This is a follow-up visit to Death Valley, to see how the lake at Badwater is progressing, and to check on the flowers. It is rather cryptic since some time has already been spent on both just a month ago (click here to go there).
[I do plan to come back sometime soon and name the flowers pictured here and in the other flower pages, I just bought a guide to help me do that.]
At that time, it had just rained and I had not realized how mch of a favorable contrast that the darkened soil gave to flower pictures! Here is the same flower-field as shown previously, but with dry soil beneath the flowers (and with an essentially dry Amargosa River in the background):
BUT, there was something new to behold this trip! And it was glorious! The rare desert five-point stood here and there in a delicate deliciousness that made me want to be a bee:
All by themselves these beauties made this whole trip worthwhile. And it didn't stop there. Here are some other assorted flowers:
Some yellow. Correction, many yellow:
But what we also came to see was the lake at Badwater, to ascertain whether or not it had reduced in size yet, from a month ago:
The salt rind was wider, suggesting some reduction in lake size:
The most telling whitening of where the lake had been a month ago, but was not anymore was in the southern reach, however, where much fresh, newly precipitated salt has (re)appeared:
Looking to the north showed a fresh-salt rind getting wider, but other than that the view suggested a very large lake still in place:
Why does it recede fast once the sun is out and the inflow stops? Because it is very shallow, as my granddaughter Aubree was very happy to illustrate to the world:
Once she got halfway across, I asked her to come back. She actually did as I asked!
That is Telescope Peak, just over 11,000 feet above mean sea level, in the background. The lake is at about 220 feet below sea level. How deep is it? In the middle it finally over-topped Aubree's tennis shoes and got her feet soaked. Six inches maybe?
Death Valley is an amazing place, definitely on our family list of favorties.
On our way to Death Valley to see the flowers, Aubree drew a picture of what she was expecting to see. I think she got what she was expecting, and much more (besides her lake-walk, after dinner we also did some romping in the sand dunes, in the dark but under a rising full moon, and talked about sand-dwelling critters that bite, with venom. Good and spooky!).