Quiver Tree and Mirage in the Namib Desert

February 25, 2016

Quiver Tree and Mirage in the Namib Desert

PhotographerMarco Frigerio
Summary Authors: Marco Frigerio; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a weathered quiver tree in the foreground and a hound-shaped mirage in the background was captured on the desolate plains of central Namibia. Quiver trees (Aloe dichotoma) are small to midsize trees growing no more than about 30 ft (9 m) in height. These unusual trees have no real wood, rather their trunk and branches are made of a pulpy, fibrous material. They're indigenous to the arid, rocky areas of Namibia and South Africa.

The mirage looks like a distant mountain, but the nearest mountain range in the direction the camera is facing is several hundred miles away. This is an inferior mirage, often seen in desert landscapes. In this case, the image is displaced downward from the actual position of the object.  Photo taken in 1998.

Photo Details: Nikon FE camera; 135 mm Nikkor lens; Kodachrome 64 ASA.