A near desert is an ideal circumstance for exposing the essential patterns of a place. Water concentrates in drainages and gives vegetation a chance to do the same. In turn these strands of plants mark the organization of valleys. Elsewhere the thin cover allows the color and texture of soils and rock outcrops to be clearly seen. In the Mount Augustus area about 300 km east of Shark Bay the lines of streams interplay with the varieties of rock, with such profusion that one can easily believe in a moving earth, in the convections beneath our crust, and in the long sequence of change that has brought us here.