Photo Of The Day: Mojave Desert

Today’s Photo of the Day is a sand dune from the Mojave Desert in California. Taken by Luke Destefano, this photo captures the sand as it moves through the air, swept away with the wind. With a picture-perfect blue sky in the background contrasting the vivid orange of the dune, I can only imagine what it would have been like to see this in person. Here’s to hoping Luke had some goggles on at the time. Have you been to the Mojave Desert? Do you have photos from the trip to share with us? If so, upload them, as well as any other travel photos you have, to the Gadling Flickr Pool.Learn About Desert Animals

Dust Storms Descend On The Middle East

A spate of dust storms caused massive disruptions and several fatalities in the Middle East this week. In Pakistan, winds reaching up to 68mph struck the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, destroying roofs, uprooting trees, upending billboards, and reducing visibility to under 100 meters. Flights out of Islamabad International Airport were delayed, and at least fifteen fatalities were recorded.

Elsewhere, in Kuwait, heavy dust storms shut down the Basra ports, paralyzing tankers and costing the country some 1,000,000 barrels a day in exports. Flights out of Kuwait International Airport were continuing with normal, albeit limited service. This follows a late May dust storm that shut down Baghdad’s airport only days before a critical nuclear talk. And a dust storm near Mecca raised temperatures to 113 degrees before giving way to a rainstorm – possibly the hottest rainfall on record at 109 degrees F.

Dust storms can seriously impact travel in the Middle East, and visitors are cautioned against the dangers of going out into a storm without proper preparation. The gallery below documents some of the biggest storms in the region to date.

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The source of all of that soft white beach sand

Take a walk on the beaches of Nice and compare them to the beaches of Bali and the first thing that you’ll notice is a difference in sand. In Bali, the small Indonesian island in the South Pacific, the sand is soft like confectionary sugar and feels like smooth, whipped cream between your fingers. The beaches in Nice, France, by contrast, could best be characterized as a large piles of rocks.

Tourists obviously love the soft sort of sand that one can wallow around in all day, but not all beaches have that sort of fortune. So if they’re crafty enough, they ship it in. Our resident pilot, Kent Wien happened to fly over the place where some of that sand comes from, a lost little island in the nothingness of the Carribbean near the Bahamas. If you look closely at his photo you can see where the workers foraged deep into the sea and carved out slices of soft happiness.

Who knows where the sand finally ended up — you could be sitting on it right now.

Photo of the Day (11.28.10)

Beach volleyball might seem like a laid-back sport – it’s played on the beach, right? But as Flickr user Flavio@Flickr demonstrates in today’s beach photo from Israel, those casual volleyball matches can get downright heated. The whirls of sand beneath the players’ feet, their frozen-in-air poses and the low upward-looking angle of this photo all lend a vibrant sense of motion and activity to this dramatic scene. I wonder who’s winning?

Have any great travel photos you’d like to share with the world? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (10.01.10)

We’re nearly two weeks into autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere, but I had put off officially saying farewell to summer. I mean, it had been mild here in New York. But, this week brought rain, wind, cooler evenings and all the trappings of autumn. Kids are fully entrenched in the new school year, football season is hitting its stride and, yes, the foliage is getting ready to be peeped. Heck, it’s now October. Summer, my friends, is over.

This picture by Flickr user snowjumpr seems like a fitting goodbye. However, let us not mourn Summer’s loss. As the sun sets on the season of vacations, beach weekends and picnics, let’s enjoy the comfortable temperatures, pick some fresh apples and find our fat pants that make Thanksgiving oh so comfortable. Autumn has plenty of perks, not the least of which is the food. It’s pie season, folks!

Have a picture that shows you chasing summer? Or, even better, just some great travel photos? Submit your images to Gadling’s Flickr group and we might use one for a future Photo of the Day.