Dean M. Chriss
Sunset, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
(Click image to enlarge)
White gypsum sand dunes engulf 275 square miles of New Mexico's desert forming the largest gypsum dune field on earth. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion, but not all, of these unique dunes. The soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) shown in the image is common throughout the monument. Sunset is a beautiful time in White Sands. The evening sun dips behind mountains to the west, leaving the white sand in total shade while continuing to illuminate the sky.