white sands national monument revisited in november 2010
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White Sands National Monument, close to Alamogordo, New Mexico, is a great place for photography because of the utter simplicity of design elements, consisting of wind-sculpted sand, and desert plants in unique New Mexico light, especially in late afternoon. When deep blue shadows emerge near sunset it is a magical place.
And, any camera will do well here. Most of the images below were taken by a Canon Powershot point & shoot G series digital camera. I remain so impressed by digital cameras' ability in low light situations.
longtime friends of mine Charles & Maggie - who I first met in Atlanta years ago - retired to the miniscule town of Tularosa, which is located only a 30 minute drive from White Sands. The photos below came from my visits there since 2006. I hope to visit there again in spring 2020.
|cottonwood tree in the dunes||yucca plant||cottonwood bonsai|
|shifting sands bury a desert plant||iceberg in New Mexico||when the eagle flies|
|'Let's see, I think we parked over there'||Carlos of the desert||evening approaches||blue shadows emerge|
|sand dunes & the mesas at Alamogordo||evening at white sands||sunset|
Feb. 09 visit
May 2013 visit
|the mesa at Alamogordo||visitor center|
|parabolic dunes||yucca in bloom||rental car|
|old footsteps and the wind||red, white and blue for memorial day|
|creature tracks||must be Friday||sand verbena|
|bleached earless lizard||the dunes||parabolic-ness||and sinuosity|
In October 2016 my brother and three sisters and I gathered for a reunion to celebrate a milestone birthday for Don, in Las Cruces. A few days later I drove to stay four nights in Tularosa, where my long-time friends Chas & Maggie live.
On the first of two visits to White Sands, I arrived just before sunset & drove to the furthest point in, where there is almost no vegetation. I took the Alkali Flat trail and sought out the highest dunes.
|visitor center||in the dunes in late evening light||shadows dominate the scenery|
|wind-blown sand textures||the wind weaves these intricate patterns|
|a fabulous landscape at sunset||sunset's golden glow||yucca plant|
Returning a few days later in the afternoon, I drove to an area not so far in, where there is more vegetation. By the way these dunes are made of gypsum, not sand. Gypsum is much heavier than sand so these dunes change shape over long time periods.
|looking northwest||barren cottonwood||interesting light|
|late afternoon sun||skunkbrush, see note below||main road in & out|
The Monument brochure states that a few shrubs like skunkbrush sumac have dense, deep roots that form a pedestal which remains long after the rest of the dune has been pushed along by the wind, and Kit foxes and other animals find refuge here from high winds.
I left White Sands before sunset to have a look at the distant mesa and canyon topography located south of Alamagordo.
|looking east to mesas/canyons|
|Dog Canyon area||sunset in Alamogordo|
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