The Star Dune
It's so difficult to convey the size and beauty of the star dune. Especially when the wind is blowing the sand right over the surface making it shimmer.
A lone man walks down the ridge of the colossal star dune.
Interesting to see how many people try to cut across the dunes by climbing down and up. We tried it once and realized how difficult it is and kept to the ridges like the guy up there.
On the long and bone jarring ride to the racetrack, a nice break at Tea Kettle Junction
All the diversity of Death Valley seems to be concentrated in this one spot with all those beautiful colors.
Dust over Badwater
From telescope peak to badwater basin, the landscape of Death Valley is so divers. Add to it dust storms, freezing nights and blistering hot days - it is one unique place.
We spent only about 15 minutes at the very aptly named Golden Canyon. The light was already getting harsh, but it worked perfectly for outlining this slot canyon.
It's amazing to watch the wind erase your footsteps right in front of you. This is one place your treading around can do the least harm.
Ripples in the Sand
It's interesting how the patterns in the sand is accentuated by the side lighting making it seem like a pool of sand nested between the dunes
Sitting on top of the world
He must have gotten there way before dawn to claim that perch. The star dune is the highest one in Mesquite Flat dunes and it's definitely a pain to climb with the loose sand.
This beautiful volcanic crater in Death Valley is right off the road to the racetrack. I didn't have much time to explore, but next time I'm going all the way to the bottom.
Layers and layers of delicious chocolate colored earth extend all around the Ubehebe crater. The van on the left gives you a perspective of how vast the area is.
The sun has to be really low in the horizon to get good photos of the racetrack - especially the textures of the playa.
Go Your Own Way
Some seem to converge while others move away. No rules on the racetrack.
The lone rock on the racetrack seems to be in stark disagreement with the other two.
You go your way and I'll go mine
Rocks on the racetrack make their way on the playa. The theory is that the wind pushes them when the playa is icy. Wonder how they move in opposite directions?
Moon and the Joshua Tree
It was an amazing experience watching the moon rise among the Joshua trees. I found this unique tree with no branches and was able to get this image with my telephoto lens.
With roots digging in deep, Joshua trees can live for hundreds of years. This little guy is relatively a baby with not even a single branch.
The Lone Joshua Tree
I've always loved lone trees. It's even more special when it's a Joshua Tree.
Joshua trees are such an intriguing species of plants. Growing in all sorts of sizes and shapes they last hundreds of years. Some look so top heavy, it's a wonder they don't fall over.
Arch Rock at Sunrise
The sunrises at Joshua Tree were not as spectacular as the sunsets. However, there was enough color showing through the arch.
Awash in Pink
These trees get to see amazing sunsets on a daily basis. No wonder they live so long.
Joshua Tree Sunset
The clouds seemed to be flowing and rapidly changing from orange to purple
Pride of the Desert
So majestic with its twists and turns. The wind had quieted down a bit for me to take a long exposure smoothing out the clouds.
I found this guy crawling along a wash. If you encounter them, don't get too close as they can lose the water they store if they get scared. And they are an endangered species
This beautiful ocotillo was putting on quite a show in front of Mastadon Peak
I hiked up to this tiny peak which is the site of an old gold mine and has even more golden desert flowers jutting out from the side. The flowers are almost camoflaged with the color of the rocks
A cousin to the Joshua Tree, these beautiful yucca plants are all over the Southern side of the park.
The Moon and the Dune
The moon was still high in the sky even after the sun lit up the sky. You look the opposite direction and you see a completely different scene with the burning sun.
The Sweltering Sun
Well, it was actually pretty cold that morning in the desert, but the sun behind a blanket of dust makes it look so hot! Like it should be in the desert.