Tagged: environment

Majestic Zion National Park: Angels Landing, The Subway, Cliffs & Canyons [45 PICS]

June 7th, 2012 Permalink

Zion National Park in Utah came in as the 7th most visited national park in the USA during 2011. You stand in the wide open surrounded by massive cliffs, or you can hike into the narrow slot canyon. The 229-square-mile park offers mild ‘leg-stretcher’ walks or seriously strenuous adventures. The majestic natural beauty calls out to nature lovers and adventurers alike for rock climbing, canyoning, rappelling, backpacking and hiking. Where else can you see both a place for Angels and a subway created by nature? [45 Photos]

On Angel's wings --  Angels Landing trail of Zion National Park is something to behold

‘On Angel’s wings.’ The photographer wrote, “I’ve done my share of gruelling hikes, long monotonous, twist your ankles hikes, but this one stands out on it’s own though it was a short 5 mile hike. Angels Landing trail of Zion National Park is something to behold. Aptly named so because when Zion was initially explored, no one belived they could get to there unless it was an Angel on his wings. Then the demons made a trail to the top of it. And us urchins scrambled along to the holy sanctuary.” Photo #1 by Joseph Dsilva

More Photos

Acadia National Park: 9th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011 [40 PICS]

April 28th, 2012 Permalink

Acadia National Park along the rugged coastline of Maine may not be the first place that jumps to mind when thinking about America’s busiest parks, but maybe it should come to mind in the top 10 because it was the 9th most visited U.S. national park in 2011 with over 2,300,000 visitors. Acadia and Cuyahoga switched places from 2010, when Cuyahoga Valley National Park was ranked 9th in visitors. Acadia National Park protects more than 47,000 acres of lakes, ponds, woodlands, granite-domed mountains, and ocean shoreline along the coast of Maine. There are more than 140 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of historic carriage roads, and scenic park roads for drivers. Diverse wildlife, waterfalls, cliffs, stone bridges and scenic vistas can all be found on this cluster of islands that make up Acadia. Hikers, bikers, horseback riders, kayakers, climbers, bird watchers and photographers are among the nature lovers who visit Acadia National Park. [40 Photos]

Mount Desert Island, Wild gardens of Acadia NP

The largest island along the rugged coast of Maine is Mount Desert Island. A cluster of islands make up Acadia National Park. The photographer called this the ‘Wild gardens of Acadia NP.’ Photo #1 by Liz West

More Photos

Ruggedly Beautiful Na Pali Coast: Tropical Paradise for Adventurers [43 PICS]

March 11th, 2012 Permalink

Anyone else thinking, come on Spring, I wanna go out and play in nature? The tropical beauty of Na Pali along the shore of Kauai, Hawaii, and the rugged coastline could give adventure seekers a case of spring fever all year round. Na Pali means “the Cliffs” and those characteristic sheer cliffs which drop 4,000 feet (1200 m) straight down into the ocean make much of Na Pali Coast inaccessible by car. Nā Pali Coast State Park has 6,175 acres and stretches for 16 rugged miles along the northwest side of Kauaʻi paradise. Honopū Valley has been made iconic from movies filmed on Na Pali. Are you tired of winter too? We love these gorgeous pictures which gave us a serious case of Spring Fever. Enjoy! [43 Photos]

Kauai paradise, Na Pali Coast

Kauai paradise, Na Pali Coast. Seen here is the iconic landmark Honopū Valley which is within Nā Pali Coast State Park along the northwest shore of Kauai , Hawaii. It’s known for its distinctive 90 feet (27 m) tall natural arch which is the tallest in Hawaii. Photo #1 by Walt K

More Photos

Garden of Love at Château de Villandry: Most Romantic Gardens in France [40 PICS]

February 17th, 2012 Permalink

While researching castles built for love, we stumbled upon another castle located in Villandry, France. But it was the magnificent gardens that were built for love — and even the French name jardin de l’amour sounds divinely romantic. While these gardens have serene elements like Chinese gardens, the Château de Villandry gardens have been called the most romantic and beautiful gardens in France. There is a love story behind Love Garden and the entire estate was designed with romantic symbolism from the Renaissance era. The Villandry has three garden styles, a formal water garden, a 2-part ornamental garden with topiary hedges ripe with symbolism for love including for the “Garden of Love” and the “Garden of Music,” and a huge decorative kitchen garden (potager). The gardens of Château de Villandry are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’d never seen anything like it. Welcome to the most romantic gardens in Loire Valley, France! [40 Photos]

Jardin d'amour - jardin de 'l'amour tendre' Garden of Love -- Tender Love

Jardin d’amour – jardin de “l’amour tendre”. Garden of Love — Tender Love. Château de Villandry has a great love story to go along with the breathtaking Renaissance gardens that embody romance. A young Spanish doctor, Joachim Carvallo, met and fell in love with a young American medical research intern, Ann Coleman. She was the daughter of a master blacksmith from Pennsylvania. They sunk all of their money into the castle of Villandry and worked tirelessly on their passion of restoring it. They converted part of the estate into a hospital to take care of the wounded during WWI, but after the war, went back to their passion of transforming the romantic park at Chateau de Villandry, originally created by Jean Le Breton, into a stunning design of romantic gardens that still exist today. Photo #1 by hamadryades

More Photos

Abandoned Snowy Post-Apocalypse? 41 Photo Scenarios of Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon

February 4th, 2012 Permalink

Snowy landscapes can alter a viewer’s perception of the scene, sometimes making it seem deserted and surreal as if the world has ended and a blanket of white descended. This had us musing on what a post-apocalyptic Earth might look like IF the world didn’t burn, but the people disappeared for some reason or another. In some of these photos, it seems as if the few lone Apocalyptic survivors are out and about to view the rebirth of the world 2.0. While this is a bit bizarre to be pondering, all of these winter snow photos struck a chord with us in harmony with what the world might look like after the Apocalypse. Most of the people would undoubtedly be gone, so seeing ‘survivors’ would be few and far between. In our Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon scenarios, buildings would be abandoned and a quiet world would be wrapped in a heavy white blanket of snow. Some people love winter, the cold and the snow — perhaps even the photographers who captured these unbelievably beautiful and snowy landscapes that seem to us as if they could portray a world after the Apocalypse. [41 Photos]

A Snowy Ski lift on top of Åreskutan, in Sweden

Sweden: A snowy ski lift on top of Åreskutan. Photo #1 by Anders Carlsson

More Photos

Adventure Lovers’ Paradise: Arches National Park [47 PICS]

January 28th, 2012 Permalink

Arches National Park is a gorgeous 76,679 acre landscape which preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The park is located in eastern Utah, right outside Moab which is an outdoor adventure lovers’ paradise. The park is in the high desert where the forces of nature like erosion have exposed millions of years of geologic history, diverse colors and textures of arches and very unusual rock formations. 43 arches have collapsed since 1970, yet still the beauty of nature here will leave you in awe. Arches National Park is an outdoor adventure lovers’ paradise with many activities such as backpacking, biking, camping, canyoneering, commercial tours, hiking, rock climbing and plenty to keep a photographer busy. According to the National Park Service, “To many, the most outstanding natural features of Arches are the park’s geologic formations. Over 2,000 catalogued arches range in size from a three-foot opening (the minimum considered to be an arch), to Landscape Arch which measures 306 feet from base to base. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively small area.” [47 Photos]

Arches National Park, Utah, Delicate Arch -- The iconography of time

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park ‘The iconography of time’ is the title given to this amazing long exposure capture. The photographer said, “Billions of years ago some of those stars sent their light on a journey to delicate arch long before its grains of sand had even settled to the bottom of a vast ocean. This complex intermingling of time and space and light fills me with much awe, wonder and inspiration. I live for these moments.” Photo #1 by Jason Corneveaux

More Photos

Highest Points: 20 U.S. National Parks by Elevation [40 PICS]

January 4th, 2012 Permalink

The United States has 58 national parks that are operated by the National Park Service. It takes an act of U.S. Congress to establish a national park and we frequently see these parks listed in some type of ordered list such as number of yearly visitors. This list of 20 parks is by elevation and includes the 20 highest points found among all of the gorgeous U.S. national parks. [40 Photos]

Down the valley towards Denali on this beautiful day, with the one park road winding its way

Denali National Park, Alaska, ranks as the #1 highest point of any U.S. national park. In this valley towards Denali, only the first 15 miles are paved even though the winding road is 92 miles long. Photo #1 by Nic McPhee

More Photos

Beyond Brrr! 45 Photos of the Real North Pole and Arctic

December 23rd, 2011 Permalink

When most folks hear ‘North Pole,’ they tend to think of Santa Claus and his home. But it would be difficult to build a residence or workshop at the North Pole since it is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. You could, however, walk on water at the North Pole since it is surrounded by waters that are almost permanently covered with constantly shifting sea ice about 2 to 3 m (6 ft 7 in to 9 ft 10 in) thick. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean along with portions of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. NOAA describes the Arctic as “a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by tree-less, frozen ground, that teems with life, including organisms living in the ice, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals and human societies. Persistent warming and record-setting changes are occurring throughout the Arctic environment with resultant impacts on Arctic ecosystems.” Here’s a look beyond Polar Express or St. Nick at the real North Pole, the Arctic Circle, the Arctic and its brave explorers who dared to adventure in a land beyond brrrr! We hope you have a very happy holiday season! [45 Photos]

Arctic portal Eielson Air Force Base Alaska-—-The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights shines above Bear Lake

Arctic portal on the way to the North Pole has amazing auroras. These Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, shine above Eielson Air Force Base, Bear Lake, Alaska. USAF Photo #1 by Senior Airman Joshua Strang

More Photos

From Polar Bears With Love: Happy Holidays

December 9th, 2011 Permalink

We love polar bears at any time, even sad times like when we did a tribute to superstar Knut, but most of these shots are of polar bears roaming and surviving in the wild. While these polar bears may have nothing to do with Coca-Cola polar bear marketing, the holidays gave us an ‘excuse’ to focus on the world’s largest carnivores and our favorite type of bears. [46 Photos]

polar bear snuggle love

While not a traditional holiday mascot, ever since Coca-Cola paired polar bears with Christmas marketing, it gives us another reason to post these beautiful white bears. Did you know that female polar bears prepare small dens, normally on sea ice or on the mainland, where they will
give birth to usually two cubs which are born in December or January? The cubs are born blind, hairless, and are no bigger than squirrels. Polar bear cubs remain with their mother for about 2 1/2 years. Photo #1 by HDWallpapers

More Photos

Star Light, Star Bright: Stunning Star Trails by Ben Canales [40 PICS]

November 30th, 2011 Permalink

Ben Canales has astounding skills as a night photographer, capturing the child-like wonder and awe of our world as we stare up at the stars. When he was younger, he lived in an urban area where a starry night means maybe seeing a maximum of 20 stars. Now he lives on the West Coast “nearby some very dark, much less light-polluted night skies. It’s been a thrill and a treasured experience to look up and see a literal field of diamonds in the stars above.” Besides photographing the stars for personal enjoyment, Ben does it for us so we can feel the wonder of the sky as if we are standing under it ourselves and gazing up. He snaps glittering starry shots in amazing natural landscapes and also captures the night sky nearby abandoned houses way out in the middle of nowhere. He climbs mountains and pitches a tent far away from civilization to better bring us these amazing images of the stars. Ben quotes Van Gogh: “For my part I know nothing with any certainy, but the sight of the stars make me dream.” We were blown away, absolutely dazzled, when we saw his breathtaking photos on The Star Trail. Wowza! We love these pics! [40 Photos]

Crater Lake under the Stars

Crater Lake under the Stars. Photo #1 by © Ben Canales

More Photos

Savoring the Wildlife on Grandfather Mountain

November 17th, 2011 Permalink

Grandfather Mountain, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a part of the Appalachians, rises 5,946 feet above sea level. The elevation allows the mountain to boast of 16 distinct ecological communities. There are 7 environmental habitats featuring cougars, white-tailed deer, black bears and river otters. The Mile High Swinging Bridge is one mile up and offers visitors 360-degree panoramic views as far as 100 miles away on a clear day. Hikers, nature and animals lovers flock here for the outstanding views, rugged landscapes, and to find the ‘peace of mind’ that nature gives those of us who love it. The Grandfather Mountain website suggests that there is still a part us that is 9 years old and ready for fun and play. “With rocky outcroppings and fragile forest hideaways to explore, it’s easy to tap your inner adventurer.” [46 Photos]

Eagle at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Looming 5,946 feet above sea level in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina is home to 16 distinct ecological communities. The photographer titled this eagle, ‘If You’re Not Outraged…You’re Not Paying Attention!’ The eagles here are rescued victims of hunters and poachers. The wounded bald and golden eagles found in the wild are nursed back to health at specialized rehabilitation centers here. They are returned to the wild if possible, but if the eagle has an injury that will permanently inhibit its ability to survive, they live on Grandfather Mountain. Photo #1 by Kenny P.

More Photos

Congratulations World Class Winners: New 7 Wonders of Nature

November 14th, 2011 Permalink

On 11/11/11, the provisional winners on the New 7 Wonders of Nature were announced: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and Table Mountain. Voting started in 2007 and ended in 2011 with over 100 million votes from around the world. The announcement came along with: It is possible that there will be changes between the above provisional winners and the eventual finally confirmed winners. The voting calculation is now being checked, validated and independently verified, and the confirmed winners will be announced starting early 2012 during the Official Inauguration ceremonies.The worldwide votes were led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation which is a Swiss-based, government-controlled foundation. We love nature, all nature, and want it preserved and kept clean without heavy evidence of humans passing through by leaving trash and other traces on trails. Sadly the Grand Canyon did not make the final cut. Neither did the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, the Black Forest, or Angel Falls which were some of our favorites and seemed to be doing well according to voting trends! Just the same, congratulations to the world class winners and new 7 wonders of nature. Here they are as described by the New7Wonders. [29 Photos]

Along Halong Bay

Halong Bay is located in Quáng Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The bay has a 120 kilometre long coastline and is approximately 1,553 square kilometres in size with 1969 islets. Photo #1 by Nikkodem

More Photos