Dunes

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The huge dunes in the foreground were formed by the interaction of wind, water, and stone over the course of many eons.  They are the largest and most extensive (330 square miles) in North American and comprise the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado.

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  Most of the sand came from the San Juan Mountains to the west, but the larger grains were shed from the Sangre de Christos on the east such as Kit Carson and Crestone (pictured below) – two of Colorado’s fourteeners.

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  The dunes loom some 700 feet above the sand sheet and sabkha just to their west.  The visual effect of the afternoon sun upon them is unforgettable.  Why should the sun on a big pile of sand have such an impact?  Well, not long (in cosmic terms) after life evolved beyond a simple unicellular state, as ability to discern between light and less so developed.

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  Billions of years later we see in 3-D and Technicolor, but the pre-primal legacy still influences our perceptions.  The incredible lights and shadows of the dunes mediated by the undulating ridges transfix one’s gaze.

  All visitors thus moved, if only for a moment, what better place for an artist to imbue and convey?  Wife is artist-in-residence here and as usual has made the most of the situation.  Observations from many points of vantage have inflected her current work while observers, young and old alike, have added tactile impressions to their experience of this unique bit of terra firma NA.

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  Bonus for this here strong back is that the location of the park, far far removed from the nearest town makes for a similarly prehistoric level of noise and light pollution.  Have seen more falling stars than I’ve fingers and toes.  Me lucky boy.

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One Response to “Dunes”

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