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For more beautiful, and poignant, photographs, please go here :)


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From: Atlas Obscura
The new posters pay homage to the 1930s originals.

America’s national parks have been enthralling visitors for over a century. The very first park to be established was Yellowstone, which was described by Ferdinand Hayden in his 1871 survey as a ”land of wondrous beauty.” There are now 58 national parks around the U.S., covering an astonishingly diverse 84 million acres of land. It’s not hard to understand why some ambitious tourists make the effort to visit every single one of them.

Want to see more lovely lovely posters. Go here.

Also, from Mental Floss_A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John takes a look at some of America's great National Parks!

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I am NOT a wildlife photographer. Going amazing places and having much patience are sort of necessary and neither of those qualities apply well to me. So, consequently, I have much admiration and respect for those photographers who do go to amazing places and who do have the patience to take stunning photos.

From: YouTube Defenders of Wildlife


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A few days ago, our Arizona friends, from left to right --Jason, Joanna skip skip skip, Regina, Todd, and James-- came for their yearly bay area visit with us. Also pictured are our San Jose friends, Jimmy and Cindy, plus my son, Aaron in the middle. Jason, being from Utah, hadn't seen Redwoods so, instead of our usual trek over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the coast, this year we delved into the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Redwoods, hike, hike, hiking up wooded paths and down, lunching along the way.
          The first pic is of Opal Creek which really is opalesque in color. The second is Traditional, the third just strange, the fourth twisted.


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This is one of those where, while the whole talk is engaging, the ending, Mr. Nasser's final words, are particulary poignant and therefore memorable.

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It's time once again for the annual Defenders of Wildlife photography winners!! I hope you'll find this little 2 minute vid as awesome as I have.

From YouTube's Defenders of Wildlife Channel:
Published on Apr 5, 2016
'You all voted, and the winners are here! Take a look at the winning photos from this year's photo contest, plus several honorable mentions that we know you'll love. A big thank you to all who shared their beautiful photos with us.'

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From the Defenders of Wildlife YouTube channel_a 2 & 1/2 minute compilation of beautiful landscapes and beautiful animals.

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Found at, and taken directly from except fr the photo and the illustration, Atlas Obscura
Pando the Trembling Giant

The Trembling Giant, or Pando, is a enormous grove of quaking aspens that takes the “forest as a single organism” metaphor and literalizes it: the grove really is a single organism. Each of the approximately 47,000 or so trees in the grove is genetically identical and all the trees share a single root system. While many trees spread through flowering and sexual reproduction, quaking aspens usually reproduce asexually, by sprouting new trees from the expansive lateral root of the parent. The individual trees aren’t individuals, but stems of a massive single clone, and this clone is truly massive. Spanning 107 acres and weighing 6,615 tons, Pando was once thought to be the world’s largest organism (now usurped by thousand-acre fungal mats in Oregon), and is almost certainly the most massive. In terms of other superlatives, the more optimistic estimates of Pando’s age have it as over one million years old, which would easily make it one of the world’s oldest living organisms.

Unfortunately, the future of the giant appears grim. According to Paul Rogers, an ecologist at Utah State University in a October 2010 article in the Deseret News, the Trembling Giant is in danger. While the mature stems of Pando routinely die from the eternal problems of pests and drought, the regenerative roots of the organism that are responsible for Pando’s resilience are under attack as well. Rogers reported a marked absence of juvenile and young stems to replace the older trunks, blaming overgrazing by deer and elk. Without new growth, to replace the old, the Trembling Giant is vulnerable to a catastrophic, sudden withering and shrinking. Rogers confessed, “It’s slipping away very quickly.”

The quaking aspen is named for its leaves, which stir easily in even a gentle breeze and produce a fluttering sound with only the slightest provocation. The effect of this in Pando, multiplied over the tens of thousands of trees and hundred acres, can be unnerving, giving a real sense of life to the ancient, dying, trembling giant.

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An orangutan in South Carolina has become a surrogate parent for a group of tiger cubs.

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In 2013 more than 100 government-owned chimpanzees, some over fifty years old, in research laboratories started a new life at Chimp Haven sanctuary.
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We've been supporting this organization for probably a decade and a half and, since we are continually so proud of the quality of work they do, I just thought I'd give them a little shout-out for the battles they've won on behalf of wildlife in 2014. May they be as successful in 2015!!!

gaeln9796: (icon holiday_tree) the top of my journal so I get to go 'awwww' or 'oooo' everytime I vist, but with this one, I needed to share it more obviously. I mean, seriously, how gorgeous is this creature in its environment?!!?

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Jimmy's backyard garden!!!

June09_2014_Monday_Jimmy's gardenGlass_gems--original_1024x1024
Jimmy and his dad, Tim, made a raised bed and installed a drip system during winter break last December. Jimmy then planted his seeds in wee pots and took them back with him to UC Santa Cruz where he nursed them for a couple of months or so before bringing them back home to plant, as I recall, during spring break. The above photo is the garden's May appearance.
     The corn is called jewel corn and will look like the picture to the right that I snagged off of the internet. I found out about this particular corn about three years ago and sent Jimmy a link to their site, but because of demand, he didn't receive the seeds he had order for nearly two years. Timing them properly for planting, getting the raised bed done etc, took another year.
June_4 June_2
The following photos were taken a month after the establishment-shot photo above so, in June.
There are tufts so, YAY!!! In the second photo, I tried to capture the movement of the corn brought on a very nice breeze.
June_1 June_3
The sunflowers had aged quite a bit from May until June, which is a little sad because they looked their best while Jimmy was still at school. This is how they looked by the time he got home.
Marigolds, I think with a little flag.


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