There is a hidden strength in the arid spans of sun baked sands. Shadows animate stolid rocks and the still shapeless darkness of plants. Small reptiles scurry along the shadows' borders to stay well ahead of the encroaching light. Insects retreat cautiously behind their feared predators, but they also must seek the safety of the shadows.
Snakes motionlessly watch this tide of activity. They have retained the latent heat of the sand beneath their coiled bodies and have no desire yet to move - not even when a meal walks by only inches away. Snakes prefer to feed in evening hours so the digestion of the food helps to keep the cold blooded bodies warmer during the cool of the night.
In less time than it takes to see all this - far less time than it took to write it - the sun has fully breached the eastern mountains. The sands release small gasps of moisture in fine mists wisping away almost as fast as it occurs.
You can feel the passive defiance held by the landscape around you. It changes quickly. It changes daily. It survives.