The wonderfully textured surface of the Mesquite Dunes, warmed by sunrise light, leads the eye south toward the rugged Panamint Mountains, Death Valley National Park, California. Clumps of Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata) and bright fractured geometric hardpan deposits are visible in the foreground hollow.
I read that following the recent government shutdown, which happened to occur during the height of Death Valley's tourist season, the Park was heavily visited nonetheless. Without Park Ranger supervision, it turns out that some of these intrepid individuals began feeding wild coyotes for entertainment. Perhaps more distressingly, when Rangers finally returned they catalogued over 1,500 deposits of human feces in and around the more oft-visited locales. Whatever else can be said about America, we sure know how to keep it classy.