Shiprock – A unique rock formation in the dusty New Mexico desert

By U.S. Geological Survey – https://www.flickr.com/photos/27784370@N05/14465655209/, CC BY 2.0, Link

Shiprock is an isolated rock rising above the high-desert plain of the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico. It is the erosional remnant of the throat of a volcano formed around 30 million years ago,. Governed by the Navajo Nation, the formation plays a significant role in Navajo religion, myth, and tradition. In Navajo called Tsé Bitʼaʼí or “the rock with wings,” myth says that the Shiprock was a piece of land that became a bird, carrying the ancestral people of the Navajo on its back. The name “Shiprock” derives from the peak’s resemblance to an enormous 19th-century clipper ship. Due to recent deaths, littering, and vandalism hiking, filming, and driving are all prohibited to the public due to its sacred nature and its sacred space. It is recommended that the public stay at least three miles (4.8 km) away from the formation and 20 feet (6.1 m) from the lava dikes or wall when visiting.
Continue reading Shiprock – A unique rock formation in the dusty New Mexico desert

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Optical Illusion Abstract Murals by Graffiti Artist Peeta

Peeta, also known as Manuel Di Rita, is a graffiti artist. In his pictorial, sculptural and mural compositions, the geometrical shapes act as they interact with the surrounding environment. When painting on walls, his aim is always to create a dialogue with the structural and cultural parameters of the surrounding context, either architectural or not.
In his own words:

Metaphorically, I want to neutralize preconceptions and urge the emergence of new perspectives. Anamorphism totally embodies the intent, always pivotal in my production, to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception, the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which, proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately reveal their will to deceive.

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Castle in China looks like it’s been plucked straight out of a fairytale

Jilong Castle Country Club, a four-star hotel, sits in the center of  Wanfeg lake in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province. The castle  looks  like the famous Bavarian Neuschwanstein Castle. In recent decades, modern takes on  medieval structures have popped up around China.

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Dramatic tufa towers emerge from the surface of Mono Lake

By sam garza from Los Angeles, USA – mono lake serenity, CC BY 2.0, Link

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is located near Yosemite National Park within Mono County, in eastern California. The lack of an outlet to the ocean causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. Many columns of limestone rise above the surface of Mono Lake. These limestone towers consist primarily of calcium carbonate minerals. This type of limestone rock is referred to as tufa, which is a term used for limestone that forms in low to moderate temperatures. The tufa originally formed at the bottom of the lake. It took many decades or even centuries to form the well-recognized tufa towers. When lake levels fell, the tufa towers came to rise above the water surface and stand as the majestic pillars seen today.
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Billow clouds look like ocean waves in the sky

By GRAHAMUK at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, also known as  ‘billow clouds’, look like rolling ocean waves in the sky. The clouds often form on windy days, when two air currents of varying speeds meet in the atmosphere. It’s believed that this kind of clouds inspired the swirls in van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night‘.

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Enchanting Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon in Iceland

By Wojciech Strzelecki “Wojtrix” – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south east Iceland. The Fjaðrá river flows through it. The canyon has steep walls and winding water. It is up to 100 m deep and about 2 kilometers long. Its origins date back to the cold periods of the Ice Age, about two million years ago. The canyon was created by progressive erosion by flowing water from glaciers through the rocks and palagonite over millennia. A waterfall flows down the western side of the canyon, visible from an observation platform at the end of a one-mile hike up the eastern edge.
In May 2019, authorities closed the canyon to visitors after it appeared in a music video by Justin Bieber. The resulting stream of visitors threatened to damage the canyon’s environment.
info: wikipedia

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“Warm blooded” plants

Thermogenic plants have the ability to raise their temperature above that of the surrounding air. They can generate their own heat and flower earlier in the season than almost any other plant.  Botanists are not completely sure why thermogenic plants generate large amounts of excess heat, but most suspect the flowers may be doing this to attract coldblooded insect pollinators. Thermogenic plants are found in a variety of families, but Araceae in particular contains many such species. Here’s some examples.

Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage, is a low growing plant that grows in wetlands and moist hill slopes of eastern North America. Bruised leaves present a fragrance reminiscent of skunk.

Skunk-cabbage in snow – Photo via Ryan Johnson/Flickr

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