April 11, 2014
Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, near Page Arizona, get more visitors annually than just about any other canyon except the Grand Canyon. They cover only a few miles.
You’re not familiar with Antelope Canyon? You’ve seen the photos, even if you don’t know the name of the place — it’s a slot canyon, carved as with a wandering knife into the sandstone at the top of the cliffs leading to the Colorado River.
Over at EarthSky, I found a view you haven’t seen before.
Details from EarthSky.com:
Sergio Garcia Rill captured this beautiful image from within Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona, which is the most visited slot canyon in the United States. A slot canyon is significantly deeper than it is wide. It’s formed by water rushing through rock. Sergio wrote:
During my recent trip to Arizona, I stopped by Page to get a chance at touring the now famous canyons (Upper and Lower Antelope) and I also had a chance to visit Upper Antelope at night.
I couldn’t really get too many shots with the sky (since the openings were very narrow and limited) but I liked this one in particular since I got a chance to set it up and do the light painting myself a couple of chambers behind from where my guide and another participant were working on another shot.
Thank you, Sergio.
Visit Sergio Garcia Rill’s Facebook page.
Click here for info about traveling to Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon.
Readers here may remember Page was the final destination of my late oldest brother, Jerry. To his credit, he urged me to make a special trip to see Antelope Canyon, because most of the times I visited, it was closed, or impassable. Alas, I have not yet been to the place.
This is one of the gems of the Diné, the Navajo Nation, and another good reason to get familiar with redrock country.
March 29, 2014
Found on Twitter, via @SciencePorn – One of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen. Star photography by Nicholas Buer pic.twitter.com/RlwvSQNBAy. Much larger view here.
Nicholas Buer works hard to get these shots — a bit of a master, no?
This one was the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for January 27, 2014 (click that link for a much larger and more glorious view). Much more detail there, revealing that this is much more of the Milky Way than you’d usually see.
From the Northern to the Southern Cross
Image Credit & Copyright: Nicholas Buer Explanation: There is a road that connects the Northern to the Southern Cross but you have to be at the right place and time to see it. The road, as pictured above, is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy; the right place, in this case, is dark Laguna Cejar in Salar de Atacama of Northern Chile; and the right time was in early October, just after sunset. Many sky wonders were captured then, including the bright Moon, inside the Milky Way arch; Venus, just above the Moon; Saturn and Mercury, just below the Moon; the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds satellite galaxies, on the far left; red airglow near the horizon on the image left; and the lights of small towns at several locations across the horizon. One might guess that composing this 30-image panorama would have been a serene experience, but for that one would have required earplugs to ignore the continued brays of wild donkeys.
March 26, 2014
Caption: USFWS Refuge System @USFWSRefuges – Nene hatchings on James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge are first in [Oahu]
Hawaii in centuries http://bit.ly/1jBxFrT pic.twitter.com/PK2l9PVa3v (this photo taken on Kaui, at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge). Photograph by Brenda Zaun/USFWS/Flickr Creative Commons
These great looking geese, known as Nene, are thought to have descended from Canada geese blown off course
; once they were common on many of the Hawaiian Islands, but by 1952 there were only 30 left.
Bones found on Oahu show they once thrived there. A few birds — blown off course again, or looking for more territory? — moved to Oahu a few months ago, and have raised young. Scientists are watching to see how it works out.
With short name featuring only two different letters, “Nene” is a popular crossword answer, and clue. Some ornithologists half-joke that the familiarity among crossword enthusiasts was a huge aid in getting aid for the wild populations of the bird, and in getting the Endangered Species Act passed into law.
March 21, 2014
From the U.S. Department of Interior: This stunning photo of dusk @ArchesNPS by Jonathan Backin is the perfect way to end the week. #utah #nature pic.twitter.com/5bIanEG8sZ
Delicate Arch, with a dusting of snow, as the sun sets.
A great reason to live in Moab, Utah, or visit there.
March 19, 2014
From Twitter: “Another e.g. pic to show that school transport in Asia needs attention on health & safety aspects pic.twitter.com/Mn2FbSSELX”
Do you think the students have wi-fi to finish their homework on the way to school?
(This is not necessarily representative of all Indian school buses.)
One wonders at the stories behind such “buses” and their use. It might make an interesting geography assignment, to find out how students get to school in other nations. What is the most exotic, bizarre, dangerous or luxurious ride?
March 18, 2014
Another great shot from America’s public lands:
Department of Interior Great American Outdoors Tumblr caption: One of the world’a great natural wonders – the glistening white sands @WhiteSands_NPS. #NewMexico pic.twitter.com/dbzPpIfSRW
One of the problems of touring places like White Sands National Monument is that most tourists arrive mid-day; most spectacular views are probably close to sunrise or sunset, when the sky adds colors other than “bright” to the scene.
Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here.
Yes, the same White Sands where the Trinity Project first triggered an atomic weapon, in 1945 — but the blast site is actually about 100 miles north of the National Monument on the military’s White Sands Missile Range. Historical reasons to visit, as well as nature and beauty reasons.
I assume that’s some sort of yucca in the photo; can you tell more specifically?
March 11, 2014
This is a hopeful picture.
US Dept of Interior Tweet: Beautiful #sunrise over @ShenandoahNPS last weekend. #Virginia #travel #nature pic.twitter.com/T2sEgczGsz
Probably taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway. At the bottom of the photo, note the stone wall, probably built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Franklin Roosevelt administration, and still contributing to America’s beauty and economy 80 years later.
I can imagine driving along, catching a beautiful sunrise, but not being at a point to stop to photograph it. Driving farther along, the photographer found a safe place to stop, but the sunrise itself was gone by 15 minutes. With the aid of a young tree, however, the photographer can recapture that moment of the Sun’s peeking over the horizon, without special effects. Nice thought for the shot.
March 5, 2014
From the U.S. Department of Interior: Friends come in all shapes & sizes in the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. #California #nature pic.twitter.com/CvUkY6HoxF
Watching the wildlife can be endlessly entertaining.
March 4, 2014
Nice photo from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
Caption from the Tumblr of the Department of Interior: Sunset over Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Photo: Austin Leih (www.sharetheexperience.org)
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.
March 1, 2014
Tweet from the Department of Interior: 142 years ago today, @YellowstoneNPS became America’s first national park. RT to wish them a very happy birthday! pic.twitter.com/drka6iq0Tc
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
From National Geographic: Great Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone, the first U.S. national park, erupts every 9 to 15 hours, shooting water up to 220 feet high. Photograph by Michael Melford
February 20, 2014
Lightning strikes in Monument Valley, on the Navajo Reservation, Utah. Photography by Carolyn Slay (Oak Ridge, TN); Monument Valley, UT Feb. 20 2014 Via smithsonianmag.com.
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?
February 8, 2014
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?