Morning at White Sands National Monument

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The morning sun is already fierce, beating down on brilliant gypsum sand dunes of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

I haven’t been to many inland sand dunes in my life, but White Sands National Monument seemed special to me. I love the miniature dune-like wave patterns in the sand, caused by wind. These aren’t present the beach dunes I’ve seen, probably because they are usually accompanied by throngs of tourists. Here, in the relative stillness, the fractal nature of the dunes are revealed. In physics, a fractal means something that exhibits similar repetitive patterns even when viewed at vastly different scales. As the wind shifts around the sands, it creates giant piles of sands, with peaks and valleys — the dunes themselves. It also does the same thing at a smaller scale, creating these mini-dunes on the sand’s surface.

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