The approach to Salt Creek is dry, stark and silent, with regularly spaced creosote bushes the only form of life. You would have no idea that there is water flowing though a valley just 100 yards from here.
|Area nearing Salt Creek, photo: Maria O'Meara|
Entering Salt Creek, you are struck by the expanse of greenery, the calls of birds, the buzzing of insects, the sound of flowing water.
|Salt Creek, April 2012, Maria O'Meara|
|Visitors from around the world are fascinated with life in Death Valley Eileen O'Meara|
Run off from the surrounding mountains has brought minerals and salt to this lake bed that is about 100 feet below sea level.
|Pickleweed in Salt Creek, Maria O'Meara|
|Pickleweed close-up, Maria O'Meara|
Salt grass exudes salt onto the blade's surface. The salt reflects the sun, protecting the plant.
|Water flows into Salt Creek in the spring, Maria O'Meara|
|Salt deposits by the creek, Maria O'Meara|
And amazingly, in this water with salinity higher than sea water, you see hundreds of pup fish wriggling around, mating, attacking each other, and swimming upstream to spawn. Look closely, there are really there.
|Endangered pupfish, Maria O'Meara|
|Hundreds of pupfish in springtime, Maria O'Meara|