I had a wonderful time touring Death Valley National Park! It was a beautiful time of year to go (mid April) where it is not too hot yet and the wildflowers are out in their full glory. It is always amazing to go out into the desert, which is on the surface devoid of life, and stumble upon tons of beautiful flora and fauna. Some of my favorite sightings were of big horn sheep at dusk, a frisky Chuckwallla, the beautiful and rare Panamint Daisy, multitudes of belly flowers, and of course the stunning views from both the tops of the peaks and the bottom of the valley. My purpose there was to take photos and generally get a feel for the park for the eventual 17″x24″ painting of the ecosystem. Below are some of my favorite shots!
The beautiful and rare Panamint Daisy we were very lucky to see! The flower can be as big as a dinner plate. It is endemic to only a few canyons in Death Valley National Park. Large pops of yellow on the barren canyon walls.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, these tiny belly flowers are smaller than dimes. They call them “belly flowers” because you have to get down on your belly to see them. But still so intricate and beautiful once you get the macro lens out!
View from the top into Death Valley. Breath taking! What a drop to the bottom! The area right below this photo is the is the lowest point in North America, with an elevation of 282 ft below sea level.
The rare Salt Creek Pupfish are adapted to live in the salty waters of the outflow of a brackish spring. This was a real desert oasis teaming with thousands of little fish! These two are actually mating side by side.