Sand Storm – White Sands, NM

sand storm b&w from slide

My Uncle Clyde has passed away, so I don’t get over to New Mexico much anymore, but when he was alive we would make a trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico every July to visit him on his birthday. While we were there we would make a day trip to White Sands National Monument, which isn’t too far away. We would usually arrive as soon as the park opened, because any later in the day the bright white sand would be absolutely blinding, even with dark sunglasses; however,  on this occasion we arrived just before closing, to catch the sunset over the dunes. We got more than we bargained for as a gigantic sand storm blew across the dunes. The park ranger was frantically herding visitors into their cars to wait out the storm as I made this and a series of other images as the blanket of sand moved across and covered the sun. I was already starting to get pelted by sand as I made this photo and within ten or fifteen seconds of this image the sun was covered, the sky was dark, visibility was zero and my skin was stinging as the sand blasted into it. The wind was so strong I could barely get the car door opened when I decided I’d had enough and ran to the car! Then as quickly as it rolled in, it abated. Mother Nature is an unpredictable and amazing thing and this was truly a Twighlight Zone type experience which I feel so fortunate to have experienced.

If you’d like to learn more about White Sands National Monument or plan a visit to the park, you can get information at: http://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm

 

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