This early in the pre dawn hours there is barely another person out on Death Valley’s Mesquite Dunes but you can see thousands of footprints from previous days of visitors. A good wind storm will erase all evidence of man’s incursions but that’s not going to happen on this very still morning.

What intrigues us about this scene is not the trafficked dunes but the cloudless desert sky. In the minutes before sunrise there are peculiar arching bands of color and a “V” shaped dark area from what we assume is a shadow cast by a distant peak. It’s a strange and beautiful sight that the hundreds of tourists who will be adding their tracks to the dunes later in the day will never know occurred.

All Photographs © 2019 Sharon Lobel Photography or John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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