December 30, 2013
I love the poetic descriptions, from geologists!
From Yosemite National Park’s “Nature Notes”:
Uploaded on Dec 7, 2009
Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America, and is a powerful presence in Yosemite Valley. From winter ice to spring flood to autumn dryness, this magnificent waterfall is a dynamic force of nature.
There’s even a resurrection story for the falls. Maybe Emily Dickinson was on to something about finding religion in nature.
National Park Service photo of Upper Yosemite Falls
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club , on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park in 1903. In the background: Upper and lower Yosemite Falls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
October 10, 2012
Additional CO2 and warmer weather will help plants, the climate change denialists say. That’s not what we see, however. Turns out CO2 helps weeds, and warmer weather helps destructive species, more than it helps the stuff we need and want in the wild.
For example, the white-bark pine, Pinus albicaulis:
From American Forests:
With increasingly warm winters at high elevations in the West, a predator that has stalked forests for decades has gained the upper hand. It is mountain pine blister rust, an invasive fungus. Combined with mountain pine beetles, which kill hundreds of thousands of trees per year in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), the environmental health of the Rocky Mountains and neighboring regions is in danger. To make matters worse, the species most susceptible to these two threats, the whitebark pine, is also the most vital to ecosystem stability, essential to the survival of more than 190 plant and animal species in Yellowstone alone.
First debuted at SXSW Eco, this video tells the story of our endangered western forests and how American Forests and the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee are working toward their restoration and protection for future generations.
Learn more: http://www.americanforests.org/what-we-do/endangered-western-forests/
Whitebark Pine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whitebark Pine, cones and needle cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whitebark pine’s distinctive, almost-black cone. (Photo: Wikipedia)
October 5, 2012
No, this is not an archives photo — it’s autumn, in Glacier National Park. Photo from sometime in the past week.
View from Wild Goose Island Overlook in Glacier National Park; NPS photo
From the Interior Department Tumblr, America’s Great Outdoors:
The popular overlook at Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park has a different look this week with fresh snow on the trees and mountains. Fall has definitely arrived!
When I was in Glacier N.P., there was a lot of this stuff at higher elevations. I don’t recall seeing it anywhere else. An odd plant. “Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. Original caption: In addition to a host of various wildflowers, Beargrass, a lily native to Glacier, blooms in abundance along the Iceberg Lake trail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)”