Wherever it can, life blossoms

July 5, 2019

Oops. Misattributed, misidentified photo. Turns out this is really from the Atacama Desert in South America. Point still stands, but I got hoaxed on the identification of the photo.

Even just in cracks in the desert clay.

Near Hanksville, Utah. Alt National Park and Forest Service photo. Atacama Desert, South America.

Desert Bloom near the MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station), Hanksville, Utah. Alt National Park and Forest Service photo, by Emily (@ienjoyhiking)

Hmmm. Too far south, too dry an area for me to recognize the species right off the bat. Anyone got suggestions?

See: www.facebook.com/AltNPFS/photos/a.827680717399205/1281923281974944


Best show on God’s Earth, free!

January 13, 2018

Tourists in Arches National Park, in Utah. Arches is one of five National Parks in Utah.

Tourists in Arches National Park. Arches is one of five National Parks in Utah.

Utah.com lists the days in the coming year when entry to National Parks is free. Utah.com is a promotional site for Utah, where several National Parks are big tourist draws — so they have a bias.

It’s a good bias!

Alas, only four days so far:

FREE National Park Entrance Days 2018

January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

April 1: First day of National Parks Week

September 22: National Public Lands Day

November 11: Veterans Day weekend

Four free days to  split among five National Parks in Utah: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef. National Monuments are probably included in the free admission days, so you can add Timpanogos Cave, Rainbow Bridge, Dinosaur, Promontory Point and others.

There’s a lot to see in Utah’s mountains and redrock country — and that doesn’t include the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Flats.


Milky Way at the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument

November 7, 2017

Interior’s great photographer Bob Wick is at it again, this time in Colorado:

Archaeological site at Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

Archaeological site at Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

This photo is featured in a story from the National Park Service about celebrating Native American Heritage month, which is November.


Clouds flow like water at Grand Canyon

July 17, 2017

Screen capture from the film, "Kaibab Elegy," by filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović, in Grand Canyon National Park.

Screen capture from the film, “Kaibab Elegy,” by filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović, in Grand Canyon National Park.

It’s beautiful, and it’s a reminder that Earth’s atmosphere is a giant pool of fluids, stuff flowing all the time.

It’s another Gavin Heffernan film, joined this time by Harun Mehmedinović.

MNN, the Mother Nature Network, alerted MFB to the film, and said:

The creators of “SKYGLOW,” a crowd-funded project showing the impact of urban light pollution through time-lapse videos, photos and a book, have another stunning video to share. In “Kaibab Elegy,” filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović visit Grand Canyon National Park and capture a rare weather event.

In the mesmerizing video, clouds build inside the canyon almost like bubbling water filling a jacuzzi as the sun rises and sets in the background, creating the pinkest sky you’ve ever seen. Those clouds roll like waves in the ocean and crash against the cliffs. This phenomenon is called full cloud inversion, and it happens when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, which combines with moisture and condensation.

“We were extremely lucky to be there to capture it, and it’s a collection of unique footage not found anywhere else,” Mehmedinović says.

He and Heffernan, who journeyed 150,000 miles around the globe for their new book and video series, work with the International Dark-Sky Association, a nonprofit fighting to preserve the dark skies around the world.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Mother Nature Network’s Twitter feed.

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Milky Way and the Snake River Canyon

December 10, 2016

Near where I first saw the Milky Way, on my Snake River.

#DYK 800 pairs of #hawks, #owls, #eagles & #falcons come each spring to mate & raise young in Snake River canyon. http://bit.ly/2d4Zz6O

BLM Idaho on Twitter: #DYK 800 pairs of #hawks, #owls, #eagles & #falcons come each spring to mate & raise young in Snake River canyon. http://bit.ly/2d4Zz6O

The photo is by Bob Wick, the great public lands photographer whose work highlights BLM and other public lands sights.

On Instagram there is more information:

mypubliclandsHappy Friday from BLM Idaho! On day five of our @mypubliclands Instagram takeover we are soaring over to Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

The deep canyon of the Snake River, with its crags and crevices and thermal updrafts, is home to the greatest concentration of nesting birds of prey in North America – and perhaps, the world. The BLM’s mission here is to preserve this remarkable wildlife habitat, while providing for other compatible uses of the land. Some 800 pairs of hawks, owls, eagles and falcons come each spring to mate and raise their young. The area truly exemplifies “nature in the rough,” with few public facilities. However, the birds and their unique environment offer rich rewards to those willing to experience this special place on its own terms and who have patience to fit into the natural rhythms of life here. Photo: Bob Wick

Get outside this year and visit BLM.gov to #GetAFreshLook of your public lands! Follow BLM Idaho on Facebook and Twitter @BLMIdaho.

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Milky Way over the Vermilion Cliffs

November 30, 2016

Oh, there’s a little technical wizardry involved in this one, stitching it together.

But, wow!

White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. Brilliant photography and stitching by Dave Lane Astrohotography, via the U.S. Department of Interior.

White Pocket in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. Brilliant photography and stitching by Dave Lane Astrophotography, via the U.S. Department of Interior.

A more full description from Interior’s Facebook page:

Located in a remote and unspoiled part of northern Arizona, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a geologic treasure. For those who can’t get a permit to places like The Wave, White Pocket is an equally stunning place to explore — day or night. Pictured here, the area’s unusual rock formation is crowned by the Milky Way with Saturn, Mars and the Rho Ophiuchus region all visible. Multi-image photo (42 images stitched together in a 6 x 7 matrix) courtesy of David Lane (Dave Lane Astrophotography).

Dave Lane’s work amazes, doesn’t it?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathryn Knowles.

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Park Avenue Trail, Arches National Park – splendidly divine

April 6, 2016

Park Avenue Trail in Arches National Park, Bud Walley photo, Department of Interior image

From Interior’s Facebook feed: The massive sandstone monoliths along Park Avenue Trail at Arches National Park in Utah have imaginative and descriptive names. You won’t regret this easy one-mile hike. Where else can you walk in the shadows of the Tower of Babel, the Organ, the Three Gossips and Sheep Rock? Photo by Bud Walley (www.sharetheexperience.org). — at Arches National Park.

And a reminder that Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee and Texas’s Sen. Ted Cruz think this land should be developed. Want a condo on that cliff?

I’d prefer to hike it. I’d prefer to know it’s there, available for hiking without development, even when I can’t hike it.

It’s your public land. You get to use it, undeveloped, or you don’t get to use it if the land is developed. We still have a voice, and time to speak.


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