Watching the wildlife can be endlessly entertaining.
Nice photo from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
Beautiful place, nice photographic capture.
Then I look, and I see a lot of necrotic tree tops. Acid Rain? Warming? Pine borers or some other insect?
Sometimes, Mark Twain’s lament is right. Sometimes you know too much to just sit back in awe. Feynman was right, too.
- “Winter’s freeze stopped ash borers and stink bugs cold, but they’re primed for a comeback,” Washington Post
- “All the dead trees,” William Britten Photography
- Hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive species, National Park Service
Ken Burns called the National Parks probably the best idea America has had.
Certainly a great idea — really born on this day, 142 years ago, with the designation of Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone NP contains the world’s largest collection of geysers. It is the heart of the largest, nearly-intact temperate zone ecosystem on Earth as well, contained in 3,468 square miles (8,983 km²), a laboratory and playground for geologists, geographers, botanists, zoologists, and almost anyone else who loves the nature and the wild.
Only 142 years old? In the U.S., we have more than 300 units in the National Park System, now, including National Historic Places as well as the best of the wild. Around the world, how much land has been saved, for the benefit of humanity, by this idea? Not enough.
What’s your favorite memory of Yellowstone? What’s your favorite feature?
- Note at Indian Country Today media network, on the troubled history, too
- Disease-free Yellowstone bison okayed to start wild herds in other places, Christian Science Monitor
- “Its up, up and away for ancient trapped helium at Yellowstone National Park,” Los Angeles Times
- Yellowstone recruiting for 2014 Youth Conservation Corps
- “The wonders of wolf-watching in Yellowstone National Park,” Washington Post
- “Yellowstone: The great American family vacation,” at Experiential Passage
- Ferdinand Hayden’s geological survey, at Now We Know ‘Em
- “Why we love America’s National Parks,” at Passport To Your National Parks® Blog
- “Hitching a ride” and “Winter Walk” at Fiordiliso Photography
- “Wolf as ecosystem engineer,” at 9 Fox Tales
Lightning strike in Monument Valley, photo by Carolyn Slay of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Smithsonian Magazine Tumblr Photo of the Day, February 20, 2014.
Rocks on the right can also be seen in this photo; can you help pinpoint the location of the photographer, and names of any of the other formations?
Reader and veteran librarian Judy Crook sent a Tweet alerting us to a recent release from the U.S. National Archives, “A Welcome to Britain, 1943.”
It’s a fascinating little film, if 38 minutes is still “little.”
Yes, that’s Burgess Meredith playing the soldier. I haven’t confirmed whether he was actually enlisted, but he often played soldiers or people at war — in 1945, playing war reporter Ernie Pyle, for example. In the 1950s, the House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) claimed Meredith had consorted too closely with communists, and he was blacklisted for years including a seven-year drought of work.
When this film was made, the Soviet Union was an ally of Britain and the United States. How times change.
This is a training film made by the War Department (later renamed “Defense Department”), to acquaint U.S. soldiers with what they would confront in Britain. Why did soldiers need such training? You can guess, perhaps. 258
Teachers, can you use this film in history class? Is the discussion on civil rights,
about 20 minutes at 25:30 in, instructive in the history of the time?
From the National Archives’s description on YouTube:
Published on Feb 5, 2014
Creator(s): Department of Defense.~. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. (1954 – ) (Most Recent)
Series : Information and Education Films, compiled 1943 – 1969
Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1921 – 2008
Access Restriction(s): Unrestricted
Use Restriction(s): Restricted – Possibly
Note: Some or all of this material may be restricted by copyright or other intellectual property restrictions.
Scope & Content: This film introduced soldiers to Britain and told them what to expect, how to behave and how not to behave in Britain during World War II. It includes footage of military cameramen and black soldiers.
Contact(s): National Archives at College Park – Motion Pictures (RD-DC-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone: [omitted here]
National Archives Identifier: 7460305
Local Identifier: 330-IEF-7
What else hides in the vaults of the Archives?
Wrangell-St. Elias is our largest National Park? At 20,587 square miles, it’s about 80% as large as West Virginia, and larger than nine other states.
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States national park and national preserve managed by the National Park Service in south central Alaska. The park and preserve was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. This protected area is included in an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of the Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park and preserve form the largest area managed by the National Park Service in the United States by area with a total of 13,175,799 acres (20,587.19 sq mi; 53,320.57 km2). The park includes a large portion of the Saint Elias Mountains, which include most of the highest peaks in the United States and Canada, yet are within 10 miles (16 km) of tidewater, one of the highest reliefs in the world. Wrangell-St. Elias borders on Canada’s Kluane National Park and Reserve to the east and approaches the U.S. Glacier Bay National Park to the south. The chief distinction between park and preserve lands is that sport hunting is prohibited in the park and permitted in the preserve. In addition, 9,078,675 acres (3,674,009 ha) of the park are designated as the largest single wilderness in the United States.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument was initially designated on December 1, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter using the Antiquities Act, pending final legislation to resolve the allotment of public lands in Alaska. Establishment as a national park and preserve followed the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. The park, which is bigger than the nation of Switzerland, has long, extremely cold winters and a short summer season. It supports a variety of large mammals in an environment defined by relative land elevation. Plate tectonics are responsible for the uplift of the mountain ranges that cross the park. The park’s extreme high point is Mount St. Elias at 18,008 feet (5,489 m), the second tallest mountain in both the United States and Canada. The park has been shaped by the competing forces of volcanism and glaciation. Mount Wrangell is an active volcano, one of several volcanoes in the western Wrangell Mountains. In the St. Elias Range Mount Churchill has erupted explosively within the past 2000 years. The park’s glacial features include Malaspina Glacier, the largest piedmont glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, and Nabesna Glacier, the world’s longest valley glacier. The Bagley Icefield covers much of the park’s interior, which includes 60% of the permanently ice-covered terrain in Alaska. At the center of the park, the boomtown of Kennecott exploited one of the world’s richest deposits of copper from 1903 to 1938, exposed by and in part incorporated into Kennicott Glacier. The mine buildings and mills, now abandoned, compose a National Historic Landmark district.
- National Park Service website for the Park and Preserve (at time of publication, comments are open on the compendium, the management plan)
- Plan Your Visit site
- National Geographic Society gateway to information about the park
This one NOT taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, though I suspect a telephoto lens was involved.
It’s a rising Moon, with the photo taken from the west side of the Lincoln Memorial, perhaps from the Virginia side of the Potomac River. The Lincoln Memorial is now part of the National Park Service’s portfolio of properties around our national capital.
Update: Jude Crook points out in comments (below) that this was a NASA Photo of the Day, originally; two federal agencies cooperating in the interest of photographic excellence . . .
The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, Saturday, March 19, 2011, in Washington. The full moon tonight is called a super perigee moon since it is at its closest to Earth in 2011. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March 1993.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
A long exposure, you can tell by the airplane streaks near the horizon. Walking that fine photography edge of long enough to get the exposure, but short enough not to distort the stars too much.
Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see Joshua Tree National Park for yourself!
Photo: Sarah Chah (www.sharetheexperience.org)
And from what was this shot, if it’s a photo?
With everyone else,
But I wonder what brain bending goes on in this image. From Fascinating Pics:
What do you think? Painting? Photo? Manipulated photo?
Update: J.A. Higginbotham tracked down the original Flickr photo, by a Coolbiere. Nikon D-800, 70-200 zoom telephoto, at 122mm; claims to have taken it from Mount Parnasse. Luck and preparedness. Wow.
I was born on the Snake River, farther south and west, in Burley, Idaho. It’s a grand river, not so much in the water it moves as the way it moves through the landscape and becomes a part of grander parts of the American west. Kathryn and I honeymooned in Yellowstone, and stayed in Grand Teton on the way out.
There is nothing grander on Earth than a sunrise in the Tetons. Do you think a grizzly appreciates that?
Yeah, gotta get back there.
Here’s why, another video from the good people at Yosemite National Park:
Any of the National Parks is special, in winter. What is your snow and cold experience in them?
It’s an interesting town, Dinosaur, Colorado 81610. It’s on the south side of US Highway 40, a very short distance east of the Utah border.
The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town’s proximity to Dinosaur National Monument. The monument headquarters is located just east of the town on U.S. Highway 40.
It’s a setup, a straight line waiting for a good comedian.
Brian Switek, the science writer now based in Salt Lake City, suggests one area ripe for comedy:
Wait. What? Dinosaur Baptist Church?
Brian Tweeted that he wasn’t looking to ridicule, but: “I just imagined thyreophorans, maniraptorans, sauropodomorphs, and their ilk in the congregation.”
That might produce even more comedic situations.
It’s a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated congregation. Aren’t you curious how Sunday school goes for dinosaur-crazy kids in such a church, in such a town?
Signs of life, signs of the times, signs of something!
From a different angle, one can see that the church is just a couple of blocks off of Stegosaurus Freeway. Wow.
Still, it’s fun to imagine a nice, small town church, with dinosaurs in the back pews singing along. (Instead, Chris Clarke suggested, they are hiding in the Rocks of Ages . . .)
- Groups Push to Find Industry-Outdoors Balance in Dinosaur, CO (publicnewsservice.org)
- Dinosaur National Monument (mysoul dothdelight.wordpress.com)
- Signs: “Church” Warning signs? (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- More good stuff from Chris Clarke, here at Coyote Crossing