Thursday, May 29, 2008

Few Clouds Allowed Here

Sky Watch Friday IX

This photograph is looking across the Mojave Desert towards Death Valley in the distance. The haze that you see is a heat haze and not moisture in the air. It was a balmy 105oF while I was photographing this. The distances are deceptive here. The farther mountains in the photo are probably well over 100 miles away. I wish we could have spent more time here. It has some interesting geology, history and climate.


Mojave Desert & Death Valley
It has a stark beauty of it’s own
(Click on the photo to see the colors)


I love the way the colors change and fade with distance. Up close you can see the browns, then blue/brown, then just blues with distance, receding to even lighter shades of blues, and finally a very pale blue. The blues tend to make it look cool. Don’t believe it. Even a short hike can be deadly if proper precautions are not made, such as having plenty of fluids and something to replenish lost electrolytes. Yes, we drank a lot of water and Gatorade.

Can you smell the baking dirt and bone-dry grasses, feel the shimmering heat waves, and almost hear the crackling in the air? If you have been there, you probably can. If you haven’t been there then you really do need to go and see what this is all about.


The Mojave, locally referred to as the High Desert, occupies a significant portion of southern California and smaller parts of central California, southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, and northwestern Arizona, in the United States. Named after the Mohave tribe of Native Americans, it occupies well over 22,000 square miles (57,000 km²) in a typical Basin and Range topography.

The Mojave Desert's boundaries are generally defined by the presence of Joshua Trees — they are considered an indicator species for the desert. The topographical boundaries include the Tehachapi together with the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges. The mountain boundaries are quite distinct since they are outlined by the two largest faults in California: the San Andreas and the Garlock. The Great Basin shrub steppe lies to the north; the warmer Sonoran Desert (the Low Desert) lies to the south and east.

This desert is believed to support between 1,750 and 2,000 species of plants.

Death Valley is the lowest, driest and hottest valley in the United States. It is the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 85.5 m (281 ft) below sea level. It holds the record highest temperature in Western hemisphere and world's second highest. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States was 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek (then known as Greenland Ranch), during a sandstorm (according to National Weather Service records), on July 10, 1913. Located southeast of the Sierra Nevada range in the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, it constitutes much of Death Valley National Park. It runs north-south between the Amargosa Range to the east and the Panamint Range to the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (~7,800 km²). Millions of years ago, there was an inland sea located over where Death Valley is today, but as the area turned to desert, the water evaporated, leaving behind the salt. Many of Death Valley's narrow, serpentine roads were built in the 1930s and cannot be driven on at high speed. Badwater, located within Death Valley, is the specific location of the lowest point in North America. (Surprisingly, the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, is just 76 miles (123 km) west of Death Valley). At 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, Death Valley shares most of the characteristics found in other places around the world that lie below sea level. Ref: WikiPedia.


Map and Co-ordinates of the Mojave Desert
and Death Valley National Park


Scroll down to the next post to see a different type of sky (with clouds)


To participate in Sky Watch Friday visit Wiggers World.

Troy and Martha

80 comments:

evlahos said...

excellent photo with lot of color layers. and interesting info

fishing guy said...

Troy: Very nice photo and and an interesting information on the post.

Daryl said...

Troy/Martha

Always a fascinating look at the sky .. and desert ...

:-Daryl

The Texican said...

Hi Troy and Martha, Glad to be back in the U.S. of A. Thanks for dropping by this morning. Back in Mississippi we used to pronounce this the MO-JAVE with a long O and a long A. Great photos once again. Hope you got Bubba's computer fixed. Later, Pappy

quinttarantino said...

This is a fantastic photo.
I just love the colours in it.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice sky photo. Lots of color there.

Lyn said...

very nice shots. you must have many traveling around :)

Rose said...

I like your sky watch photo, but I must say that I absolutely love the photo in your header!

Tommy V said...

nice picture. been there once and loved it.

Quiet Paths said...

Wow, this puts me right there. Beautiful shot. and, I am reading the info too!

julianarw said...

beautiful shot....

Visit mine also in here Thanks

Picturing of Life said...

nice sky watch with lots of info also ^_^

Mine in here Thanks

Daniel J Santos said...

Interesting post, very beautiful picture, well done.

Voz do meu Coração said...

Just this wonderful photographs, very beautiful congratulations

***Fotografia e Luz*** said...

Beautiful sky with such beautiful mountains as background picture

nikkipolani said...

A terrific photo with great information about the desert. I haven't visited this area in many years.

Mrs. Darcy said...

Lovely picture!
Looks like a painting!

Judi-gmj said...

yes, it is a unique place, and my destination for Saturday. Going to Stove Pipe Wells, Death Valley,Ca.
Will be there a week.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Amazing photo... I love the information with it... I hear so much about it but to actually hear from a person that has visited it is much more interesting! Great post.
Rocky Mountain Retreat

Your EG Tour Guide said...

The colours are wonderful. It is amazing how the colours fade in the distance, something you become very aware of in good photography.

imac said...

Great shot and great post.


Pop and see my Water features

Angie said...

A beautiful photo accompanied by a very interesting text.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Thank you... not just for a beautiful sky watch picture but all the info as well.. you certainly spent some time on this.. very well done.

ellen b said...

Deserts are fascinating. Pretty layers of color. Enjoy your traveling...

John said...

Great shot and interesting info, Troy!

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Great photo with interesting informations! You did a good job here!

Love your banner/header!

GAWO said...

This blog is new for me. And I like it a lot. You have a lot of very interesting and beautiful photos.

me ann my camera said...

Very beautiful layers of blue topped by a beautiful clear blue sky!

Ida said...

A great sense impression!
Lovely! :)

Anemone said...

Interesting information and nice picture. A friend of mine went to visit the place last summer, and then ew learnd about if as well.

One day, I hope it will be my time :-) But first I have to win the Lotto .-)
Nice weekend to you, from Anne in the middle of Norway.

Champ Townboy said...

Gorgeous photo!! Great post.

Petunia said...

Very interesting and the shot is so beautiful:)

said...

layers of blue..where do the mountains end and the sky begins?? Superb...

Catherine said...

The waves of montains are fantastic. We can't believe the farthest is at 100 miles from you!
Thanks also for the writing part, your foreigner "sky watchers" are now well informed.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Great picture, I spent most of my life in the HIGH desert and was never so happy as to leave it, but it does make for some beautiful photography!

Sherry said...

You've captured the shimmering heat. Great photo!

MamaFlo said...

Which is more beautiful, the desert or the sky? Both are so vast.

The Texican said...

Kilroy was here.

Berit said...

Beautiful place, and interesting to read.

SandyCarlson said...

It must have been lovely to watch nature paint this landscape.

david mcmahon said...

There is NOTHING more ethereal than stark beauty - and you've captured it magnificently.

Luiz.ramosforest said...

Beautiful shot and good info.
I'll return to read more.
Desert is Life too.

Neal said...

That's a neat picture. I also love how the colors change!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I don't think I've ever seen a photo of Death Valley - until this beauty of yours! And to think it is below sea level - amazing!

Anonymous said...

I also love the way the colours change and fade with distance :) The sunsets in the post below are also fantastic!

Marie said...

Very nice photo!

sandy's notes said...

That is a great shot for skywatch. It really is disceptive with the mountains, they look a lot closer than they really are.

You have a couples blog. I think that is great!

Pernille's ting og tang said...

Fantastic photo! Wonderful colors too:)

Carletta said...

Great shot!
Good info to go along.

babooshka said...

A place I'd love to take camera. Really good post, the info and the pic.

Dulce said...

Beautiful photo. I loved the gradient of the colours.

kay said...

I have never been to the Mojave, but it must be beautiful. I wouldn't like the heat. We're expecting 95 here this weekend. Yuk!

photowannabe said...

Amazing colors and your description made the picture even better. Great trip, thanks for sharing.

nina said...

Lovely blue layering.

And I appreciate the ID on the spanworm--you're absolutely right! Thanks for helping!

Nina at Nature Remains

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Very informative narrative and another wonderful photo! I had no idea Sky Watch Friday would prove to be so educational. I love it!

Chrisss said...

Beautiful photo!

David said...

Yes, I love the blues, even though I can't imagine the heat - it's about 12 degrees centigrade here right now!

Cheers,

David Webb - Photographer

Louis la Vache said...

Outstanding photo and text for Sky Watch!

"Louis" has a photo of a gracious and still beautiful 71 year-old lady up chez lui.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for sharing the information, I love learning about other parts of the world, great photo with the distant moutain ranges.

Lara said...

great photo! the colours are so nice!

pts said...

excellent photo!

Steven and Aisha said...

So that's Mojave Dessert and Death Valley park. Looks so beautiful, yes. Love the color.

Mike said...

What a shot! Anyone who claims that the desert is barren or ugly has probably never been.

WillThink4Wine said...

I love the layers of color in this! Such a beauiful vista!

Rambling Round said...

You can see for miles and miles and miles and miles...as the song goes!

TSannie said...

The layers of color are just beautiful. As always, a wonderful photo.

mirage2g said...

It is stunning! Love the different shades of blue, and its my fave color! I also like the photo you posted before this one! Great blue and yello combination!

Musings said...

This is such a beautiful photo. It's like a surreal painting. Great shot!

eyestothesky said...

All your photos are fantastic!
Amazing, fabulous, beautiful, marvelous! I am in awe every time i visit!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Thank you so much for adding me to your favourites blogroll! I am so pleased, and now I'm perusing your blog and loving the variety and knowledge that you express here. This photo on this post is like a painting....mother nature has used a spectacular palette....

AphotoAday said...

Yep, I love the area.
Haven't been there now for years, so I'm itching to return...
So close to Owens Valley, one of my favorite places on the planet.

Craver Vii said...

Wow, it looks like a watercolor painting!

Kathiesbirds said...

Nice Ribbons of color in that shot. Great informational piece. My skywatch is up on Kathies Poet Tree. I'm still working on Sycamore Canyon but I had to come by and see yours. Marthas's below has you beat this week. Sorry.

Dewdrop said...

You're right, where does the sky stop and the ground start... the colors just sort of melt into each other, so tranquil.

Mike said...

Stark and beautiful indeed!

raf said...

Informative as always and yes, from your photo I can see, feel and even taste that desert.
Thanks for another excellent post, Troy.

Gusto! said...

I live in southern AZ so I've been exposed to 105 temps. Great job of setting the table on the moment you took this pic. I like to know the background of the what/how/why someone takes a certain photo.

thanks for sharing...

chrome3d said...

A peaceful distance in the desert. Thanks for the story too.

captain modroom9 said...

Expansive and inspiring!

Willard said...

A beautiful photo and interesting information.

I like the rest of your blog as well.

The ground squirrel is stunning and the post on Alaska is excellent!