这些雪永远不会融化 This snow will never melt
White Desert National Park, Egypt
Snow, in the desert? Not quite. Today we're in Egypt's White Desert, which gets its colorful name from an abundance of chalk, limestone, and quartz rock formations that give the sand its special hue. Tourists flock to this place to see these naturally occurring structures, honed over thousands of years into unique shapes through a process known as 'differential weathering.' Located about five hours to the southwest of Cairo, White Desert National Park is a lot more than just deteriorating rocks—it's also a protected refuge for several endangered animal species.
Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy
Gran Paradiso National Park is an Italian national park in the Graian Alps, between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions. The park is named after Gran Paradiso mountain, which is located in the park; it is contiguous with the French Vanoise National Park.
The Gran Paradiso is also rich in rivers, waterfalls and of course lakes, like those portrayed in the photo. Agnel and Serrù are actually two artificial basins that feed various hydroelectric plants, famous above all for having served as the setting for the final scene of the 1969 film The Italian Job.
Virgin River in Zion National Park
Our photo brings us to a 16-mile stretch of the Virgin River where it cuts a spectacular thousand-foot-deep gorge through the upper reaches of Utah's Zion Canyon. Flowing through Zion National Park (which turns 103 today!), the Virgin River is home to unique plants and animals that aren't found anywhere else, due to the unique intersection of biomes found where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert all meet. Without the water of the Virgin River system, creatures like the woundfin minnow, one of rarest species on the planet, couldn't exist.
恶地国家公园的一场闪电？ A Bad Lightning?
Badlands National Park
Forty-four years ago today, a rugged, inhospitable area of South Dakota was designated a national park to protect the many fossils found on the land. The area had an 11,000-year previous history as hunting grounds for Native Americans. In fact, the name we know it by today, Badlands, comes from the Lakota phrase 'mako sica,' which literally translates to 'bad lands.' Covering nearly 380 square miles, its harshly eroded rock formations make it one of the most distinct landscapes in the United States.
And it's still forming! The National Park Service says the Badlands erode about an inch every year, which is awfully fast as erosion goes. Scientists estimate that within the next half million years, the Badlands will have eroded away completely. Might want to start planning your visit soon.
令人惊叹的后花园 Amazing backyard
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades is one of three national parks in Washington state (the others are Olympic and Mount Rainier). North Cascades is also the state's newest national park, created in 1968. It is perhaps the most rugged park in the lower 48 states, containing more than 500,000 acres of steep mountain peaks, vast forests, as well as the headwaters of many waterways. It boasts the most expansive system of glaciers in the US outside of Alaska. Most of the park is protected as wilderness so there are few roads, structures, or signs of human impact. It is relatively isolated even though it's within 100 miles (as the crow flies) from the metropolises of Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. This proximity of wilderness to human development reminds us why we created the NPS, to preserve some of the nation's most special places in their natural state.
沙漠中的匕首？ Desert daggers?
Joshua Tree National Park
These immensely photogenic and relatable trees, their shaggy, sinewy limbs thrust upward into the pale light of the desert sky, are the main reason people come here to California's Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree was declared a national monument on August 10, 1936, before being designated a national park in 1994. Perhaps no other national park is so completely defined by a single feature, be it a plant or wildlife or natural formation. While Joshua Tree National Park contains other wonders, this tree that looks drawn by Dr. Seuss is what visitors come to celebrate.
The park (and the town of the same name) could also be called the hippest national park in the country, owing to its proximity to Los Angeles, and the Insta-worthy, charismatic flora that have helped make JT a darling on social media. Van lifers, artists, celebrities, and other creative bohemians have fueled a boom in tourism, not just to the park itself, but to the surrounding towns, like Pioneertown. The kitschy outpost served as an old Hollywood set and is now a center of nightlife in the area. Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace serves artisanal cocktails with its barbecue and features live music, sometimes from the likes of Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, and Patti Smith. And if you can't find an elderflower martini in Joshua Tree, then Palm Springs and Indio and Coachella are a short drive away, something Yellowstone and Yosemite can't claim.
But for those going purely for the nature—the hikers, rock climbers, campers, and stargazers—the 1,200-square-mile park is no less a marvel. Two deserts, the high-elevation Mojave and the low-elevation Colorado, merge here, each with its own ecosystem. The Joshua tree itself grows only on the Mojave side, at elevations between 1,300 and 5,900 feet. Most of the world's Joshua trees are found here. A variety of yucca, Joshua trees live to be 500 and 1,000 years old with roots as deep as 35 feet. Most believe their name was first concocted by Mormon pioneers who likened their branches to the oustretched arms of the biblical Joshua. It proved catchier than its botanical name, Yucca brevifolia. And as any influencer worth their followers will tell you, it makes for a much more memorable hashtag.
这个公园（和同名的小镇）也可以被称为美国最时髦的国家公园，因为它靠近洛杉矶，以及有魅力的植物群，使JT成为社交媒体上的宠儿。范利弗、艺术家、名人和其他富有创意的波西米亚人推动了旅游业的繁荣，不仅是公园本身，还有周边城镇，如先锋镇。这个俗气的前哨站曾经是好莱坞的老片场，现在是该地区的夜生活中心。Pappy&Harriet的先锋城宫殿提供手工鸡尾酒和烧烤，并配有现场音乐，有时来自保罗·麦卡特尼（Paul McCartney）、罗伯特·普兰特（Robert Plant）和帕蒂·史密斯（Patti Smith）。如果你在约书亚树上找不到接骨木花马提尼酒，那幺棕榈泉、Indio和Coachella就在很短的车程之外，这是黄石公园和约塞米蒂不能宣称的。
被人类遗忘的森林 Our forgotten forests
Mangrove Conservation Day
Although we think of forests as trees on land, some of the most important trees grow in water, or more precisely marshland. Mangrove forests, like this one in Saloum Delta National Park in Senegal, are vital components of the world's coastal ecosystems. Mangroves survive where no other trees can, in salty, low-oxygen coastal waters exposed to tides and storms. They grow up to 30 feet high primarily in tropical and subtropical regions and are able to store vast amounts of carbon, making them crucial to moderating our climate. Mangroves also act as nurseries for fish and aquatic life. And with their complex interwoven root system, they protect coastlines from erosion. Today we join the UN in shining a light on the necessity and fragility of mangroves: July 26 is the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.
The Saloum Delta is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a sterling example of the biodiversity of marshlands. These shallow, brackish channels contain about 200 islands and islets and support all kinds of marine life and birds. Dolphins and caimans swim in its creeks. Monkeys, warthogs, buffaloes, rhinos, and giraffes roam the savanna farther inland. The park biosphere includes salt flats, estuaries, and of course mangrove forests. Humans have also long inhabited this delta, fishing its waters and cultivating shellfish from giant mounds. For as long as 2,500 years, people have flourished off the bounty of this delta, a bounty made possible by the sturdy mangrove, the bedrock for these marshes, and the keepers of our coastlines.
地球之肺 The lungs of Earth
World Rainforest Day
Perhaps no other place on Earth plays a more crucial role in sustaining life as we know it than the Amazon rainforest, the largest in the world. The Amazon spans nine countries in South America including Ecuador, where this pristine ecoregion is protected by the Yasuní National Park, shown here. Today is set aside as World Rainforest Day, to remember the vital role of this and other rainforests and to champion efforts to protect them. The world's rainforests are under threat like never before from deforestation driven by agriculture and cattle ranching. Some studies have indicated humans have degraded or destroyed more than half of the world's rainforests. Fewer trees mean warmer temperatures, which increases the risk of drought and wildfire and compounds the damage of deforestation.
The Amazon has been called the lungs of the planet because the estimated 390 billion trees here convert much of the oxygen humans and other animals need to survive. The Amazon also cools our planet by capturing and storing carbon. It is as much the planet's air conditioner as it is its lungs. For that reason, the health of rainforests is crucial to arresting climate change.
The other gift of rainforests, and of the Amazon in particular, is biodiversity. The number of species of plants, animals, and insects in the Amazon is not in the thousands, but in the millions. Scientists estimate half of the planet's biodiversity exists in the Amazon. In fact, many of our modern pharmaceuticals are derived from Amazon plants. That makes the Amazon not just the Earth's lungs and air conditioning, but also its medicine cabinet.