南冰洋里的巨鲸 Giants of the Southern Ocean
Southern right whale
The end of September in the Southern Hemisphere means warming weather and the nearing of summer. For southern right whales like this one off the coast of Argentina, this means a transit southward toward Antarctica and rich feeding grounds. Southern right whales are a subspecies of right whale that inhabit the oceans below the equator. They feed on krill at the surface of the water, holding their mouths open as they swim through clouds of the tiny crustaceans.
Right whales got their names because they were the 'right' whale to hunt, desirable to whalers because they were relatively slow and floated when they died. Right whales are easily identifiable by the thick white calluses on their heads. They tend to be social and curious creatures and have been known to have close encounters with humans. They spend winters in warmer waters closer to the equator. The whale featured today surfaced off the Valdes Peninsula, home to the largest breeding population in the world, and a fitting location for the Southern Whale Natural Monument, created in 1984. In these protected waters, thousands of whales will mate and give birth, staying until October or November, when they will begin their great migration south.
一场现代化的重建 A modern recreation
The A.M. Foster covered bridge in Cabot, Vermont
At one point in history, the United States had upwards of 14,000 wooden covered bridges. Most of them were built between 1825 and 1875 to cross a stream or river and were intended to withstand the elements. An uncovered wooden bridge may have a lifespan of only about 20 years while a covered bridge could stand for more than a 100. Even still, they don't fare well without upkeep and restoration costs can be high. Iron replaced wood as the preferred and cheaper bridge-building material in the mid-1800s. These days, fewer than 900 of the original wooden covered bridges are believed to still be standing. Vermont currently has 104 of them, the highest density of remaining covered bridges in the country. The Alonzo Merrill Foster covered bridge seen in today's photo can be found in Cabot, Vermont.
The A.M. Foster bridge, named after the inventor of a type of maple spout, is located on Spaulding Farm. Don't be deceived, the Foster bridge is actually a 1990s replica of a 'farm bridge' that was built in 1890 known as the Orton Bridge. Despite being a replica, the Foster bridge was authentically constructed by hand, in collaboration with Foster's great-grandson, with spruce lumber and salvaged granite. Spanning 45 feet across a man-made pond and literally bridging the gap between two farms, it took less than 6 weeks to complete. Unfortunately, it was found to be too narrow for modern farm equipment, a miscalculation that its constructors found amusing. Still, it works well as a photo opportunity and frequent venue for weddings.
在历史上的某个时期，美国有超过14000座木桥。这些建筑大多建于1825年至1875年之间，用于跨越溪流或河流，旨在抵御恶劣天气。一座无遮盖的木桥可能只有大约20年的寿命，而一座有遮盖的桥可以支撑100多年。即使如此，如果没有维护，它们也不会很好，修复成本可能很高。19世纪中叶，铁取代木材成为首选且更便宜的桥梁建筑材料。这些天来，据信只有不到900座原始的木制覆盖桥梁仍然屹立着。佛蒙特州目前有104座桥，是该国剩余有盖桥梁密度最高的一座。今天照片中的阿隆佐-梅里尔-福斯特（Alonzo Merrill Foster）桥位于佛蒙特州的卡伯特（Cabot）。
水与火相遇的地方 Where fire and water meet
Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
The highest concentration of geysers and hydrothermal springs in the world are located here in this corner of Yellowstone National Park, called the Upper Geyser Basin. They include what is perhaps the most famous geyser of them all: Old Faithful. But the Upper Basin contains many other geysers as well, including the tallest predictable geyser (Grand Geyser) and the most voluminous geyser (Giant Geyser). Yellowstone contains about 300 geysers, about two-thirds the number in the entire world.
Geysers are essentially a rare form of hot spring—a water-filled tube that extends thousands of feet into the Earth's crust, so deep it makes contact with molten rock called magma. The water in the tube boils and under extreme pressure ejects the water column into the air, emptying the tube. After some time, more groundwater seeps into the tube, filling it, and starting the process over again. That's why geysers erupt at somewhat regular intervals. The bigger the tube, the more water, and the longer the eruption. Yellowstone is one of the few places in the world where you can safely walk among so many geysers and superheated springs, and view them close up. Trails and boardwalks guide the way, making the Upper Geyser Basin one of the star attractions of this famous national park.
令人印象深刻的时刻 Time to make an impression
Caribou rutting season in Alaska
It's that time of year when Alaskan caribou are beginning to feel a little frisky. From late September until early November, males will be strutting their stuff, locking antlers with one another, and competing for the attention of females in hopes of furthering the species. Successful males will mate with 15-20 females a season. After the rutting season males will shed their antlers while females keep theirs until spring. In today's photo we're looking at some caribou in southcentral Alaska crossing the Susitna River.
Alaska has 32 distinct caribou herds. It's likely today's caribou are members of the Nelchina herd, which roams across about 20,000 square miles in the high basin surrounded by the Talkeetna, Chugach, Wrangell, and Alaska ranges. The Nelchina herd is among the most studied and recognized of Alaskan caribou partly because their range is relatively close to the major human population centers of the state. The herd has provided food for Alaskans for hundreds of years and its population is maintained through carefully monitored hunting regulations. But caribou populations can fluctuate from one year to the next depending on the availability of food and severity of the weather.
匆匆而逝的河流 The rivers run through us
World Rivers Day
On World Rivers Day, we honor what may be thought of as the queen of them all—the Amazon, which flows more than 4,000 miles mostly through the South American countries of Peru and Brazil. The Amazon discharges a whopping 58 million gallons of fresh water into the ocean every second, enough to fill 83 Olympic-sized swimming pools, far more water than any other river in the world. It accounts for 20% of all fresh water that flows into the world's seas and oceans. It's also the vital heart of the largest and most diverse rain forest in the world—the Amazon Rain Forest is home to a third of the world's animal species and its trees and plants pull billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, making it one of the Earth's best defenses against climate change.
Mark Angelo, a river conservationist from British Columbia, launched World Rivers Day in 2005 to recognize the importance of rivers to the survival of humanity and millions of species all over the world. Rivers are our best source of fresh water, they can be an important energy source, they're the foundations of complex ecosystems, and provide crucial sources of irrigation for our crops, among other contributions to our way of life. Besides, who doesn't love a float down a lazy river?
繁星闪烁的夜晚 Starry, starry night
Acadia National Park, Maine
This striking photo lets us showcase two noteworthy events in one day, at no extra charge. (You’re welcome.) National Public Lands Day is observed on the fourth Saturday in September, and today’s also part of the Acadia Night Sky Festival, which celebrates the starlit skies over Maine’s gem of a national park.
It’s easy to take our national parks for granted. We certainly appreciate them and enjoy visiting, but today’s commemoration reminds us that they also need our help. National Public Lands Day turns the spotlight on parks and other public lands, inviting everyone to explore but also to volunteer to plant trees, work on trail-maintenance projects, and more. As a bonus: Admission is free today at national parks, monuments, and other participating federal sites.
Acadia is one of the smallest of the nation's 63 national parks, though it attracts an impressive 3 million visitors a year. Aside from its natural beauty, Acadia has some of the most spectacular star-filled night skies in the eastern United States. The natural darkness is protected, with restrictions on outdoor lighting in the park and surrounding areas. The Acadia Night Sky Festival, which started on September 21 and continues through tomorrow, celebrates the natural darkness and the celestial star show. A favorite way to mark the occasion is by kayaking in Castine's harbor, where bioluminescent phytoplankton illuminate the water with a swirling, unearthly glow. With sparkling waters below and out-of-this-world stargazing above, it's been called Acadia's 'Floating Planetarium.'
属于秋天的色彩 Fall colors
This thicket of aspen trees is on the Last Dollar Road, an 18-mile scenic drive in southwest Colorado that is as dramatic as its name suggests, with switchbacks and stunning views of peaks and meadows and of course the aspen trees that paint the land come September. Aspens thrive in the cold winters and cool summers of Colorado, where they grow at altitudes between 5,000 to 11,000 feet, typically reaching heights of 50 feet. Their distinct, round leaves quake in the wind making it appear as if the trees are glittering in the sunlight. Aspens generally grow on west-facing slopes, gorging on the afternoon sun. They're among the world's largest living organisms because aspen groves share a single root system. They're also the state's only native deciduous tree and cover about a fifth of its forested land.
这片白杨树灌木丛位于科罗拉多州西南部的Last Dollar Road，这是一条18英里长的风景线，正如它的名字所暗示的那样引人注目，在这里可以看到山峰和草地的转弯和令人叹为观止的美景，当然，到了9月份，白杨树也将为这片土地锦上添花。白杨在科罗拉多州的寒冷冬季和凉爽夏季生长旺盛，在那里它们生长在5000至11000英尺的高度，通常达到50英尺的高度。它们独特的圆形叶子在风中摇曳，使树木在阳光下显得闪闪发光。白杨通常生长在向西的斜坡上，饱食午后的阳光。它们是世界上最大的生物之一，因为白杨树林共享一个单一的根系。它们也是该州唯一的本土落叶树，约占该州林地的五分之一。
一个小而强大的守护者 A small but mighty guardian
Spring Point Ledge Light
Spring Point Ledge Light warns boats approaching Portland Harbor of the hazardous ledge that it's named for. This underwater ridge reaches out into the shipping channel and was the cause of many shipwrecks in the late 19th century when the harbor was one of the busiest on the entire east coast. Built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Spring Point Ledge Light has been a reliable guardian of Casco Bay and Portland Harbor since 1897. The brick and cast-iron lighthouse earned its spot on the National Historic Register in 1988. In May 2022, people celebrated the 125th anniversary of the first time the lamp was lit, back when it guided schooners and hulking steamships safely to shore.