Thursday, December 20, 2018

Surprise Tank Revisit

I first posted about Surprise Tank here, and the date of my hike was 3.26.17. A great hike, but it wasn't much more than a mud puddle behind the dam. Many of these old dams or tanks are dry during much of the year, so it takes a little luck, and a little planning, to catch them when they're full.
Not much water, although I felt fortunate to find any water. But I made a mental note that it would be great to revisit Surprise Tank when there was more water. Fast forward to 10.27.2018 when I made my second hike to Surprise Tank. Below is a photo taken from approximately the same area.
Big difference, don't you think? Water capacity still not full, but a lot more water than during my first visit.




Joshua Tree infinity pool?
Drum roll please... perhaps the first ever underwater photo taken at Surprise Tank in Joshua Tree National Park! I know what you're thinking... Why would anyone in there right mind want to take an underwater photo in this little pond? Good question, and I guess "right mind" might help answer it! 😉 There were some little critters swimming right up to my GoPro camera. Brine shrimp? (probably not... water is not salty enough). Freshwater copepods? (most likely).

On my cross-desert hike to Surprise Tank, I found these old bleached out bones.

If I had to guess, I would say jackrabbit. Probably met its demise at the hands of wiley coyote. But that's just a guess.
Bighorn Sheep track. There were quite a few tracks in the area.
The rock formations in the Surprise Tank area are really very cool. Here's a sample of some of what you would see if you visit the area.




I hope you enjoyed this little hiking trip to Surprise Tank in Joshua Tree National Park. It's always a treat to see water in the desert, and the rock formations are icing on the cake!

Oh, and I almost forgot... Warm Wishes for the Holidays!!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

42 comments:

  1. I love the desert and I love rocks and no one I know of on the blogs does both better than you. The desert is magnificent, don't you like it in winter? That much water is beautiful too. But it's the rocks and your photography that touch my heart. Have a wonderful holiday season.

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  2. Wow! great scenes. Love the reflections and starburst with silhouette

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  3. Great images. It's surprising to find water in the desert, but the desert does need a little water for all the plants and critters that live there.

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  4. I always love your photography and trips. Thanks for the underwater peak too.

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  5. Amazing pics.Loved the post.
    Greetings from India.

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  6. Engaging text and wonderful images, as always. Love that sunburst!!

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  7. I visited Surprise Tank a few weeks after this after a hard rain. It was full and I got great pictures. My favorite time to visit is early morning as the light is perfect and lights the whole area.

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    1. Thanks, Ian. I'm not much of a morning person, but knowing the light is good might just motivate me to get out there early sometime!

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  8. Lovely photos, especially the sunburst. Happy holidays!

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  9. Beautiful images. The water and different formations look so striking together.
    I bet decorating that Cactus was prickly job. LOL
    MB

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  10. I'll bet the critters are glad to have the pond. As always your pictures are great-- better because you are not in your right mind, I think. Merry Christmas, my friend.

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  11. Starburst with silhouette is absolutely fabulous. Taken daytime?

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    1. Thank you! Yes, daytime focus with exposure set for the sky, so rocky boulders become silhouettes. ISO 100, 1/800 sec, f22, 35mm.

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  12. Among a lot of other things I have missed your post about the tank last year. I'm glad you visited it again. It's beautiful and what a difference with last year.
    Wishing you and your loved once Merry Christmas, Peter.

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  13. Yes that water is a great surprise in the desert and those rock formations are stunning as always. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  14. Awesome skywatch photos and some great reflections. Amazing what lives on in what seems like a dry pond. Merry Christmas

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  15. So wonderful to see the water and the reflections, along with the stunning rocks and desert scenes you capture. Amazing! Have a wonderful holiday.

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  16. Thanks for the pics and your thoughts.
    Reminded me of various "rivers" I had visited that were dry 10, 11 months a year.... Just watch out where you are walking on that 12th month!

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  17. I REALLY need to get out your way!!! While I'm young enough to still breathe

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  18. Wow! What timing for finding 'tank' filled and underwater life! ~ Great post and fantastic sky shots too!

    Happy Holidays to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  19. Your rock art photos are delightful!

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  20. Rocks are interesting we don't have anything like that and most of rocks are granite.
    Happy Sky

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  21. The dessert through your photos looks so beautiful. Love the rock formation and the sky shots. The pool is fantastic!

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  22. Beautiful landscape! The sight of water in the desert is a surprise but I imagine there are lots of surprises out there. Beautiful images as always. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family and a wonderful Happy and Healthy 2019.

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  23. An amazing pool of water. Testament to the original builders on how it has held up over the years with no maintenance.
    I love your adventures and outings.

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  24. Beautiful hike. It's no surprise your photos are great! Happy holidays to you. And Happy New Year too!

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  25. Even after all these years in the desert, it still startles me to see bodies of water in wilderness places. Lovely shots!

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  26. Happy Holidays! That Christmas tree is very charming.

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  27. Amazing photos.
    Happy Holidays.
    May 2019 will be full of joy, health and love, for you and you loved ones.
    Best wishes
    Maria de
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

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  28. Beautiful post ... it was a Perfect gift even before the last fun picture. Water in the desert is the best! Thanks for showing it both in the way we have been lucky enough to see it and in a way we never even would have thought of! Thanks for the beauty and the memories. Enjoy the Holiday with your family!

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  29. Amazing desert pictures !
    Merry Christmas !

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  30. How delightful to see pictures with water. The reflections are terrific - double the pleasure, double the fun. Merry Christmas to you my friend, and I look forward to more of your posts in 2019!

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  31. These are just fantastic photos! You definitely got your timing right for to see the water. I always love seeing photos from that part of the world. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. When we lived in El Paso, Texas we visited Hueco Tanks, a natural sink in the desert surrounded by quite similar rocks. Likewise one never knew how much water it contained, if any at all. Water is such a valuable commodity for the wildlife. When there was water there was much more to see! Happy Holidays to you too!

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  33. Wonderful photos. The rock around the water in Surprise Tank are fabulous.
    Happy New Year

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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  34. Great series. I hope you had a wonderful Xmas.

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