拥有6000年历史的大森林 A large forest with 6,000 of years of history
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Today we're paying a visit to an 'elder statesman' of the United States' national forests. Seen in today's photo is Panther Creek Falls at Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state. Officially, the forest was named in 1949 in honor of Pinchot, the first head of the US Forest Service. Located between Mount St. Helens to the west and Mount Adams to the east, the land was set aside as a place worth preserving as far back as 1897. But people had been living in the forest for more than 6,000 years. Archaeologists continue to make discoveries within the dense forest that teach us about the past lives of Native Americans.
Spanning 1.3 million acres, GPNF exhibits an array of natural wonders: forests, wildlife, mountains, and numerous rivers and lakes that offer excellent fishing. Goose Lake is said to be the best fishing hole in the state. The forest is known as a native habitat for several threatened species, like the spotted owl, bull trout, and chinook salmon. One of the largest known Ponderosa pines in the world rose 202 feet at the base of Mount Adams before its death in 2015. The grounds also include the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, established in 1982.
普韦布洛城堡 Castle of the Ancestral Puebloans
Square Tower House in Mesa Verde National Park
We continue our celebration of National Park Week (through April 24)–and the UNESCO International Day for Monuments and Sites–with a visit to the impressive Square Tower House in Mesa Verde National Park. Square Tower House is one of many cliff dwellings constructed by the Ancestral Puebloans in what is now the American Southwest. At 27 feet, it's the tallest structure in the park. Square Tower House is also notable for its kiva, a round, sunken room used for ceremonies. Unlike most of the ancient kivas found in the region, the kiva at Square Tower House has an intact original clay roof supported by wooden beams.
Ancestral Puebloans lived in today's Four Corners region, where the borders of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet at a single point. It's unclear when exactly this culture emerged, but the current consensus is that the Ancestral Puebloans appeared in this area a little more than 3,000 years ago. They're believed to have built the series of cliff dwellings for defensive reasons as various factions competed for scarce resources when the region suffered from a prolonged drought. It's thought that the changing climate eventually became so severe that it likely drove them from the cliff dwellings sometime around 1300 CE, just a century or so after construction began. Today, many of the cliff dwellings have been restored and visitors can view the homes and kivas of the builders.
“美国最好的想法”起源于此 'America's best idea' began here
National Park Week begins
Only a very small percentage of Yellowstone's total visitors see the park when it looks like this. In winter, when the park grows quiet, its hydrothermal features really stand out, like the rainbow-hued Grand Prismatic Spring near the center of this image, the most photographed feature in Yellowstone.
Just the inspiration we need as we start National Park Week, an occasion to celebrate the splendor of our park system and turn to thoughts of hiking, paddling, and camping. The 'Week' is actually a bit longer, starting today and running through Sunday, April 24. Yellowstone was established by congress 150 years ago as the nation's first national park. Today, there are 63, and they include the volcanoes of Hawaii, the giant sequoias of California, the Grand Canyon, and the desolate moonscape of the Badlands.
Perhaps no national park better captures the American landscape than Yellowstone, 3,500 square miles of lakes, canyons, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, and its charismatic megafauna—bison, wolves, elk, and grizzly bears. But it's Yellowstone's hydrothermal sites that really set it apart. Old Faithful might be the most famous, but it's only one of 10,000 around here. Although the park is still chilly in April, you'll have the place mostly to yourselves. Only about 44,000 visit Yellowstone in April, compared to the nearly 1 million who gather each July. If you need more incentive, entrance fees today, in honor of National Park Week, are on the house.
打卡马蹄湾会带来好运吗？ Does this horseshoe bring good luck?
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Grab your boots and gear, today we're heading to Arizona to hike out to Horseshoe Bend. Known as the 'east rim of the Grand Canyon,' it's actually about 140 miles from the other rims and is really more a part of nearby Glen Canyon. Scientifically, the beautiful view exists thanks to something called an 'entrenched meander.' Around six million years ago, the area was closer to sea level. The Colorado River, following the path of least resistance, meandered and became trapped when the Colorado Plateau uplifted around five million years ago. Over time, the river water cut through exposed sandstone, forming the thousand-foot-deep, 270-degree horseshoe-shaped bend.
Horseshoe Bend used to be a locally loved gem until social media came around to spread photos like this one. Now, nearly two million tourists a year hike to this national splendor. It's believed that, eventually, the Colorado River will cut through the neck of the bend. So, if you want your selfie with the horseshoe, you only have another million years, give or take.
与光同行 Go with the glow
Light show at the skatepark
The art of light painting combines with the artistry of skateboarding to bring you this provocative image from Arvada Skatepark in Colorado. At 40,000 square feet, the park, which opened in 2012, is the third-largest in the country. The massive park includes a snake run, large bowl, medium bowl, street plaza with manual pads, banks, granite pieces, ledges, rails, step ups, stair set, benches, Jersey barrier, brick stamped china bank, and a pyramid. And if you know what all those things are, you're probably a steezy sk8r.
This image was created using a technique called 'light painting,' a photographic technique that involves moving a light source while taking a long-exposure photograph. In this way, the artist can 'draw' with light on the photo. How would you imagine the artist created this image?
什么是地球上最珍贵的资源？ Earth's most precious resource?
World Water Day
You can almost hear the crash and feel the spray of this pristine cluster of waterfalls in southern Idaho. Could there be a better place to celebrate World Water Day? Since 1993, the UN has dedicated March 22 to advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources and bring attention to topics relevant to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Each year has emphasized a different aspect of this critical resource, with themes like 'Valuing Water,' 'Water and Climate Change,' 'Water and Jobs,' and 'Why Waste Water?' This year's theme is 'Groundwater—Making the Invisible Visible.'
Groundwater surfaces in spectacular fashion here at Thousand Springs State Park, located in a beautiful corner of Idaho—the aptly named Magic Valley. The springs here are fed by the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, one of the largest aquifers in the United States, about the size of Lake Erie. The groundwater in the aquifer travels from its source just 1 to 10 feet per day and can take 150 to 250 years to flow into Thousand Springs and the Snake River.
城市网格传递了这一天象 The city grid delivers this celestial phenomenon
During the fall and spring equinox, the celestial phenomenon known as Chicagohenge occurs when the sun rises or sets directly between the buildings lining Chicago's west- and east-facing streets. The city's almost perfectly aligned grid is responsible for the event.
During the equinox, the northern and southern hemispheres receive an equal amount of sunlight, and the sun rises and sets directly to the east and west. As it happens, Chicago's grid is aligned with the cardinal directions on a compass, a handy fact to know anytime you're walking in the city.
It might be easy to lose touch with the natural cycles of the planet when you live in a concrete jungle, but at least twice a year, Chicagohenge reminds city dwellers exactly where this third rock from the sun is spinning.
有四叶草吗？ Any with four leaves?
St. Patrick's Day
Ireland has been called the land of '40 shades of green,' but this green leprechaun's-eye view comes from the feet of California's giant sequoias. Today we celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who famously never traveled to California. St. Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock, which he purportedly used to spread Christianity in Ireland by saying the leaves illustrated the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Holy Trinity. Never mind that Celtic druids had revered the sacred shamrock and its three leaves long before Patrick's arrival. Coins depicting St. Patrick with a shamrock date back as far as 1675.
Legends of St. Patrick abound. For example, he's said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland, but most experts would suggest it was the cool, damp weather that kept the serpents from ever arriving there in the first place. Tradition has it that he died on March 17 of the year 461 CE, and one can only assume that a year later the first green beer was served.
Whether you find yourself in Dublin, the California coast, or any point in between today, we leave you with a traditional Irish toast: 'May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.'
全年均可在此畅游 You can take a refreshing dip here any day of the year
Juniper Springs, Florida
Yes, the water here is as inviting as it looks: clear as glass, the shade of a precious gem, and a perfect 73 degrees every day of the year. Set within a subtropical forest, it is a veritable Garden of Eden. Long before Disney arrived in the Sunshine State, natural springs like this one were what visitors flocked to. Juniper Springs, seen here, is one of Florida's oldest and best-known recreation areas, established in the 1930s as a place to camp, hike, paddle, and, of course, swim.
Florida is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, with more than 1,000 of them scattered mostly across the upper part of the state, where the massive Floridan aquifer breaks through the surface. This underground reservoir hides beneath the entire state and parts of neighboring states. Under constant pressure, the water sometimes reaches voids in the surface, and a spring is created. This aquifer provides Florida with almost all its drinking water.
Like so many of our natural resources, Florida's springs are under threat. Overextraction and pollution from fertilizers and septic systems have put some springs in peril. Luckily for anyone visiting Juniper Springs, these jewel-toned waters are protected by the Ocala National Forest, so it's likely to look like this for a long time.
123岁生日快乐！ Happy 123rd birthday
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is the crown jewel of its namesake national park, designated March 2, 1899, by President William McKinley. It was just the fifth national park in the United States. Beyond the mountain, the 369-square-mile park also includes valleys, waterfalls, old-growth forests, and pristine alpine meadows famous for summer wildflowers.
Rainier is considered the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US. Native Americans named it Tahoma, which translates to mother of waters. Indeed, the mountain spawns five major rivers, and to this day, its snowmelt provides much of the water for the region.
Although beautiful, Rainier is also one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Scientists consider an eruption in the near future to be highly probable. In addition to spewing ash and triggering landslides, a major eruption would likely trigger massive mudflows, called lahars, that would send a tsunami of mud, boulders, and debris toward the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, only 100 miles away. For now, we'll just admire the majesty of this sleeping giant and be thankful that the national park protects so much pristine northwest wilderness.