Saturday, December 1, 2012

White Sands National Monument, NM: Into the Night

White Sands at dusk, New Mexico

Wednesday night was a full moon, perfect for doing the Sunset Stroll at White Sands.

Cutting to the chase: the sunset was so-so, but the moon rising was a spectacular surprise. It was one of those Necco wafer-sized moons, red-yellow. Enormous, slipping up over the Sacramento Mountains to take up a watchful position over Alamogordo. Oh, to have a photo worthy of the sight!

This will have to do ... the line of lights is Alamogordo.

Moon over Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Getting back to the sunset stroll itself. The naturalist told us about some of the plants at White Sands. She divvied up plants between "grow tall, live long" and "grow fast, live short."

The soaptree yucca is a "grow tall, live long" plant. Every part of the plant is usable for food, clothing, soap, or tools. The open pod in the photo below used to carry fruit.

White Sands at dusk, New Mexico. Soaptree yucca.

The naturalist also introduced us to rosemary mint. I tasted it - yes, the rosemary flavor and the mint - also a touch of eucalyptus. A soft, soft sagey-green color. 

White Sands at dusk. Rosemary mint in foreground. New Mexico.

 Near sunset, I took a 360 video atop a small dune:

Some other photos from late afternoon and into dusk:

Eventually, I drove slowly toward the park exit, listening to Aster Aweke while I went.

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