Salt Creek, a Desert Oasis

Salt Creek in Death Valley National Park is one place that has water, and that’s usually only seasonally. I have never been there in summer, so I can’t say how dry it is then, but I imagine it’s pretty much dried up. Surprisingly, it serves as habitat for the critically endangered Salt Creek pupfish, which are about an inch long.

The narrow creek with its muddy banks is only part of the overall marsh area. The upper area holds small pools that remain year round, and where the fish can survive the summers.

On my fifth journey to the park earlier this year, I revisited Salt Creek, with the intention of spending more time, walking well beyond the boardwalk that parallels the creek.

The boardwalk, which is almost a mile long round trip, ends where the creek peters off and the land becomes more open and vegetated, and the path is sandy.

In late afternoon light, the sun highlighted the creek and magnified the textures and shapes in the mud.

With the sun getting lower and most visitors back in the distance, I drank in the gift of Death Valley, pure silence. I looked and listened for birds, but found none.

Nonetheless, the landscape was enough. I loved the way the low sun hit the water, and a variety of textures and shapes revealed themselves.

I knew some of my images would look best in black and white.

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Joan E. Miller

I live in the amazing Pacific Northwest. I'm a writer, photographer, birder, nature lover. I'm also a gardener, of food, flowers and shrubs.

4 thoughts on “Salt Creek, a Desert Oasis”

  1. Evocative writing and revealing photos, Joan, and it’s evident that you know the area well from the number of trips you have taken there. I agree, the B&W photos appear to work especially well for such a terrain.

    Liked by 1 person

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