Hello again! It’s Brain Hockley, also know as “Have camera will travel” with You, Me and The Dock travel site. On this particular photo adventure, my companion and I visited the White Sands National Monument in the northern Chilauhaun desert of New Mexico.
This magnificent monument encompasses approximately 275 square miles of white waving sand dunes, desert landscape and certain terrestrial life that can withstand such a rugged climate.
The Visitors Center is a reproduction of an adobe pueblo building that was constructed on this same site in 1935. The structure is not only a welcoming post, but a learning center that has an interactive museum, daily information regarding activities, a gift shop and an award winning documentary film.
The Visitors Center also offers a replenishment for your water containers and full use of their facilities. The monument itself has no resource stations and can be rather dangerous if not approached with a total preparedness attitude. The staff can also answer any questions you might have.
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The one plant that is very indigenous to the area is the yucca plant. This hard – tough skinned spear like plant can be found everywhere in this desolated landscape. The waxy film that covers the spikey fronds protects the moisture from evaporating under such extremely high temperatures. Their adaptability is renowned throughout many of the country’s most desert terrains.
My traveling companion had some fun with the white sand dunes which are made up of granulated gypsum crystals. White Sands National Monument has the largest deposit of gypsum crystals in the world.
Its like sledding down a snow covered hill, except it was very hot verses cold. But watch out for the yucca plants at the bottom. They could get a little sticky!
Desert beetles are pretty stringent creatures when it comes to survival. This particular one (pictured left) wants to collect a withered flower for nourishment.
The red shelled beetle – pictured right, could be crawling up the thin sword like stalk looking for water that is hidden behind the thick skinned frond. Desert beetles use plants like the yucca for their homes as well.
Many people can’t see beyond the baron landscape of the lone desert. The beauty reveals itself in certain parts of the day and night. What one person sees as mystic nature, others see as worthless ground that offers no visual pleasure. I must admit that the desert setting isn’t for everyone. But again, that’s why there are some many terrains in this world to choose from.
One of the most picturesque times to experience the desert is when the day starts to turn into night. The sun starts to forfeit its beaming rays of light to the far off horizon. The sky begins to glow with color against the subtle clouds and calmness starts to settle in.
Before we called it a day, I had one more photo opportunity that presented itself. The lone yucca plant and the granulated soil are two very distinctive and prominent traits to this vast wildness. They coexist with one another and have shared this existence for thousands of years. The day’s setting sun bows before them both with the clouds coveting its departure.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. No matter what type of surroundings that encompass your space. Take time to stop and listen, view the landscape in all hours of the day, and then make a determination on why Mother Nature created this particular domain.
Photographer: Brian Hockley
Story outline: Brian Hockley
Enhanced dialog & formatting: Anthony Scopel
Associate editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical support & digital mastering: Matt Kemper
Publisher: You, Me and The Dock
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