Saturday, July 17, 2021

White Sands National Park - New Mexico

White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico is surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range. The White Sands Missile Range is the largest military installation in the U.S. encompassing 3,200 square miles. The first nuclear devise tested as part of the Manhattan Project was tested at the Trinity Site on July 16, 1945 at what was then Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range but is now a part of the White Sands Missile Range. 
White Sands National Park, at 228 square miles, is just a small fraction of the surrounding Missile Range. The white sand dunes that it contains are composed of gypsum crystals and these are the largest gypsum dunes in the world. They have a depth of 30 feet and dunes as tall as 60 feet. 

I was not ready to be wowed. I expected to drive in, take a quick look around, and leave. As it turned out, I would like to have stayed longer. We visited during a time of widespread storm activity and the cloud cover was gorgeous and made the photos we took there much better than they would have been otherwise. I would like to go there again and try to get photos of some of the reptiles that live there that have developed a whiter skin to blend in better with the surroundings. 

Following are some more of my photos:
Relatively close to the entrance, before we got into the gypsum dunes, we found this pond. I saw a young whitish whiptail lizard near here that I was not able to photograph. 

Soaptree yucca

Arizona centaury

Purple three awn


Frosted mint in foreground.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible, other worldly place. No wonder the aliens come to Roswell, not too far away.