Water plays an essential role for the life in and around the Great Sand Dunes. The dunefield is edged by two creeks. Subsurface flow from these streams feeds wetlands that are habitat for an amazing variety of life in the midst of a sandy desert. (source: National Park brochure) Medano Creek between the Sangre de Christo Mountains and the dunes had been dry during the summer, according to an internet source, but at our arrival, shortly after some rain in the area, the creek had water again flowing down the valley. The shallow stream is a nice place to chill out during a hot day and especially the kids enjoyed playing in this big “sand box”.
One evening some overcast didn’t look very promising for good light on the dunes but I went out anyway for a little hike with our dog Cooper. You never know for sure how things may develop in nature and that’s why I had the tripod and camera over my shoulder. Suddenly the magic unfolded. The setting sun, already hidden by the sand dunes, appeared from behind the clouds and revealed some spectacular colors. The light bounced back from the clouds and got reflected by Medano Creek. And there was the photo, with the creek as my subject!