At first glance, there seemed no life beyond the few plants that had managed to find a stronghold in the shifting sands. Among the dozens of species, the Indian ricegrass, the soaptree yucca , and the Rio Grande cottonwood.
Life is more implied than obvious in the dunes. Burrows, mounds and the occasional footprints are testaments to the adaptation (and essentially nocturnal activity) that begets life for the hardy few, including the camel cricket, the Apache pocket mouse, and the bleached earless lizard.
Despite our best intentions, it was close to noon (not a good time to be in the relentless desert sun) when Jimmy and I arrived at New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, where 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand had collected since . . .