National Geographic : 2000 Oct
A Matter of Scale Monolith of lava, Court house Rock rises higher than the Empire State Building over the western Arizona desert scrub. Geologists call the structure a volcanic neck-the lava that forms it filled the throat of an ancient volcano. The 15-foot-high flower stalk of an agave is a skyscraper on a differ ent scale. Just before they die, agaves send up blossoms, which bats, hummingbirds, bees, and moths polli nate. To make this pho tograph, I had to swoop nearly as low as a bat, below a hundred feet, where I have little mar gin for error.