Posts tagged nature

Succulents

If you have a black thumb like me, but love plants, succulents might just be the plant for you.  Succulents are hardy plants that can thrive for long periods in poor conditions.  This is because succulents are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots.  These plants have adapted to survive arid conditions throughout the world, from Africa to the deserts of North America. 

Besides being basically indestructible, these plants are also incredibly beautiful.  There is an enormous variety of succulents, some of which are featured above.  Their adaptive mechanism has resulted in an incredible variety of interesting leaf forms and plant shapes, including paddle leaves, tight rosettes, and bushy or trailing columns of teardrop leaves.

Photo credits: Simply Succulents®

Kilauea, Hawaii

Lava flows on the East Rift Zone coastal plain of Kilauea, seen on May 4, 2012. The budding toes of pahoehoe flows are clearly seen in the foreground of the image. (Image Courtesy of USGS/HVO.)

Kilauea, Hawaii

Lava flows on the East Rift Zone coastal plain of Kilauea, seen on May 4, 2012. The budding toes of pahoehoe flows are clearly seen in the foreground of the image. (Image Courtesy of USGS/HVO.)

Binary Code

The purpose of this work was to connect an object from an organic life cycle to technology. It is a photograph of a tree trunk, modified in Photoshop to reveal the patterns extruding from the bark. It resembles a form of binary code. What makes this picture interesting is the fact that it is such a simple object. Usually trees are often overlooked but by modifying this picture with a few different filters, I was able to make the photograph much more interesting, without distorting the true beauty of the bark. If people just take a second to appreciate everyday objects and connect them to other aspects of their lives, they may begin to see how beautiful life really is.

Binary Code

The purpose of this work was to connect an object from an organic life cycle to technology. It is a photograph of a tree trunk, modified in Photoshop to reveal the patterns extruding from the bark. It resembles a form of binary code. What makes this picture interesting is the fact that it is such a simple object. Usually trees are often overlooked but by modifying this picture with a few different filters, I was able to make the photograph much more interesting, without distorting the true beauty of the bark. If people just take a second to appreciate everyday objects and connect them to other aspects of their lives, they may begin to see how beautiful life really is.

wasbella102:

Ryuji Taira, “Vicissitudes” Tanpopo (Dandelion) #1, platinum palladium print
mondonoir:

wasbella102:

Ryuji Taira, “Vicissitudes” Tanpopo (Dandelion) #1, platinum palladium print

mondonoir:

Emerald Lakes.  I’ve always wanted to travel to New Zealand — so many geological wonders.  This photo, in particular, is stunning.  Take a look at this travel blog entry for more incredible photos. 

Emerald Lakes.  I’ve always wanted to travel to New Zealand — so many geological wonders.  This photo, in particular, is stunning.  Take a look at this travel blog entry for more incredible photos. 

Corn that looks like colorful glass.
Here’s the story of “glass gem corn” from the folks at Seeds Trust…

Seedsman Greg Schoen got the seed from Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee man, now in his 80′s, in Oklahoma.  He was Greg’s “corn-teacher”.
Greg was in the process of moving last year and wanted someone else to store and protect some of his seeds.  He left samples of several corn varieties, including glass gem.
I  grew out a small handful this past summer just to see.  The rest, as they say is history.  I got so excited, I posted a picture on Facebook.  We have never seen anything like this.  Unfortunately, we did not grow out enough to sell.

Corn that looks like colorful glass.

Here’s the story of “glass gem corn” from the folks at Seeds Trust

Seedsman Greg Schoen got the seed from Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee man, now in his 80′s, in Oklahoma.  He was Greg’s “corn-teacher”.

Greg was in the process of moving last year and wanted someone else to store and protect some of his seeds.  He left samples of several corn varieties, including glass gem.

I  grew out a small handful this past summer just to see.  The rest, as they say is history.  I got so excited, I posted a picture on Facebook.  We have never seen anything like this.  Unfortunately, we did not grow out enough to sell.

Goblin Valley, Utah

Goblin Valley, Utah

Burgess Shale, British Columbia

Burgess Shale, British Columbia

Witnessing a glacier's race to the sea

Video of retreating Alaskan ice is helping to quantify glacial contribution to sea-level rise.

A seven-year photographic record of the Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound on Alaska’s south central Pacific coast has been made into a striking time-lapse video that documents the glacier’s rapid ice discharge, and is helping researchers to understand how tidewater glaciers contribute to sea-level rise.

Read more here.

BORA BORA FROM SPACE
This dramatic aerial photograph of Bora Bora was taken by France and Italy’s recently launched Pleidades-HR Satellite in January of 2012. The satellite orbits the Earth at an altitude of 694 km (431 miles). Pleiades is made of two “small satellites” (mass of one ton) offering a spatial resolution at nadir of 0.7 m and a field of view of 20 km. [Source]
Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft).
Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mete in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti. The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. According to a census performed in 2008, the permanent population of Bora Bora is 8,880. [Source]   If you would like to see more pictures of Bora Bora, check out this 25-picture gallery posted earlier on the Sifter.

BORA BORA FROM SPACE

This dramatic aerial photograph of Bora Bora was taken by France and Italy’s recently launched Pleidades-HR Satellite in January of 2012. The satellite orbits the Earth at an altitude of 694 km (431 miles). Pleiades is made of two “small satellites” (mass of one ton) offering a spatial resolution at nadir of 0.7 m and a field of view of 20 km. [Source]

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft).

Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mete in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti. The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. According to a census performed in 2008, the permanent population of Bora Bora is 8,880. [Source]
 
If you would like to see more pictures of Bora Bora, check out this 25-picture gallery posted earlier on the Sifter.

Where the Snow Is Like KnivesThese sharp snow formations make the white stuff look uninviting. They’re called penitentes, and although they can form at high altitudes anywhere, there’s no place better to see them than in the Dry Andes of Chile and Argentina, way up past 13,000 feet (about 4,000 meters). Penitentes, named after pointy hats worn by people doing penance for their sins in Christian traditions, form in very cold, dry air, where the water in snow sublimates, or turns directly into vapor without melting first. Sublimation randomly occurs faster in some areas than in others; once uneven pock-marks form in the snow, they focus the sunlight, causing those areas to sublimate ever faster. Spiky penitentes get left behind, unmelted. The tallest penitentes can reach 12 feet (4 meters) high.
(Image Credit: European Southern Observatory)

Where the Snow Is Like Knives

These sharp snow formations make the white stuff look uninviting. They’re called penitentes, and although they can form at high altitudes anywhere, there’s no place better to see them than in the Dry Andes of Chile and Argentina, way up past 13,000 feet (about 4,000 meters).

Penitentes, named after pointy hats worn by people doing penance for their sins in Christian traditions, form in very cold, dry air, where the water in snow sublimates, or turns directly into vapor without melting first. Sublimation randomly occurs faster in some areas than in others; once uneven pock-marks form in the snow, they focus the sunlight, causing those areas to sublimate ever faster. Spiky penitentes get left behind, unmelted. The tallest penitentes can reach 12 feet (4 meters) high.

(Image Credit: European Southern Observatory)

Where the Life is Very Old.
To get a sense of how life on Earth used to be, visit Shark Bay, Australia, one of the very few places on the planet where you can see living stromatolites. These structures are rounded towers of sediment built over thousands of years by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The stromatolites at Shark Bay are a few thousand years old, but they’re nearly identical to the life that thrived on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, when oxygen made up just 1 percent of the atmosphere. Though they’re found in a few extra-salty bodies of water around the world, stromatolites are at their most diverse and most abundant at Shark Bay.

Where the Life is Very Old.

To get a sense of how life on Earth used to be, visit Shark Bay, Australia, one of the very few places on the planet where you can see living stromatolites. These structures are rounded towers of sediment built over thousands of years by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The stromatolites at Shark Bay are a few thousand years old, but they’re nearly identical to the life that thrived on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, when oxygen made up just 1 percent of the atmosphere. Though they’re found in a few extra-salty bodies of water around the world, stromatolites are at their most diverse and most abundant at Shark Bay.

This flower is called the Chia (Salvia columbariae). The seeds of this flower were an important component of the diet of a number of Native American groups in California and the southwest, and also had medicinal uses. It also appears to be a serpentine-tolerant species.

This flower is called the Chia (Salvia columbariae). The seeds of this flower were an important component of the diet of a number of Native American groups in California and the southwest, and also had medicinal uses. It also appears to be a serpentine-tolerant species.

Fantastic Pit at Ellison’s Cave, Georgia
Deciding which cave is the most is amazing is “like comparing seafood to pizza,” said House, the cave expert. “It kind of depends on what you’re in the mood for.”  If you’re in the mood for extreme vertical caves, then the Fantastic Pit at Ellison’s Cave is just for you. At 586 feet (179 m) deep, Fantastic Pit is the deepest freefall pit in the lower 48 United States and is big enough to hold the Washington Monument, which stands over 555 feet (169 m) tall. 
"I’ve been there about three times and every time it’s really breathtaking because of how deep it is," said photographer Manuel Beers. (Photo Credit: Manuel Beers)
See more amazing caves here.

Fantastic Pit at Ellison’s Cave, Georgia

Deciding which cave is the most is amazing is “like comparing seafood to pizza,” said House, the cave expert. “It kind of depends on what you’re in the mood for.”  If you’re in the mood for extreme vertical caves, then the Fantastic Pit at Ellison’s Cave is just for you. At 586 feet (179 m) deep, Fantastic Pit is the deepest freefall pit in the lower 48 United States and is big enough to hold the Washington Monument, which stands over 555 feet (169 m) tall. 

"I’ve been there about three times and every time it’s really breathtaking because of how deep it is," said photographer Manuel Beers. (Photo Credit: Manuel Beers)

See more amazing caves here.

El Arbol de La Sabina.  See more “odd” trees here.

El Arbol de La Sabina.  See more “odd” trees here.