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Eroded Terrain Near Natural Bridge Canyon | by G Dan Mitchell
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Eroded Terrain Near Natural Bridge Canyon

Eroded Terrain Near Natural Bridge Canyon. Death Valley National Park, California. March 27, 2010. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Rugged and eroded terrain near the entrance to Natural Bridge Canyon in morning light at Death Valley National Park, California.




Natural Bridge Canyon is located at the foot of the Amargosa Range Black Hills just a short distance north of the popular Badwater area. As is typical of many of the canyon entrances in Death Valley, the approach is by leaving the main road paralleling the edge of the Valley and driving up a large alluvial fan on a gravel road towards the hills. The road ends and the canyon quickly narrows.


This photograph was made along this gravel approach road and shows a bit of the fan in the foreground, the cliffs alongside the was in the middle distance, and beyond that the convoluted and colorful strata of the lower section of the mountain range, here with low-angle back light from the morning sun coming from the other side of the mountains. This photograph also shows something that I found remarkable on this visit, namely the incredible profusion of plant life that was coming to live in the wake of some unusually heavy rain fall earlier in the season. During normal years and during most of the year even in wet years you'll see almost no green at all on terrain like this aside from a few small and isolated bushes. But on this late-March visit there was plant life springing up everywhere. When I looked closely I could find a fringe of green almost everywhere. Here, not only is there obvious growth in the gravel of the wash at the bottom of the frame, but there is a fringe of green along the edges of the cliff and even in the far distance on the higher slopes.


(More of my Death Valley photographs)


This photograph is not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


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Technical Data:Canon EOS 5D Mark IICanon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM at 73mmISO 200, f/13, 1/40 second

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Taken on March 27, 2010