In every season, at every hour, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a stunning and surprising landscape. Remote enough for dark skies to allow the Milky Way to shine and featuring steam rising from hot springs tinted with colorful bacteria and reflecting the aurora borealis, a night in the park offers enough wonders for a lifetime. Photo courtesy of Bryony Richards. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 3/27/16.
The giant sequoia naturally occurs only on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. One more reason you have to visit California!
The giant sequoia is the largest living thing by volume: nothing can match the immense size of a sequoia.
The tree is naturally resistant to fire: even when a sequoia catches on fire (generally due to a lightning strike), the natural tannin in the wood will cause the fire to burn itself out.
Though logging was tried in the 1800s, it was found that when the sequoias fell, the wood often shattered, leaving only small pieces as harvestable lumber. Eventually, logging stopped because it just wasn’t worth it.
Sequoias are naturally disease resistant as well, and live for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The greatest danger to sequoias, we’ve found, is that these giants sometimes lose their balance … and topple over. Falling down is the biggest cause of sequoia deaths in nature.
Therefore, the sequoias grow in groups. There are 68 naturally occurring groves of sequoia, and as the trees grow together, they interlock their roots. By grouping together, you see, they help to keep each other standing up, facing each day, come what may.
And that’s the lesson: you won’t fall over if you gather in a group and stay firmly rooted.
The only Sequoia grove complex managed by the Bureau of Land Management is on California’s Case Mountain, approximately 7½ miles southeast of the town of Three Rivers, California. The complex is comprised of six distinct sequoia grove units, which total about 444 acres. Three small groves – which have never been logged – protect majestic trees that are 6-16 feet in diameter! These groves are part of the Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area that has miles of mountain bike, foot and equestrian trails, and endless opportunities to be wowed! Photo by Bob Wick, BLM. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/25/16.
Wikipedia: Sequoiadendron giganteum
YouTube: Species Loss, Precipitation, and Fire in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia National Park
The Congress Trail
The World’s Largest Tree
Yellowstone is a supervolcano. One of the world’s largest active volcanoes lies beneath Yellowstone. The first major eruption of the Yellowstone volcano occurred 2.1 million years ago and covered more than 5,790 square miles with ash. That’s among the largest volcanic eruptions known, and marks Yellowstone as a supervolcano (a term used to describe any volcano with an eruption of more than 240 cubic miles of magma). While the volcano is still active, it’s been about 70,000 years since the last lava flow. With the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Utah, the National Park Service established the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in 2001 to monitor volcanic and seismic activity in the area. Pictured here is Great Fountain Geyser, one of the great geysers of Yellowstone. Photo by Greg Chancey. From the Department of the Interior’s blog.
Sunset at Old Faithful, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Henry G Peabody. From the Park’s Historic Photos Collection, circa 1928.
Yellowstone has its own Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon isn’t just in Arizona — there’s also the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Created by erosion from the Yellowstone River, the canyon is more than 1,000 feet deep, 1,500-4,000 feet wide and roughly 20 miles long — it also provides endless views. A view of Lower Falls and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Artist Point by Diane Renkin, National Park Service. From the Department of the Interior’s blog.
Half the world’s hydrothermal features are found at Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park preserves more than 10,000 hydrothermal features — an extraordinary collection of hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, travertine terraces and — of course — geysers. Microorganisms called thermophiles — meaning “heat loving” — live in these features and give the park its brilliant colors. Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin paints an incredible picture in vibrant blues, yellows and oranges. Photo by Natalia Ornia. From the Department of the Interior’s blog.
Yellowstone National Park
America’s Best Idea
How Wolves Change Rivers
North Twin Lake
The Animals Of Yellowstone
Uncle Tom’s Trail
Arizona’s Arches National Park, as seen through Turret Arch. Photo by William Rainey. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 2/29/16.