Gravel Ghost

Latin name:  Atrichoseris platyphylla  Family:  Asteraceae  Color:  Purple-tinged white, sometimes with small spots.  Looks like a daisy.

A Gravel Ghost is a wildflower that grows in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley National Park, and sometimes in Arizona and Utah.

Gravel Ghosts like living in gravelly washes and ravines where their delicate, white blossoms hover above the ground in a ghostly haze.  They have a fragrance that’s a mixture of vanilla and jasmine and will bloom in spring if there has been enough rain during the fall and winter in the desert.

This blog is called The Gravel Ghost.  It’s a photo blog, but sometimes there are stories that go along with the photos.  It’s called The Gravel Ghost because I love the desert and in particular, Death Valley, California.  It’s been my muse since the age of six, but the desert is not all that I photograph.  My goal is to have viewers experience what I feel when I take a photograph of people, places and things.  I mainly love black and white for photography because it’s simple, straight-forward and not distracting.  It gets my point across.  But there are times when color is called for. Just because.

I don’t talk shop on my blog because it’s about the image, not how I got there.  So I don’t post my camera settings, discuss what equipment I use or analyze post-processing.  To me that is a distraction from the image, and the image is sacred.

All photographs and text on this website are © Copyright Merilee Mitchell 2011-2020. All works on this website are the exclusive property of Merilee Mitchell and are protected under International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated in any way without the written permission of Merilee Mitchell. Use of any image in any way is a violation of Copyright Law and will be enforced to its full extent. No images are within Public Domain.

If you have any questions about this website, I can be contacted at merilee.mitchell123@gmail.com

The Gravel Ghost. Copyright Merilee Mitchell

139 thoughts

  1. Thanks Merilee. Very pleased to have started visiting your distinctive blog. Much exploration to come! Regards from Thom at the Immortal Jukebox (plugged in and ready to play).

  2. Hi Merilee,

    I couldn’t find a way to post this to your “Magic Of The Sweet Spot And Not Caring” post about pool.

    You’ll (probably) find find this link about “figuring out pool” interesting.
    It’s from my favorite family-friendly website ( wimp.com )

    I hope you’ll add these insights to your collection of ‘intuitive physics’ the next time you find a pool table and have to “figure out” “How to play pool.” This is simply-simple and amazing once you understand it well enough to invisibly apply it in a real game. – – even if you don’t care. : )

    Learn To Play Pool In Ten Minutes


    Ralph Lewis ( met you briefly at Ted Faye’s “W.T.F.” gathering )

  3. Pingback: Photos We Loved: From Every Angle | The Daily Post

  4. Merilee, you have some inspiring images here on your site. So many narratives behind the photographs. I agree with your view on B&W as a medium removing unwanted distraction. It lets the image breath and allows the viewer to completely immerse themselves into what they are seeing.

    • Thank you, Wayne. Black and white, for me, wipes out any facade that color can inject. It’s not that color is a bad thing. I love color and if I need to make a statement that only color can make, then I use it. Otherwise, in photographic images I prefer black and white. It allows me to say what I feel about a particular subject. I am all about the backstory, what lies underneath, the psychology behind the subject. Whether it’s a person, place or thing. Black and white gets to the heart of it.

  5. Merilee it certainly is an honour to be haunted by the Gravel Ghost – thanks for the follow! I have noticed on one of your posts that you love locomotives. This link is of an Afrikaans song “Tussen treine” – In between or among trains. And with your allegiance to monochrome a third of the video is actually in black and white. It is just 2 guys with locomotives behind them playing guitar and singing about love and loss. In American context their genre is probably Folk. I have translated the first line and refrain but in English lyrically and poetically it is not sound quite the same(rhyme etc) but you may enjoy the video.

    I often wonder what have become of you. You are so still haunting me.

    Between trains. Between stations, lies basically just the empty tracks. Between trains. Between stations. Rests the empty spaces of innocence now in ruin

  6. So honoured to be in your company Merilee in WordPress Discover’s Glimpse into 2017 as I have admired your work for so long. Sending you many congratulations and warmest good wishes for a very Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing the all results of your “gift of time” next year 🙂

  7. I definitely like the new look of the blog, but there has been one thing that bothers me. Sometimes I am not able to comment on a photograph. One such picture was called “Spell Breaker 2.” It haunted me for days; I even copied it to send to a friend asking what the sun/cloud relationship was and why it would be a spell breaker. My friend sent me a link to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and voila! Those clouds meant rain was on the way. In Death Valley that would be VIP to any traveller. Thanks for not only taking great pictures, but for naming them metaphorically too.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I really, really appreciate it! More than you know. It pleases me that my images make you think, which is my intent. I’m not sure that I’m always successful with that, but I’m so happy that you are intrigued enough to try to figure out the meanings. You made my night!

  8. I’ve just discovered you via ‘Everyday Strange’. Love what I’m seeing. This is right up my street. Your about page really hits home, had a conversation just yesterday regarding the ‘tools of the trade’. The art should speak for itself. Black and white photographs are my go to, I want to create something that makes people FEEL. And I like to see something that makes ME feel. Nailed it 😉

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. I will always love black and white first, but I’m also allowing color into the conversation, depending upon what I want to say, or what the subject needs in order to speak its mind..

Leave a Reply to Merilee Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: