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.
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.'
横跨峡谷裂缝的两座桥 Bridging the gap two ways
Happy birthday, bridges
Today we're taking a trip to a part of northern Arizona cut off from the rest of the state by the Colorado River and its deep canyons. No doubt you've heard of the Grand Canyon, but today is an important milestone to another canyon about 70 miles away. On this date in 1995, the twin Marble Canyon bridges, better known collectively as Navajo Bridge, were officially dedicated as the second bridge was installed.
The first, in place since 1929 when it was hailed as a 'modern marvel' and 'the biggest news in Southwest history,' had long been key to travel across the 834-foot gap of Marble Canyon. But as time passed, the area saw heavier vehicles and more traffic. After much debate about the impact on Native land and endangered plants, and the likelihood of debris falling into the river below, plans were developed for the $14.7 million, nearly identical second bridge. Now, Marble Canyon has two bridges, each about 470 feet over the Colorado River. The original serves as a path for humans and horses while the new bridge carries vehicles. Both bridges hold the title of ninth-highest in the United States (though the newer one is about three feet higher).
如沙漏中的沙子一般 Like sands through the hourglass
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Today we celebrate the birthday of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which boasts 750-foot (and higher) sand dunes that cover more than 30 square miles. But the towering hills of sand—the tallest in North America—are just one feature of an eye-popping Colorado landscape that includes conifer forests, alpine lakes, and wetlands. The 85,000-acre park and preserve even encompasses stretches of tundra at the higher elevations, where it edges up against the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Initially proclaimed a national monument in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover, the territory was redesignated as Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on September 13, 2004, and the size of the park was quadrupled. The park and preserve provide ample and wildly diverse activities for visitors, from sandboarding and sandsledding down the steep dunes to hiking, camping, horseback riding, and fat-tire biking.
40年的休养生息 40 years of recovery
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
Today is an important day in American history. We're standing on the Boundary Trail at Johnston Ridge in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Forty years ago today, 110,000 acres within Gifford Pinchot National Forest was set aside to memorialize the deadliest and most destructive volcanic eruption in the United States. For nearly nine hours on May 18th, 1980, the Mount St. Helens erupted, forever changing the Washington landscape. The volcanic event started at roughly 8:30 on a Sunday morning with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. This triggered what is known as a 'lateral eruption,' which means the lava blast comes out of the side of the volcano, rather than the top. The initial blast shaved more than a thousand feet off the mountain's elevation, resulting in a massive avalanche and the destruction of about 150 square miles of the surrounding forest. When the event ended, 57 people had died, 200 homes and almost 200 miles of nearby highway had been destroyed.
The monument was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to preserve the area for research, recreation, and education. The land inside has been left to mostly recover naturally since the eruption. While it's believed that Mount St. Helens will erupt again sometime within the next few centuries, that has not deterred people from hiking and climbing at the monument, which has been allowed since 1986.
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.
惊险之旅 Thrill ride
The Great White Roller Coaster
To really get the feel for today's photo, stop what you're doing, put your hands in the air, and imagine yourself plunging downhill at 50 miles an hour. Screaming is optional. We're waiting in line at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey, for our ride on The Great White. A hybrid wooden and steel coaster, it's been in operation since 1996 and reaches its highest point 110 feet above the ground. Coaster enthusiasts point out the ride's dip under the pier shortly after the start as one of its highlights. It's also noted for a portion of the ride swinging out over the nearby beach.
Roller coasters have come a long way since their early days beginning in the 17th century as Russian sled rides. Eventually called Russian Mountains, those original rides were just tall, wooden ramps covered in ice. When the concept made its way to much warmer France, the sleds made their way across the tracks on wooden rollers, hence the name 'roller coasters.' Coasters saw another advancement in the 1800s when a Pennsylvania mining company built a downhill gravity railroad to transport coal. Its train cars held double duty by giving thrill rides to tourists during downtime. By 1919, coasters had entered their 'golden age' with fully formed rides all over the world. The desire to experience greater heights and faster drops mean the sky's the limit when it comes to coaster design. These days, in the United States alone, thrill seekers take roughly 1.7 billion rides per year across more than 800 coasters.
走上这条人迹常见的小径 Take the trail more traveled by
Happy Birthday Capitol Reef National Park
You won't find a lot of solitude on the Hickman Bridge Trail, a 1.7-mile route in Capitol Reef National Park that leads to this magnificent natural arch. The trail is used by hikers, runners, and nature lovers drawn by incredible rock formations, gullies, and remnants from the Fremont Culture Native American civilization from the early part of the 20th century. Hickman Bridge itself is one of the best-known geologic features of the park.
Capitol Reef National Park was first established as a national monument on this day in 1937, then became a national park in 1971. Capitol Reef is named for its massive rock domes that reminded nearby residents of that famous rotunda of the US Capitol Building back in Washington, DC. Why Capitol 'Reef,' though? Because the imposing formations were major obstacles to travelers through the region, the same way a coral reef is an obstacle to sailors.
The geology of the park is defined by the nearly 100-mile Waterpocket Fold, a wrinkle in the Earth's crust that formed around the end of the dinosaur era. Wind, rain, and time have eroded the Navajo Sandstone into colorful canyons, buttes, and natural arches like Hickman Bridge. The dramatic rock formations make Capitol Reef a favorite destination in the American West.