The least likely of artists can leave behind breathtaking colors and patterns... The fantastic, branching tunnels carved by western pine beetle larvae are known as galleries. But that's not usually what kills a ponderosa pine tree; the dirty work is done by a microscopic inside agent. When adult beetles burrow into the tree to lay eggs, they leave behind spores of blue-stain fungus carried in special head pouches ("mycangia"). The fungus quickly begins to grow and cut off conductive vessels in the inner bark and sapwood, leaving behind its tell-tale blue stain on the inner wood.
Insidious though this plot sounds, ponderosa pines have been surviving these attacks for thousands of years (both the beetles and the trees are native species). However, since 2010, California has lost a record-breaking 129 million trees to a deadly combination of beetles, fungus, and yet another factor: drought and the historical suppression of natural fires (fire-suppressed forests are more overgrown, meaning more trees are competing for limited water). Research shows that warming winters may expand the range of the western pine beetle...yet more evidence of the complexity, unpredictability, and sometimes surprising beauty created by interconnected ecosystems.
Our #RV park is right off the #SanAntonio#Riverwalk
And while that leads us to all the fun downtown it also leads us to every Mission, as well.
Mission San Jose is the "Queen of the Missions". While I did get shots closer to her stunning carvings at the chapel entrance, I loved this view through the blooming yucca.
The grounds are extensive, it is home to the oldest water mill in the state of #Texas and this is also where you will find the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park visitor center.
The #SanAntonioMissions are also a World Heritage Site.
"Wrangell is often referred to as the Park without handrails." -Brendon Seaholser
This was such an interesting interview because of Brendon's honest and blunt demeanor, as well as his love of the park and adventures of all kind.
During this interview, we talk about what brought him to Wrangell St. Elias, one of the month desolate and isolated parks in the country, a story which starts in Vermont, and winds through many continents.
We also talk about how unbelievably vast the Park is, and the possible consequences of going into this wilderness unprepared.
You’ll hear him talk about the stories of going into the wild, about the dangers he’s witnessed, and the magic too, the unreal beauty of the largest Park in the country, and one of the largest pieces of wilderness in the world.
One of my favorite things about this interview is the awe that you can hear in Brendon’s voice as he talks about the Park and especially, the mountains.
You can hear how much love and respect he has for this place, and it made me feel it too.
When I walked out of the tiny one room visitor’s center where I’d met him, I felt a chill of excitement to be in such an incredible place. I felt so grateful to be witness to this Park that had created such awe in this man I’d had the pleasure of meeting.
It gave me a new way of looking at, and respecting, this unfamiliar place.
As you hear me mention in the interview, earlier that day, I’d had a few hiccups on the main road, namely ending up in a ditch, being towed out by strangers, then later having a flat tire, which I describe at the end of the interview.
At the time, I’d questioned why I was even there, in the middle of this wild and overwhelming place, until this interview that made me so incredibly aware of how fortunate I was to be there and how precious this Park really is.
I really can’t wait to share this one with you!
You can listen to this episode on any podcast provider (just search Nat Park Stories), or click the link in the bio!🎙️
All these boy doggos tryna holla at me and I’m over here like......did y’all hear somethin?? 👑💸
PlRAMlD MESlR ❤
On the border of Nevada and Arizona, the Hoover Dam is a monumental concrete construction, creating Lake Mead as a reservoir, fed by the Colorado River. Originally named the Boulder Dam, it was officially renamed in 1947, in honor of President Herbert Hoover.
The surrounding land is barren of vegetation, which says something about the composition of the soil, given the abundance of water.
The Heli-ride around the area was inexpensive, very interesting and I highly recommend it..