Monday, December 31, 2012

Monahans Sandhills State Park Sunrise

The Monahans Sandhills sunrise was as beautiful as the sunset.  Below is a photo with a man in it so you can see the scale of part of the dunes and this wasn't even one of the high ones.

As the sun rose I took a walk up the dunes to look for tracks and signs of insects and critters.  I increased the contrast in the photos below so the tracks would show up better.  I believe the ones below are tracks of doves since there were a great many of them in the area.

  This next one I believe is a Black-tailed Jackrabbit.

Next is a borrow and thrown mound of a Giant Scorpion (Vaejovidae smeringurus mesaensis).  Along a small wash I found a lot of them set up like condos with a river view. Here is a close up of one. The unstable sand requires them to reexcavate frequently.

This may be it's trail.

or this

Below is another interesting track.  If anyone knows what these are please leave a comment and let me know.

Here is a nest I found in a Cholla Cactus (Opuntia imbricata). I believe it was made by a Cactus Wren. 

The area remained a favorable environment for Native people until the 1880s, when the Texas and Pacific Railroad selected Monahans as a water stop between the Pecos River and the town of Big Spring, where my family lived for a short while. In the late 1920s, oil production began in the area, now commonly known as the Permian Basin.


Anonymous said...

Very cool photos of the various tracks. The ones left by doves are almost a floral pattern. Interesting too when compared to the big, deep prints left by humans.


squirrel said...

I agree with you comments. It was great fun looking at them all, just wish I knew what they were or had been outside when they walked by. Are you looking for tracks in the snow?

Potomac Valley Nature Writing Group Reading List said...

This post has such delicate beauty, the first photo puts one in a pensive sunset mood, the sky streaks contrast with the pale expanse of sand, the ephemeral tracks are like fairy jewelry or a whispered story and the wispy woven wreath of mother love beckons one to curl up and sleep under desert stars