“Pic of the Week”, July 2, 2021: Pinelands Trail, Everglades National Park

00 Pinelands Trail, Everglades

Pinelands Trail is located seven miles (11 km) from the southern park entrance. It’s a fairly short trail, just 0.4 miles (650 m), and you walk on a pavement or boardwalk so it’s easy to do. It’s also handicap accessible.
I think this walk is a great way to experience this unique ecocystem of the Everglades up close. The ground is swampy but home to a forest which contains pines, saw palmettos, and assorted wildflowers — quite a bit different than the “river of grass” which dominates this landscape.
There are many better places for alligator viewing than from this boardwalk — to this end I recommend Shark Valley.  We visited Pinelands Trail in December and there were …

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment

“Pic of the Week”, May 14, 2021: Storm over the Everglades

00 Storm over Everglades National Park

The lifeblood of the Everglades is the frequent rain it receives. If you visit for a few days, you’re likely to see some precipitation.
The storms I saw over the “River of Grass” reminded me a lot of those I’d witnessed on the Canadian prairies. Blowing in quickly over the flat landscape, dark and menacing. Dumping a lot of water in a short time, before moving on.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, May 14, 2021: Storm over the Everglades

“Pic of the Week”, May 7, 2021: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park

01 Rocky Mountain Bighorns

It’s not often that I’ve seen bighorn sheep traveling in family units — father, mother and youngster. But that’s exactly what we saw when visiting Banff National Park.  Usually, in my experience, if you encounter bighorn sheep they travel in larger herds, often females and their young stick together, as do groups of males.
But this family unit was standing in the snow on a rocky outcropping overlooking a group of human admirers. The small one — probably almost a year old — was especially cute hanging out beside dad, before deciding to wander off.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, May 7, 2021: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Scenes from Banff National Park in Winter

06 Banff area winter

While the cold weather and especially the long winters can be a drag in Canada, there are some days when the beauty of the scenery almost makes it worth while.
Banff National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. My wife and I headed out there with our dogs a few weeks back (dogs on leashes are welcome in Canadian National Parks), and were rewarded with beautiful mountain landscapes.
Most of these photos were taken around Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the park, which was frozen sold. Lots of people were walking on the ice and, it being Canada, a hockey game was being played on the lake. The building in the middle of the ice is the …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, April 30, 2021: Green Heron, Everglades National Park

00 Green Heron, Everglades

We spotted this pretty bird while hiking on a boardwalk in the Everglades. We almost passed by because it was absolutely motionless, watching for small fish in the shallow waters. A few seconds later its head darted below the surface of the water quicker than you could follow it, and it emerged with a small minnow, which it swallowed whole.
I’d never seen a green heron this close before and did a little research later. The bird is small for an heron (less than a half meter — about a foot and a half — long). Their range is quite extensive in North and Central America. They are characterized by a greenish-black cap and a greenish back. The bill is long, …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, April 30, 2021: Green Heron, Everglades National Park

“Pic of the Week”, April 23, 2021: Crowfoot Glacier, Banff National Park

00 Crowfoot Glacier

Crowfoot Glacier is located in Banff National Park, off the Icefields Parkway, about 32 km (20 mi) northwest of Lake Louise. This hanging glacier rests on Crowfoot Mountain, with Bow Lake nearby (see photo below). Its meltwater drains into Bow Lake, then on down the Bow River and ultimately to Hudson’s Bay.
The glacier was originally named for its appearance of three claw-like ‘toes’.   The glacier has retreated since the end of the Little Ice Age and lost one ‘toe’ by the 1940s, but the name remains.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, April 23, 2021: Crowfoot Glacier, Banff National Park
.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka

00 Gal Vihara (2)

One of the most amazing sites in Sri Lanka is the Gal Vihara, which is located within the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I thought the Gal Vihara was unusual and interesting enough to warrant a more detailed blog.   During my last visit I spent a full hour here, studying and photographing details of the carvings and just watching people.   
This has long been a site of Buddhist worship and teaching.  Gal Vihara (meaning ‘Rock Temple’) is an amazing collection of beautifully sculpted Buddha images carved from a massive granite boulder.  The scope of the carvings and their beautiful detail never cease to amaze me.  Hard to imagine the time it …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , ,
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Majestic Yosemite Falls!

00 Yosemite Falls (2)

At a height of more than 2,425 ft (739 m), Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park and even one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. It can be seen from many vantages in the park. I’m especially fond of this view from across the valley, although the perspective from Glacier Point is also pretty terrific.
Yosemite Falls is a popular attraction, especially in May-June when it’s at peak flow from the melting snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, as it was when we visited this past spring.

View of Yosemite Falls from Valley Floor

View of Yosemite Falls from Valley Floor


Yosemite Falls is actually made up of three separate falls:
1) Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet) comprises half of the fall’s vertical drop.   The upper fall is formed by the waters …

Read More

Tagged , , ,