Here we see the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells. The dunes you see in the distance rise nearly 100 feet. Late afternoon light accentuates the ripples and patterns while morning is a good time to view tracks of nocturnal wildlife. Moonlight on the dunes can be magical, but night explorers should be alert for sidewinder rattlesnakes, another good reason to visit here in late winter or March!
Many first time visitors to Death Valley are surprised that the entire Park is not covered with a sea of sand, however, in reality, less than one percent of the desert actually contains real dunes. Nevertheless, to most outsiders, the idea of sand dunes is almost synonomous with the word "desert."
For dunes to exist there must be a source of sand, prevailing winds to move the sand, and a place for the sand to collect. The eroded canyons and washes provide plenty of sand, the wind seems to always blow (especially in the springtime), but there are only a few areas in the park where the sand is "trapped" by geographic features such as mountains. Here at Mesquite Flats, those conditions do exist, as well as four other locations in the Park: Eureka Dunes, Panamint Dunes,Saline Valley, and Ibex Dunes.
Sand dunes seem to have become universally tied to the ideas of mystique and exploration.This location at Mesquite Flat is SO easy to get to, there really is almost no excuse for visitors to at least stop by and admire, even if visiting the park for only a day. I hope you get a nice sense of the dunes, here. I will have one additional view for you tomorrow.
** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"
- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)
- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.
::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
EARTH WIND AND FIRE;
"HOLD ON TO YOUR SPIRIT,
ALWAYS FEEL YOUR SOUL....
HONOR THE MAGIC IN YOUR HEART"; Earth Wind and Fire