On our way to Alamogordo, NM, we passed what looked like a sleeping stegosaurus (click to see more detail. The head is to the right.) We also passed the world's largest pistachio nut statue. What a country, this America!
We got into Alamogordo hours before sunset, so we caught up on laundry, swam in the pool and lounged in the hot tub for a while first (both were right across from our room.) It was another good time of doing very little. By this time, we were sold on the value and amenities of the Holiday Inn Express. A full, hot breakfast beats the continental job any day.
Once at White Sands, eagle-eyed Charles immediately picked out the only, little black dot in the landscape (and promptly named him "Beetly.")
There were people up on the dunes all around, but we found one in a deserted enough area that I could get my shots without human interference. Regardless, this lone figure walking in the distance across the vastness of the landscape inspired me to take a shot.
White Sands is tucked between a couple of mountain ranges; the San Andres (seen here,) and the Sierra Blancas (which we'd been through on the way in, stopping at the Hubbard Museum of the American West.)
Charles and I at White Sands.
I liked the gradations of the sky vs. those of the dunes here.
As the sun started setting I started snapping like a fiend. It was difficult to catch the effects of sunset accurately, despite my multiple, rapid-fire changes to my camera's white balance settings.
It was cool the way the gypsum granules sparkled. Click on this shot to see what I mean.
Charles at White Sands. This photo took 1st place, journeyman and journalism category, in a recent Slidell Photography Club contest.
Focused as I was on the sunset, soon Charles pointed out the moon, rising on the other side of the sky.
Shooting the moonrise was much easier. I was glad for the slight clouds, and for the way the sunset painted them pink. "Daily Nature Photo" on The Nature Conservancy's website, Jun. 24, 2011.
On our way out Charles spotted Beetly again. He was nestled into the sand, snuggling in for the night.
White Sands Nat'l Monument was immensely cool and it would've been nice to have been able to spend more time exploring. Despite Charles offering to stay longer, to get up in the morning to come back, we had other stops planned on our route home, until...
Next post; A change of plans.
In more recent art news, yesterday I found out that my Horseshoe Bend photo won Momentum magazine's freshwater photography contest. It will appear in the magazine (of which I'll get a few copies,) and I also get a hardcover book of aerial photos. Yay! :)