The Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a protected wildlife refuge in southwestern Nevada directly east of Death Valley. Ash Meadows is a haven for rare plants and animals. Dotted among miles of sandy brush, you will be surprised to see intensely blue ponds of water. These ponds harbor ancient species of fish such as the rare Amargosa pupfish and form the last remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert.
The view is amazing as you come away from the desert to see this surprising, scintillating blue in the middle of an expansive ashy nothingness. I love the teal and orange color scheme.
The intense blue pool:
The expansive, ashy nothingness:
On the northeastern edge of Death Valley is an abandoned ore mining town called Rhyolite. The weathered old ruins, some still standing, are breathtakingly beautiful. Rhyolite was a thriving town at the beginning of the last century. It declined as soon as the ore was depleted. At its peak, the town hosted several thousand residents. Now it’s a ghost town with rusting cars and crumbling, abandoned buildings.
I like the structure of this crumbling building. Rhyolite is a study in the sad beauty of decay. Decrepit buildings crumble and wilt against the stark desert background. Man-made structures weather like the nearby ashy bushes that struggle in the arid climate. The environment is harsh for urban and plant growth alike. It’s a perfect setting for photography. I went a little nuts taking photos.
I am glad the crumbling buildings haven’t been dismantled. Dusty and weathered, they are perfect accompaniments to the dry desert environment and are reminders of our fragile existence. Without a constant influx of resources and water, a town becomes a dry husk. These buildings are an elegant reminder of mortality. The ruins complement the harshness of the Death Valley environment perfectly.
Posted in response to the photo challenges Structure and Weathered. Read more travel stories here.
This is a storm gathering down the road on the way to Devil’s Racetrack in Death Valley, California. It was probably a three-hour ride down unpaved road but it took us six because we kept stopping to take photos, such as this one. The sun was setting in the background and we never got rained on.
This is for the daily prompt Storm