Sunday Nature Stills – 10/26/2014

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.

Michael Fuchs 102614 (1)

Michael Fuchs 102614 (2)