Death Valley and beyond

Open on a big computer with good internet signal, if possible! Please me know if this post was too long (took too long to open all these photos).

Three weeks ago and then two weeks ago, I traveled to Death Valley for half-day trips (it’s only 2 hours from me). The intent was to photograph the dunes at Stovepipe Wells before the sun moves too far in the spring sky causing the shadows of the dunes to change much (to the detriment of images). The second trip though didn’t come close to the dunes. I met several inches of snow on the mountainous road leading to the dunes and decided instead to photograph the snow in the desert.

Meanwhile, back in the Owens Valley, other photos were collecting; below is a retrospective of some of my last month’s photos – not just Death Valley!

The shadows change depending on which direction you're facing. This is facing north.
The shadows change depending on which direction you’re facing. This is facing north.
This was taken a day after the weekend wind storm that caused fire near me. The winds were very high, causing nice ripples.
This was taken a day after the weekend wind storm that caused fire near me. The winds were very high, causing nice ripples. Don’t the curves of the dunes remind you of reclining nudes?!?
The curves of the dunes remind me of reclining nudes!
This is a south-facing photo.
Pre-dawn light, bitter cold.
Second visit, ACK snow! Pre-dawn light, bitter cold.
Pink skies heralded the dawn.
Pink skies heralded the dawn.
The Joshua Trees looked like hefflelumps!
The Joshua Trees looked like hefflelumps!
I'm not sure how this will look on your screen, I've never tried to post a panoramic view. The road leading out of Death Valley was empty. I got out of the car and was snapping the mountains south of me, when I decided to try a hand-held panoramic view. The snow on the valley probably melted (or evaporated depending on the water content) before the day was gone, but it was beautiful while I was there.
I’m not sure how this will look on your screen, I’ve never tried to post a panoramic view. The road leading out of Death Valley was empty. I got out of the car and was snapping the mountains south of me, when I decided to try a hand-held panoramic view, five photos stitched together through the magic of Adobe Photoshop. The snow on the valley probably melted (or evaporated depending on the water content) before the day was gone, but it was beautiful while I was there.
Quince blooms - the same day as the Death Valley snow pics.
Quince blooms in the Owens Valley – the same day as the Death Valley snow pics.
You can see the steam from  Hot Creek - so close to the hot magma below.
A visit to Hot Creek – so close to the hot magma below. I keep getting drawn back to Long Valley even though that magma is so close to the surface!
Hot Creek steam - this is my favorite of all in the last month.
Hot Creek steam – this is my favorite of all in the last month.
The very next day - a planetary conjunction - Mars, Venus, Moon!
The very next day – a planetary conjunction – Venus, Mars, Moon!
My friend Maggie is a keeper of the petroglyphs, checking them periodically. She invited me along!
My friend Maggie is a keeper of the petroglyphs, checking them periodically. She invited me along! The glyph on the left – the snake went into the house and came out????
I was shown several areas I had not visited before.
I was shown several areas I had not visited before.
I always see spaceships when visiting the petroglyphs!
I always see spaceships when visiting the petroglyphs!
My granddaughter was more interested in the pack-rat homes!
My granddaughter was more interested in the pack-rat homes!
The Native Americans took advantage of this fish-shaped volcanic rock thrown to rest atop a boulder pile.
The Native Americans took advantage of this fish-shaped volcanic rock thrown to rest atop a boulder pile.
Beautiful aspens.
Beautiful aspens.
Rocky Mountain Mule Deer inhabit the Eastern Sierras.
Rocky Mountain Mule Deer inhabit the Eastern Sierras.
One of the Los Angeles water intakes. Still mostly frozen, not quite ready for anglers.
One of the Los Angeles water intakes. Still mostly frozen, not quite ready for anglers.
This is the mountain shadow sliding over the valley as I was traveling down from the aspens. By the time I reached the valley floor, all was in shadow including the White Mountains in the background.
This is the mountain shadow sliding over the valley as I was traveling down from the aspens. By the time I reached the valley floor, most was in shadow except just the tops of the White Mountains in the background.
A falling star over Mono Lake. Traveling from Coleville (after helping to hang a photography show from several members of the local group).
A falling star over the full moon reflection on Mono Lake. Who could ask for more? Traveling from Coleville (after helping to hang a photography show from several members of my local photography group).
The horses at Deep Springs know when the kids visit, they usually have treats!
The horses at Deep Springs know when the kids visit, they usually have treats!
Dusty, dirty desert fun!
Dusty, dirty desert fun!
Yesterday was my first high-country hike as I've stayed away from slippery slopes. The road shows the many footsteps of the hikers since it's closed to traffic. I stayed on the roads - the slopes are still slippery and I don't have snowshoes.
Yesterday was my first high-country hike as I’ve stayed away from slippery slopes. The road shows the many footsteps of the hikers since it’s closed to traffic. I stayed on the roads – the slopes are still slippery and I don’t have snowshoes, still managing 3.5 miles and 500′ elevation gain.
The Eastern Sierras shortly before what I thought was going to be a stupendous sunset. However, in just an hour, most of the clouds that had been stationary for hours, blew away!
The Eastern Sierras shortly before what I thought was going to be a stupendous sunset. However, in just an hour, most of the clouds that had been stationary for hours, blew away!
A little color appeared over the White Mountains to the east.
A little color appeared over the White Mountains to the east. A good end of the day.

13 Comments

  1. Amazing pictures of the dunes at Death Valley. We had visited the national park in winter and had enjoyed the ranger program and star gazing at Zebriskie point in the night.

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    1. Thank you. The dunes are always changing depending on the light. The rosy dawn turned the sand rosy. The mid-day light gives you no contrast at all. The ripples are different on each dune and the animal/insect tracks were all over. The dunes are definitely alive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Barb, all of these photos are stunning. Thanks again for sharing. I’ve yet to take my first course in photography, but I sure would like to learn some day how to deliberately compose better photos rather than rely so much on getting lucky with my “happy snaps”, as my friend Kerryanne calls them. Hope you are doing well & enjoying time with your grandkids. -Cindy

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    1. Thanks Cindy. You should go take a course, the program at Cecil turns out many great photographers. I took a weekend course from Steve Gottlieb at Horizon Photo in Chesapeake City. Since then I’ve joined photo clubs out here and have learned from the members. Being close to the grandchildren is the best!

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  3. Love those dune photos and the hegfflelumps and the aspens and the planets and you caught a falling star. Brilliant! Only on my phone so far. Need to have a look at the panorama on the computer.

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