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 Scala dei Turchi (Italian: “Stair of the Turks”) is a rocky cliff coast in southern Sicily, Italy. The Scala is formed by marl, a sedimentary rock with a characteristic white color. It lies between two sandy beaches, and is accessed through a limestone rock formation in the shape of a staircase, hence the name. The latter part of the name derives from the frequent raids carried on by Moors.
Continue reading Scala dei Turchi: an unusual natural staircase in Sicily
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south east Iceland about 100 m deep and about 2 kilometres long, with the Fjaðrá river flowing through it. The canyon has steep walls and winding water. It is located near the Ring Road, not far from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. 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.
Continue reading Gacially carved Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon in Iceland
The Terme di Saturnia are a group of springs located a few kilometers from the village of Saturnia in Italy. The springs that feed the baths, which are found in the south-eastern valley, cover a vast territory that stretches from Mount Amiata and the hills of Fiora and Albegna rivers. One legend, according to the Romans, was that the springs were formed by lightning bolts, thrown by Jupiter. The earth split apart to form hot springs that flowed in warm waterfalls.
The sulfurous hot springs, at a temperature of 37.5 °C, are well known for their therapeutic properties, offering relaxation and well being through immersion. The main thermal waterfalls are the Mill Falls – located at an old mill – a series of rock pools that have been turned white by the minerals in the water, which falls in a succession of cascades into the pools.
Continue reading The natural Saturnia Thermal Baths in Tuscany
Zodiacal Light in Moraine Park – (Photo: Bryce Bradford/Flickr)
Zodiacal light (also called false dawn when seen before sunrise) is a faint, triangular tower of light that is visible in the night sky and appears to extend from the Sun’s direction and along the zodiac. Zodiacal light is produced by sunlight reflecting off dust particles in the solar system known as cosmic dust. Zodiacal light is best seen during twilight after sunset in spring and before sunrise in autumn, when the zodiac is at a steep angle to the horizon.
Continue reading The beauty of the Zodiacal Light
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.
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