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The sand in this photo is made up of granuals of rose quartz. The source of this quartz is nowhere to be found in the Mojave. Some scientists hypothisize that since this source is not to be found, and there is no increase in other minerals gathering in the area, that these dunes are no longer being replenished. Over time and as the wind blows they will ultimately disappear and no longer exist.

These are also known as 'booming' dunes. Each step someone takes can produce a booming sound (sort of like the wierd noise snow can make). A look at a granual through a microscope show each grain being nearly perfectly spherical. I think of the sand and dunes as being a huge pile of rose-colored marbles. This probably accounts for the coloring in the photo.

In these dunes lives the Mojave fringe-toed lizard. You don't see these too much. They have long toes which act pretty much as snowshoes in the soft sand. They hide under the sand to regulate their body temperature. They are only seen during certain times/temperatures of the day (probably when they need warmth or food). They have a very narrow sustainable liveable temperature range. They get too cold, they die. They get too hot, they die.


The Desert Gazette - (c)Walter Feller - All rights reserved -