Ever wondered what snow would look like on White Sands' sand dunes? We were given the rare opportunity to find out! But first, a bit of information about these most awesome sand dunes. According to the National Park Service, "Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert in the Tularosa Basin and created the largest gypsum dune field in the world." The iconic shot of the dunes shows a glistening brilliant white sand dune with a yucca plant. The relentless wind moves and shapes the sand into its characteristic ripples and sweeps footprints back into ripples. The dunes change throughout the day as the light changes their shadows where even the smallest ripple and sharp curve is accentuated. Add some rain, then snow and you see a very different picture. I imagined it to be even more awesome! Judge for yourself.
After an abbreviated shoot, we went on to Alamogordo for dinner and checking into White Sands Motel. An overnight strong winter storm was predicted and it was expected to last into the next day. Yeah! Snow as far south as Las Cruces! I dreamed of a White Sands winter wonderland. As photographers we know that we must be flexible about planning with Mother Nature. We arrived at the gate of the monument the next morning only to find it closed due to inclement weather!! Plan B took us to Oliver Lee State Park. Another night in Alamogordo in hopes . . . dashed when the monument was set to open up late in the day. We decided, wisely I believe, to call it a day and drive to Albuquerque. We returned two days later, expecting there to be little if any snow.
The day was done. Our visit was done. We will most certainly return. In May the White Sands Verbena will bloom. I will be there for that. Thank you for sharing as we got to see a different side of what Mother Nature can have in mind.