Land of Surprises

20 Mule Dance

Death Valley, as you may be aware, can be a surprising place. Whether it’s rocks that mysteriously leave tracks on a dry lake bed, an unlikely species of fish found nowhere else in the world, or places so quiet that you can only hear your own heart beating, it’s a vast land that can leave you speechless.

Two days ago I was in an area of Death Valley called, 20 Mule Canyon, photographing its rounded, barren and strangely colored hills. Away from the main road, it’s one of those places that can be totally silent. No bird calls. No wind. No nothin’.

… Except there wasn’t nothin’…

Every so often I could swear I heard distant laughter. Weird. Then it was silent again. There were no signs of people. No cars. No wafting dust cloud from moving vehicles. No signs at all there were people around.

After a couple of times hearing this mysterious laughter, I decided it wasn’t in my head after all and started looking around. I searched with my ears and eyes for a short while until I looked up to the very top of a ridge into the early morning sun and spotted two people… dancing.

Now that was surprising!

(Shooting Notes: The image above was captured with a 400mm lens which makes the subjects seem about 8 times closer than they really were. Towards the left side of the image along the silhouetted ridge against the bright cloud, there is one rock that is a little bigger than the rest. With my unaided eye, the distant dancers were a little smaller than that rock.)

All Photographs © 2018 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

 

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