Monday, January 09, 2012

Plant Life at White Sands

I was amazed at the variety of plants and vegetation that survive in the dunes of White Sands National Monument. The dunes are constantly on the move, engulfing everything in their path and then slowly uncovering them again. Certain plants have adapted to the environment and manage to survive a little longer – as the sand covers them they grow taller, but when the dune moves on and leaves them exposed they can no longer support their tall growth and then they crumble and die. These are but a few of the plants I saw...

There was seldom an expanse of the dunes (close to the road) where there were no human footprints. I walked as far as my legs would take me before the knee began hurting and then turned back. There were other footprints in the sand besides those of us humans - - these prints descended the high dune to the ground about 30 feet below and at a very steep angle! Was it a kit fox? They have adapted to the environment by being very small, no more than 5 pounds. They seldom show themselves during the daylight hours.

All photos were taken on Friday, January 6th, 2012.


BDM said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the photos.

Miriam said...

My favorites are the second and third photos. Beautiful!