Archive for July 2nd, 2015

Deadvlei Namibia Photo By Christopher R. Gray- Natl Geo Traveler Photo Contest 2015I came across this wonderfully stark image this morning, an entry in the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest from photographer Christopher R. Gray.  It is a night scene from an area of the Namib Desert in the African nation of Namibia called Deadvlei.

Located in a region of salt marshes periodically fed by the Tsauchab River, Deadvlei ( which translates as “dead marsh“) was cut off from the river’s feed nearly 1000 years ago from flooding then climate change.  This left  it a huge  dry and hard salt plain nestled among some of the highest sand dunes on the planet, some towering over 1300 feet in height.  The trees, mainly camel thorns,  that were there all those centuries ago remain, darkly scorched tree bones that do not decompose in the arid conditions.

This area’s remoteness also gives it some of the darkest skies on the planet, making visible all the many stars and galaxies that have become invisible to us in the more populated parts of the world.  That night sky makes for a pretty striking image with the single tree set against the silhouette of the sand dunes.

It’s kind of a natural Ozymandias, a reminder of our own mortality set against the eternal nature of the Earth.  Great photo.

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