White Sands National Monument, NM - 06 MAR 2012

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, the White Sands National Monument extends into three American states and nine Mexican states and making it North America’s largest and highest desert. 
This area is prone to strong winds and scorching temperatures. Yet it is home to more than 240 species of plants and numerous animals.
The strong winds cause the dome dunes (low mounds) to move up to 30 feet a year.
Barchan dunes (crescent shaped) form where winds are strong but the sand supply is limited.
Transverse dunes are long ridges of sand caused by barchans dunes joining together.
Parabolic dunes are created when plants anchor the arms of barchans and invert their shape.
There is a drive which takes you eight miles from the visitor center into the heart of the dunes.
There are four marked trails with parking areas and out houses.
The Yucca, soaptree elongates its stems to keep its leaves above the moving sand.
Tinky Winky stood sill for too long when the wind was blowing.
Wildlife mostly stays underground in burrows to keep out of the desert heat. You can see tracks of rodents, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, porcupines and other nocturnal animals. 
Lizards, birds and beetles are active in the daylight. A pocket mouse, two lizards and several insects have evolved white coloration to blend into the sand.
There are picnic areas with tables, grills and restrooms…you have to supply your own drinking water.
It’s recommend not to hike alone as it is very easy to get lost…rescues and deaths are common.