January 28, 2016

WYOMING : The Grand Prismatic Spring - Yellowstone N.P.

Grand Prismatic Spring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin.

Grand Prismatic Spring was noted by geologists working in the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, and named by them for its striking coloration. Its colors match the rainbow dispersion of white light by an optical prism: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

History
The first records of the spring are from early European explorers and surveyors. In 1839, a group of fur trappers from the American Fur Company crossed the Midway Geyser Basin and made note of a "boiling lake", most likely the Grand Prismatic Spring, with a diameter of 300 feet (90 m). In 1870 the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expedition visited the spring, noting a 50-foot (15 m) geyser nearby (later named Excelsior).

Color
The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented archaea in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The archaea produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids and on the temperature of the water which favors one archaea over another. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.

The deep blue color of the water in the center of the pool results from the scattering of blue light by particles suspended in the water. This effect is particularly visible in the center of the spring due to the lack of archaea that live in the center and the depth of the water.

Physical structure
The spring is approximately 370 feet (110 m) in diameter and is 121 feet (40 m) deep. The spring discharges an estimated 560 US gallons (2,100 L) of 160 °F (70 °C) water per minute.


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January 21, 2016

MONTANA : Lake McDonald Sunset - Glacier National Park



Sunset at Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana


Lake McDonald

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Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. It is located at 48°35′N 113°55′W in Flathead County in the U.S. state of Montana. Lake McDonald is approximately 10 miles (16 km) long, and over a mile (1.6 km) wide and 472 feet (130 m) deep, filling a valley formed by a combination of erosion and glacial activity. Lake McDonald lies at an elevation of 3,153 feet (960 m) and is on the west side of the Continental Divide. The Going-to-the-Sun Road parallels the lake along its southern shoreline. The surface area of the lake is 6,823 acres (27.6 km2).

The lake is home to numerous native species of trout, and other game fish. Catchable species include, but are not limited to - westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, bull trout (char), lake trout (char), Lake Superior whitefish, mountain whitefish, kokanee salmon (landlocked sockeye), and suckers. However, the lake is nutrient-poor and is not considered a prime fishing destination. Grizzly bears, black bear, moose, and mule deer are found in many places near the lake but are most common on the north shore. The lake is surrounded by a dense coniferous forest dominated by various species of spruce, fir, and larch.

At the westernmost section of the lake in Apgar there is a National Park Service visitor center, limited lodging and dining facilities as well as outboard powerboats available for rental. Lake McDonald Lodge is the largest lodging facility on the lake and is approximately 5 miles (8 km) east along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Constructed in 1913-14 to resemble a rustic hunting lodge with Swiss-influenced architecture, this warm and inviting building provides comfort for overnight guests.

McDonald Creek flows into and drains from the lake, and empties into the Middle Fork Flathead River shortly after.


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January 13, 2016

HAWAII : Dolphin Kick - North Shore


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Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii


The Dolphin Kick weather vane at sunset, Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Sunset Beach (Oahu)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunset Beach is on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii and known for big wave surfing during the winter season. The original Hawaiian name for this place is Paumalū. It was home to the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational surfing competition until 1985. The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in honor of Eddie Aikau started at Sunset Beach in 1984. Today Sunset Beach is home to the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which is part of the World Cup of Surfing. It also holds contests such as the Pipe Masters and a stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Like many beaches on Oahu's North Shore, Sunset Beach is considered dangerous for inexperienced surfers, due to extensive coral formations near the surface that present the risk of serious injury. Conditions for swimming change depending on the particular location and season. Generally speaking, the water is flat as a lake in the summers and has waves in the winters. All the surfing contests take place in the winter around December and January, that being the time of the largest and best waves for surfing. Swimming conditions change from spot to spot along the beach. There is usually a place to swim somewhere, except during stormy weather.

North Shore

The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku Point.

The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa. This area is best known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe.

Surfing
The northern hemisphere winter months on the North Shore see a concentration of surfing activity, taking advantage of swells originating in the stormy North Pacific. Notable surfing spots include Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

The spot of Ehukai Beach, commonly known as the Banzai Pipeline, is the most notable surfing spot on the North Shore, and is considered a prime spot for competitions due to its close proximity to the beach, giving spectators, judges, and photographers a great view.

The North Shore is considered to be the surfing mecca of the world, and every December hosts three competitions, which make up the Triple Crown of Surfing. The three men's competitions are the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The three women's competitions are the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the Roxy Pro Sunset, and the Billabong Pro on the neighboring island of Maui.

Waimea Bay plays host to the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau. This is an exclusive competition and participants must be invited. The competitions has a scheduled window of dates each winter, however the competition has a minimum requirement of 20-foot (6.1 m) waves. Therefore, the competition is not held every year.


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January 7, 2016

MONTANA : Apikuni Falls - Glacier National Park




Apikuni Creek falls down Apikuni Falls in Glacier National Park


Apikuni Falls (Montana)


The trail to Apikuni Falls is only 1 mile (1.6 KM) each way with an elevation gain of 710 ft (216 m). The word ‘Apikuni' (Appekunny) means 'Far Off White Robe' in the Peigan Blackfeet language.

The name of the falls is derived from the Indian name given to James Willard Schultz, a noted author, explorer, guide, fur trader and historian of the Blackfoot Indians. "Apikuni" in the Blackfoot language means Far Off White Robe, Spotted Robe, or Far-Away Robe, depending on the translation. Schultz was given the name while living with the Pikuni tribe during the early 1880s.

the Blackfeet Reservation
The Piegan (Blackfoot: Piikáni) are an Algonquian people from the North American Great Plains. They were the largest of three Blackfoot-speaking groups that made up the Blackfoot Confederacy; the Siksika and the Kainai were the others. The Piegan dominated much of the northern plains during the nineteenth century.

After their homelands were divided by the nations of Canada and the United States of America making boundaries between them, the Piegan people were forced to sign treaties with one of those two countries, settle in reservations on one side or the other of the border, and be enrolled in one of two government-like bodies sanctioned by North American nation-states. These two successor groups are the Blackfeet Nation a "federally-recognized tribe" in Montana, USA and the Piikani Nation, a recognized "Indian band" in Alberta, Canada.

Today many Piegan live on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana, with tribal headquarters in Browning. There were 32,234 Blackfeet counted by the 1990 US census. In 2010 the US Census reported 105,304 persons identified as Blackfeet ("alone" or "in combination" with one or more races and/or tribes.)


Many Glacier – Glacier National Park
MONTANA


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