DeadVlei is a white clay pan located near Sossusvlei in Namibia. It is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, the highest reaching 1000-1300 feet, which rest on a sandstone terrace. The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river. The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. There are some species of plans surviving off the morning mist and very rare rainfall. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to have died 600-700 years ago are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though not petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.
The helicopter shots were made during an early morning flight over the Skeleton coast. I love the patterns and play of light on the dunes. Also the way the ocean meets the dunes in an unusual way that is very beautiful.