Richard T. Nowitz

A corrugated countryside poses a formidable barrier to travel in parts of the Negev, so the wadis—dry watercourses—become natural highways (at least in the dry season; in the winter, they are subject to dangerous flash floods). In this photo, vehicular tracks mark the bed of the wadi that meanders from the upper left to the bottom center. The wadi also serves as home to most of the plant life of the desert. Scattered throughout and beside its course, clumps of shrubs cling to life as they await the next rain. Areas like that seen in this aerial photograph—with the black hills at the top—are characteristic of the Ramon crater as well as the vicinity of Timna. The round, craterlike geological structure at right presents a typical erosion pattern in the Negev.