Welcome back. (To see the first set of Death Valley photos, go to http://sedimentarylifestyle.blogspot.com/2014/03/death-valley-1.html.) Click on any picture for a larger version, and to enter slideshow format.
That evening I went back to the Mesquite Sand Dunes to take more pictures in the evening light.
The Devil's Corn Field:
There were a few kinds of wildflowers blooming already in the park, although I guess they don't start "for real" until March...
That morning I took a peek into Titus Canyon:
And a hike through Fall Canyon, until I came to the fall, which was at least 15 feet high:
Back at the campsite for my nap... this was the one I liked better of the two campgrounds I stayed in. It is called Emigrant, and is free, but still has running water and flush toilets, picnic tables, and trash cans. And it is 2,000' above the valley floor.
A couple of shots from the dunes, which I visited again that evening:
And in the morning, when there were tons of animal tracks! After seeing many small trails and wondering what made them, I finally stumbled on one of the culprits:
This one was great. It's hard to tell in the photo, it was easier to see in person... Fox walked up to the crest of a dune and sat for a while, swishing his tail, then walked off in a different direction.
I later went back to Titus Canyon and hiked in about a mile. I saw a lot of agate-looking rock:
Hm, I guess I don't have any other great pictures from Titus Canyon. After the Narrows, every other canyon is a little plain. Well, here's the other campground I stayed in, Texas Springs.
My last evening I went hiking around the Zabriskie Point/Gower Gulch area looking for a good place to photograph the sunset from.
And here's the sunset.
And sunrise over the Devil's Golf Course on my last morning. I didn't really want to get up at 6am on the last day of my vacation, but with no one else in my tent to complain it's hard for me to resist any opportunity for good photos.
Telescope Peak in the distance, with snow:
While I was out there a couple of planes flew over. One of them was a very special plane -- a stealth bomber. It didn't look real. It looked pixelated, like something out of Space Invaders. There is a naval base just south of Death Valley, by way of explanation.
Then all was silent again.
I have just one more photo... while I was walking to the bathrooms at the Furnace Creek Ranch area, I saw this dove and took a picture of it. If I'd known how well it was going to come out, I would have taken more than one picture of it.
Then I went home.
There is one more thing to tell you about my trip to Death Valley... when I got there I found that the dust inside my camera had proliferated to the degree that I now had a large black splot in the upper-left corner of the picture. This, discovered when I set foot in the park to which I have come for the explicit purpose of taking photos for a week. All (or almost all) of the photos you have seen have been edited -- cropped or photoshopped -- to remove that splot. But if you scroll back through the photos now, you might see it -- I sometimes turned my camera upside-down so it would be in the (usually darker) lower-right of the photo. I didn't want to tell you all at the beginning, because then you'd have seen it in every photo the whole way through.
Here it is:
It was a tragedy. And a lot of work to edit out. Well. After I got home I dissected my camera to clean it, and it is now fine. I have even ordered an underwater housing for it, so that when we head to Puerto Rico in 2 days I will be able to capture all the fish on the reefs (reeves?), and much more!