveld many years ago. From then I have always had a sort of photographic love affair with them. Below are 10 of my favourite photographs captured of these beautiful Aloes. The bulk of the images are from Namibia but include some from the Richtersveld National Park and Augrabies Falls National Park in South Africa. Please enjoy.

"Balance Of Light" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia Three forms of light balance together to create this photograph. Starlight, astronomical twilight and artificial light. The Quiver Trees are composed as if reaching up to the most fascinating form of light, the Milky Way. The challenge was to perfectly balance all three forms of light into a pleasing photograph.

"Balance Of Light" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia

Three forms of light balance together to create this photograph. Starlight, astronomical twilight and artificial light. The Quiver Trees are composed as if reaching up to the most fascinating form of light, the Milky Way. The challenge was to perfectly balance all three forms of light into a pleasing photograph.

"Sunset over Keetmanshoop" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia Sunset falls across the barren but beautiful Quiver Tree landscape of Namibia.

"Sunset over Keetmanshoop" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia

Sunset falls across the barren but beautiful Quiver Tree landscape of Namibia.

"Twin Kokerboom" - Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa A Twin Kokerboom creates symmetrical shadows on the arid land of the Richtersveld National Park in the Northern Cape region of South Africa.

"Twin Kokerboom" - Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa

A Twin Kokerboom creates symmetrical shadows on the arid land of the Richtersveld National Park in the Northern Cape region of South Africa.

"Twilight Colour Palette" - Augrabies Falls National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa A crescent moon hangs low in the clear, twilight sky of sunset. Beautiful colours from the setting sun tinge the atmosphere in soft hues signalling the end of a very hot day over the harsh environment of the northern Cape.

"Twilight Colour Palette" - Augrabies Falls National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa

A crescent moon hangs low in the clear, twilight sky of sunset. Beautiful colours from the setting sun tinge the atmosphere in soft hues signalling the end of a very hot day over the harsh environment of the northern Cape.

"Nocturnal Trio" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia The milky way burns bright above a trio of Quiver Trees, standing tall reaching up to the starry night sky above.

"Nocturnal Trio" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia

The milky way burns bright above a trio of Quiver Trees, standing tall reaching up to the starry night sky above.

"On The Fringe Of Darkness" - Fish River Canyon, Hobas, Namibia The moon reaches the horizon to the west, setting and bringing complete darkness to the arid and desolate landscape of the Fish River Canyon. A lone Quiver Tree stands alone in this harsh environment.

"On The Fringe Of Darkness" - Fish River Canyon, Hobas, Namibia

The moon reaches the horizon to the west, setting and bringing complete darkness to the arid and desolate landscape of the Fish River Canyon. A lone Quiver Tree stands alone in this harsh environment.

"Milky Way over Kokerboomkloof" - Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa The Milky Way burns bright over the desolate but beautiful landscape of the Richtersveld. Quiver Trees (Kokerboom) stand proud in this harsh environment, reaching up to the stars above.

"Milky Way over Kokerboomkloof" - Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa

The Milky Way burns bright over the desolate but beautiful landscape of the Richtersveld. Quiver Trees (Kokerboom) stand proud in this harsh environment, reaching up to the stars above.

"Giants Playground Sunrise" - Giants Playground, Keetmanshoop Quiver Tree Forest, Namibia The sunrise light faintly paints the atmosphere in soft pink hues and indirectly the landscape of Giants Playground in Namibia.

"Giants Playground Sunrise" - Giants Playground, Keetmanshoop Quiver Tree Forest, Namibia

The sunrise light faintly paints the atmosphere in soft pink hues and indirectly the landscape of Giants Playground in Namibia.

"Moment of Twilight" - Fish River Lodge, Fish River Canyon, Namibia The first light of dawn paints the sky and landscape in soft hues of yellows and oranges as another hot day begins over the vast and arid landscape of the Fish River Canyon. In the foreground, two Quiver Trees stand strong in this harsh, yet beautiful part of the world.

"Moment of Twilight" - Fish River Lodge, Fish River Canyon, Namibia

The first light of dawn paints the sky and landscape in soft hues of yellows and oranges as another hot day begins over the vast and arid landscape of the Fish River Canyon. In the foreground, two Quiver Trees stand strong in this harsh, yet beautiful part of the world.

"Twilight Illumination" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia Heavy twilight skies to the west illuminate the Quiver trees and atmosphere in soft warm hues, whilst an almost full moon rises to the east and stars begin to appear. A long exposure of 30 seconds was needed to render a good exposure of the twilight scene helped on by the moon light from above. I was surprised by the power of the western twilight on the base of the Quiver trees as it was quite dark, but helped enrich the already striking colours of the trees.

"Twilight Illumination" - Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia

Heavy twilight skies to the west illuminate the Quiver trees and atmosphere in soft warm hues, whilst an almost full moon rises to the east and stars begin to appear. A long exposure of 30 seconds was needed to render a good exposure of the twilight scene helped on by the moon light from above. I was surprised by the power of the western twilight on the base of the Quiver trees as it was quite dark, but helped enrich the already striking colours of the trees.