What do pigs, children, and nature photographers have in common?
We like playing in mud! (Note I didn't say if I was a pig or a photographer, it really depends on my appetite...).
In the United States, dry lake beds can be found in every desert region, though the Great Basin in particular is full of them. Death Valley National Park specifically has many, from the Racetrack Playa, the Panamint Playa, and some areas around the Eureka Dunes and Saline Valley. My favorite playa, due to its size and the ability to camp directly on it, is the Alvord Playa in southeast Oregon.
These photographs are from the Clark Dry Lake in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California, close to where we camped for almost two weeks, and show the diversity that even a small playa can offer.
The next time you have a chance to play in the mud, take advantage of it. Why should pigs have all the fun?
For more on photographing small scenes, including mud abstracts like this, please see our e-book Beyond the Grand Landscape: A Guide to Photographing Nature's Smaller Scenes