Tagged: forests

Pretty Pounds Hollow in Autumn & Garden of the Gods Rock!

November 3rd, 2012 Permalink

Most folks have heard of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, but did you know that there is also a Garden of the Gods in Illinois? Nestled within the Shawnee National Forest, this spectacular wilderness area is over 320 million years old and covers over 3,300 acres of amazing old growth forest and humongous rocks that call out to scramble over and climb here. The landscape is drastically different than most of southern Illinois because it is unglaciated. The fractured bedrock at Garden of the Gods, along with erosive forces like windblown sand, rain, freezing and thawing actions, have created beautiful hoodoos and fascinating rock formations. Cave In Rock is not too far away, so you can both climb and cave if you are so inclined, but today we’re exploring three “must see” areas with hills and hollows, magnificent bluffs and massive mossy boulders: Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock, Pounds Hollow. Other areas near Garden of the Gods and Pounds Hollow Recreation Area, include Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, River, River Trail, High Knob Picnic Area and the Illinois Iron Furnace, But all of Shawnee, the only National Forest in southern Illinois, is gorgeous. Take a backpack, wear shoes you can climb in that are comfortable, some water, your thirst for adventure, maybe a picnic, and, oh yes, your camera. [58 Photos]

Garden of the Gods is located in southern Illinois in the Shawnee National Forest

Garden of the Gods is located in southern Illinois in the Shawnee National Forest. The spectacular wilderness area is over 320 million years old and covers over 3,300 acres of beautiful old growth forest. During the Ice Age, glaciers didn’t flatten this region, so it offers great rock formations to climb, hills to explore while hiking and streams to cross. There are also magnificent bluffs which drop more than 100 feet down, but provide breathtaking views of the forests below and beyond. Some of the more popular rock formations surrounding the cliffs acquired titles such as Monkey Face, Mushroom Rock, Anvil Rock, Noah’s Ark, Table Rock and Devil’s Smokestack. But Camel Rock is probably the most photographed feature along the paved Observation Trail at Garden of the Gods in southern Illinois. Photo #1 by Grover Webb

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When the Woods Are Scary: Enchanted Forests Like Brothers Grimm Broken Fairytales

October 18th, 2012 Permalink

Ah, the approach of Halloween seems to call upon a special spooky theme, but we’ve covered tombs for Tales from the Crypts, fields of Halloween horror via the corn maze craze, even a Lego Monster Mash before. So then we considered man-made haunted trails that people purposefully visit to be spooked for Halloween . . . but there are other times when a person is totally alone in some eerie forest that seems a bit enchanted. When the woods seem scary, it could be because you let your imagination run wild. It might be local folklore about a foggy forest, or a moody mist attached to legends and claims that the woods are haunted. How we interpret a setting may be our state of mind at the time, but artists of all kinds have taken to the forest for inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien used Puzzlewood as his mystical, magical muse that inspired him to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. In our Fall Fantasy post, we quoted Vincent Van Gogh as saying, ‘Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.’ Perhaps to truly enjoy these pictures, you may need to think of it like an art game….for each picture, imagine if you were all alone in these woods. We were curious what made the streak of fear strike the hearts of photographers who are out alone in the forest. All of these photos were tagged with words like spooky, dark, scary, foggy, or haunted; on any other day, and different state of mind, these might be interpreted as sweet alone time in nature. But tap into your inner artist and let your imagination run wild to “see” what the photographers saw when these “enchanted” woods seemed “haunted” or “spooky” or just flat-out Brothers Grimm scary. [66 'Scary' Pics] {At least it’s not 666?}

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA. Instead of man-made Halloween haunted trail attractions, this is when a “horror” setting has been created by nature. Think of twisted fairytales and enter where the woods are scary. Imagine if you were all alone in these woods . . .. After you? Please take the Sandman’s hand and enter now. Photo #1 by Tom Holub

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Animals Loving Autumn [40 PICS]

September 29th, 2012 Permalink

Fall and its brightly colored foliage has arrived. So here is a mixture of animals, autumn and quotes about this season.

Red fox caught mouse in bright foliage of fall forest

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile,” ~ quote by William Cullen Bryant. Like some people, some animals love autumn. Red fox with a mouse in the beautiful and bright foliage of the forest during the fall season. Photo #1 by KP

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Unsurpassed & Sublime Beauty of Grand Teton National Park [60 PICS]

May 3rd, 2012 Permalink

Grand Teton National Park is 310,000 breathtaking acres of wow! 40 miles of jagged peaks making up the Teton Range tower 7,000 feet above gorgeous Jackson Hole valley. The unsurpassed and sublime beauty of the natural landscape and the equally famous abundant wildlife have been called inspirational, stunning, spectacular and it will take your breath away. NPS describes the park as, “Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over 200 miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.” Located in Northwestern Wyoming the park is only 10 miles from Yellowstone. Grand Teton National Park is the 8th most visited national park in the U.S. We dare you to stare at the magnificent scenery of this national park and not be struck with desire to hop in your car and head out for an epic nature adventure. We love these pics! [60 Photos]

Rainbow Forever, Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park Wyoming

‘Rainbow Forever,’ Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Everywhere you look, this park has stunning scenes, making it easy to understand why in 2011 this was the 8th most visited national park in America. Photo #1 by wallpapers5

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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

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Kaleidoscope of Autumn Colors is Heaven on Earth [46 PICS]

October 7th, 2011 Permalink

There is no doubt that ISS astronauts have enviable and breathtaking views of Earth, but when the fall season transforms foliage into a kaleidoscope of colors–rich hues of reds, yellows, oranges and browns, autumn is heaven as seen on Earth. As fall bursts upon the forests, changing them from green to vivid autumn colors, the tantalizing seasonal change can be seen from space. Yet astronauts may envy us for our beautiful view. Here’s a look autumn as seen from high above Earth, then zooming down to enjoy Indian Summer and the kaleidoscope of autumn colors that make our great planet a bedazzling fall spectacular. [46 Photos]

Autumn Waterfall at Sunset

Waterfall during an autumn sunset. When scenes are as beautiful as this, it makes us want to dive right into the picture to live in that captured moment. Photo #1 by Forest Wander

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