Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The dunes in Death Valley are famous for several reasons; they form a sandy island in an otherwise "empty" desert landscape, and they move all the time as the wind pushes the sand around.

Mesquite Flat Dunes
These dunes are the best known and easiest to visit in the national park. Located in central Death Valley near Stovepipe Wells, access is from Hwy. 190 or from the unpaved Sand Dunes Road. Although the highest dune rises only about 100 feet, the dunes actually cover a vast area. This dune field includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. Polygon-cracked clay of an ancient lakebed forms the floor. Mesquite trees have created large hummocks that provide stable habitats for wildlife.

The climb to the summit of the dunes is not an easy walk. All the slopes are steep and the loose sand gives way beneath your feet. At the top, the sweeping view seems reward enough for your efforts, yet if the sand is completely dry, you may experience one of the strangest phenomena to be found in the desert, singing sand. When the sand avalanches down the steepest face of the highest dune, a sound like a bass note of a pipe organ or the distant drone of an airplane can be heard emanating from the sand. If the dune is at all damp (even though it may not feel so to the touch), no sound will be made. Why this occurs is not fully understood, but it may have something to do with the smooth texture of the sand grains and the friction of those grains sliding against each other.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We are so lucky with the 16.4 inches of snow that came our way last Saturday! I love the "white silence" this layer creates, the air is crisp, I only hear the weird "WROMP, WROMP" under my snow boots...LOVE IT!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It has been a while since I posted on this blog. I tried to post every day and even though I stopped my Dutch blog because my Dutch friends and family can follow me on Facebook, I still have a hard time to keep up with it.

I moved my personal blog now called 365Muses to WordPress and soon this blog will have it's own url www.365muses.com to make it more professional. For the new year my photography website will get a make over and this blog will be integrated into my photo site.

In Spain people take a siesta, I nice long nap in the afternoon, stores close and streets are deserted, except for this cute little dog looking for a treat. I've always wondered if pets speak different languages...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


During a camping trip near Frederick, Maryland we were cruising the back roads and stumbled upon this pond near mount saint Mary's university. Interestingly 90% of the devotees praying and singing at the chapel were Asians!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I encountered this basketball window in a small village in Northern Spain and just wondered how many balls actually went through the window instead of the basket.

Friday, December 4, 2009


It's almost over, my favorite time of the year. Most trees are "empty" and leaves on the ground have turned into a brown mash, becoming the food for new trees. Bare trees have their own charm, they often show an interesting architectural structure.