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Monday, May 23, 2011

White Sands National Monument

Vista at White Sands National Monument
This morning Dr. K, Becca and I drove down past Alamogordo to White Sands National Monument to do a hike on the Alkali Flat Trail.  Although called White "Sands," the dunes are actually made of gypsum.  White Sands encompasses 275 square miles of desert, and it is the world's largest gypsum dunefield.  We had a little trouble spotting some of the trail makers (white and orange, 4-foot poles) because some had nearly been buried by shifting dunes.  Also, it was quite hot out on the dunes even though the ambient air temperature was only in the 70-degree Farenheit range.
Becca and Dr. K on the gypsum

Large gypsum dune at White Sands

Sand Verbena

Alkali Flat Trail marker

Not so white fur on the white dunes

Becca and Packrat at a lunch ramada

Interdunal flora at White Sands


Dr. K said...

It's amazing that the sand verbena--with their pretty lavender flowers--can grow in the gypsum soil.

Violet said...

Beautiful scenery. Makes me want to sing a Christmas carol.

Joint Jaunt

1st 4:  Willow and Frio Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did our usual trek this morning.  When we were descending LDR-A arroyo we caught a glimpse...