We took a quick trip to Death Valley this week to check on the wildflowers. This winter, the area got significant rain for the first time since 2005, so we were hoping for some nice color. We noted some small patches of purple and white along the way, but there was mostly large areas of Desert Gold stretching across the valley floor up to the base of the mountains. It was quite nice.
This is a small stream just south of the Stovepipe Wells sand dune field in Death Valley. The stream is only about 1.7 miles long and runs through some of the most inhospitable desert in North America. The stream is fed by hot salty water that gradually leaches from the adjacent dune field. The stream abruptly disappears into the Cotton Ball salt flat to the south. The slow-moving stream is only a few inches deep and meanders through a small valley.
The interesting thing about this stream is that it is home to the Salt Creek Pupfish. These very small minnow like fish have been trapped and evolved in this stream sense the end of the last ice age. The aerial photograph shows almost the entire habitat for this particular type of Pupfish.
Just one image tonight.
This is a long exposure photo that I took at night under a nearly full moon You can see a slight hint of the sunset over the horizon on the right with the bright moonlight over the mountains on the left. The moonlight was soft and even, but it still cast a shadow over the sand dunes from passing clouds.
The location is the Eureka Dune field in Death Valley.