Life in the desert is precarious. Come to think of it, life in general is pretty precarious. One thing about the desert though, death does not go away easily. This juniper log may have been here for a year or a hundred years. The dry atmosphere slows decay. None of the jungle's basidiomycota or deuteromycota, bacteria that rot the wood. While at the same time, the adaptive plants keep on living. Some of the oldest plants in the world live in the deserts. Sometimes we use deserts as examples of waste land, but it seems to me that both the living and the dead benefit from deserts.