Tuolumne Grove is a sequoia grove located near Crane Flat in Yosemite National Park. The grove contains about twenty-five large giant sequoia specimens. The one-tenth-mile trail includes the “Dead Giant,” the first tree to be tunneled in the park. In 1878, the huge, already dead sequoia, 30 feet in diameter at the base, hollowed out for stagecoaches and later cars to drive through on the old Big Oak Flat Road. In 1993, park officials closed off car traffic due to damage to the grove’s ecosystem.
The earth pyramids are a natural monument located in South Tyrol. The original name for these earth pyramids is Lahntürme (landslide towers). They are rather unusual formations of their kind which originate from morainic rocks of glacial origin. The columns of the pyramids may be more or less elongated, and the higher they are the thinner they get, ending usually with a stone cover. These earth pyramids are not static, they are constantly evolving, because their life cycle foresees a continuous erosion, or even a final collapse leaving room for new formations.
Oostduinkerke, on the western end of Belgium’s short coastline, is known for its shrimpers on horseback, For nearly 700 years, the shrimpers of Oostduinkerke have been training draft horses to help them pursue the local catch through the cold waters of the North Sea. Oostduinkerke is the last place on Earth to use this traditional form of fishing. Currently, just 19 fishermen continue the practice.
Continue reading Shrimp fishing on horseback
Vallone dei Mulini (in English Valley of the Mills) is a historic valley in Sorrento, Italy. Nestled in a deep ravine between two towering cliffs, the mills, built from stone as far back as the 10th century, ground wheat for a thousand years until they were abandoned sometime in the 19th and 20th century due to a rise in humidity in the area. The nearly complete lack of ventilation, sun exposure, and the presence of tuff resulted to the mills be taken over by fern that thrives in the humid crevasse rawls across the roof of the mills.
It is considered one of the most enchanting views of the Sorrento Peninsula. It is known for its variety and unique plants.
Glass fishing floats were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep the nets from sinking. Though the floats are often associated with Japan, they were invented in Norway in 1842. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant from Bergen, is credited with their invention and many of them can still be found in local boathouses. From the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, floats were made of colorful blown glass. These glass floats are no longer used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world’s oceans, primarily the Pacific.
Although the number of glass floats is decreasing steadily, occasional storms or certain tidal conditions can bring them ashore. They most often end up on the beaches of Alaska, Washington or Oregon in the United States, Taiwan or Canada.
Continue reading Gems of the ocean: Glass fishing floats
A petrifying well gives objects a stone-like appearance. If an object is left into such a well for a period of weeks or months the object acquires a stony exterior. Notable example of petrifying well in England is the spring at Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough where objects left suspended in the calcium-rich water are gradually turned to stone. For many centuries, locals believed that this petrifying well was cursed by the devil . The fact that the side of the well looked like a giant’s skull fueled their fears that they too would be turned to stone.The Knaresborough petrifying well was first opened to the public in 1630 and still amazes visitors to this day.
Continue reading The Petrifying Well of Knaresborough
Vottovaara is a mountain in Karelia, Eastern Europe. It is over 400 meters high. The mystery surrounding the Vottovaara mountain area are the odd looking boulders found there. Due to their specific looks old Saami people of this area started to see them as magical stones and believed that spirits lived in these stones. The most unusual structures are the balancing stones and another one that looks like a precisely cut pool. The stones are known as seids.