Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Friday, April 22, 2016

Unusualness in March

I love being in nature and experiencing some of the more unusual occurring phenomenon. Sometimes that unusualness is fleeting, a moment in time.  Other times it's stationary, and designated as a landmark or, if truly spectacular, as a National Park.  Rare is it that one experiences a fleeting bit of unusualness within a spectacular landmark of unusualness.  But, such was the case with the super bloom within Death Valley National Park in March.  The super bloom happens, on average, about every 10 years when Autumn rains reach Death Valley, typically one of the driest and hottest places on earth.

Desert Gold wildflowers in Death Valley National Park.  3/5/16  

A single Desert Gold wildflower.  Death Valley, 3/5/16.  

More Desert Gold surrounded by a bleached dead bush,
and other blue and white wildflowers.  3/5/16  

But, beyond the super bloom of wild flowers, Death Valley is simply spectacular in and of itself, with incomparable vistas.

Sand dunes in the distance.  Death Valley, 3/5/16.  

Harmony Borax Works, and Mustard Canyon, Death Valley.  3/8/16  

Salt Creek.  Home of the Salt Creek Pupfish.
Pupfish are amazing -- able to live in very salty water between temperatures
that are almost freezing to almost boiling.
They are called "Pup" fish because they scurry around like little 1.5" puppies,
the males protecting their territory and harem.  3/8/16  

Dante's View at 5500 feet over salt flats, Death Valley NP, 3/9/16.  

Unusual formations in 21 Mule Team Canyon.  3/9/16  

Colors, textures, and shapes amaze in Death Valley.  3/9/16  

Multiple colors on the hillsides, Artists Pallet, Death Valley, 3/9/16.  

Joshua Trees look other worldly.  Not a tree at all, but a yuca.
Although there's a National Park named after them in California,
These blooming specimens call Pahrump, NV home.  3/15/16  

Between Pahrump, NV and Death Valley National Park is Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada at the California border.  Ash Meadows is as significant water-based preserve as the Everglades National Park in Florida.  Ash Meadows has more endemic species than any other place in the US.  Endemic = found no other place in the world.   Of the 26 endemic species in Ash Meadows, 5 are endangered.

Ash Meadows is an oasis in the desert.  Thousands of years ago, it use to be connected with a large water way, originating at Mono Lake.  Over time that water way dried up, leaving Ash Meadows an evolutionary island supplied by springs and seeps.  Species within Ash Meadows evolved independently from their originals.  This place is truly unusual.

Devils Hole is an evolutionary isolated area within Ash Meadows
that's managed by Death Valley National Park.  It's a secured area due to
it's scientific importance.  It's home to the Devils Hole Pupfish.  3/20/16  

An overlook to Devils Hole is accessed through a caged tunnel.  3/20/16  

Devils Hole.  Not much to see, not even with binoculars.  But, here are two interesting
facts.  Exploration has gone as deep as 500', but they've not found the bottom.  When
there's an earthquake in other parts of the world, it creates waves in Devils Hole
up to 6' in height.  3/20/16  

The access to Kings Spring within Ash Meadows was great with boardwalks and
artful bridges over the creek that flowed from the spring.  3/20/16  

Kings Spring, a spiritual location and historic meeting place for the
local native nations.  3/20/16 

Looking into Kings Spring, home of the Ash Meadows Armagosa Pupfish.
The male pupfish here are electric blue, the females were green.  3/20/16 

The Kings Spring boardwalk back to a covered picnic area, pit toilets
and parking lot.  Nice facilities, but some roads were washboard.  3/20/16  

Another super bloom just outside of the refuge.  I'm not sure if this is
the Desert Gold wildflower, or the endemic Ash Meadows Sunray.  3/20/16 

"Unusually picturesque" is a good description for the Alabama Hills; so
much so that many movies have been shot here
among the granite outcroppings, under the Sierra Escarpment,
featuring Mount Whitney.  3/21/16 

Globemallow wildflowers and brush cling within the granite crevices.  3/20/16 

And I find a crevice, an alcove for myself
among all this spectacular unusualness.  3/21/16.  


  1. Thank goodness I have friends who travel, take great pictures and share the stories.

    1. Thanks Cyndi ... You'll be out and about again, sooner than you know it!

  2. Wow, thanks Suanne for this intriguing post. I like how you juxtaposed the super bloom with the harsh and beautiful landscape, and how the information about it all provided another layer of mystery and depth.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks much.

  3. Lovely pics and commentary. Glad to see a new post even though I came very late to the party.

    1. Thanks for coming back and checking. I just don't post as much as I use to. Glad you like it.

  4. Not sure how I missed this - sorry about that! I have been wanting to see pics of the super bloom. These are great! I love everything about this post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you. I know you've been busy with all kinds of stuff. No worries. Sure glad you liked it!

  5. great photo. beautiful pictures...... great....

  6. I visited the area but missed the Devil's Hole. I will have to make a point of seeing it next time. The world could do with a few less vandals. Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog Charlene! Thankfully they caught the men that vandalized Devil's Hole through their DNA. They face felony charges.

  7. Thank you so very much. You are so inspiring! I just found you through Enigmatic Nomadics. You have inspired me to try this with my Honda Civic. But with 2 dogs, maybe I better bring a tent too!

    1. The best to you as you venture out in your Honda Civic. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. You have such a beautiful eye for photography. If you're not being paid for your talent you should be. Great captions too.

    1. Thanks. That's very kind of you to say. Suanne

  9. one other thing about the devils hole is it has fish !

    1. You are very right Gary! It has endangered pupfish.

  10. Suanne, where did you get your alarm gps and what is brand and model? Thanks. Enjoyed your u tube

    1. I'm not sure what device you are referring to. I don't have an alarm GPS. Perhaps you are thinking of my SPOT GPS Messenger. It can email for emergency services. Their website is Hope that helps.

  11. Your words with photos.....I feel that I am there....Your amazing Suanne all that you do. ((( hugs))

    1. Thank you Vicki. You are very kind.


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