- Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina & Virginia
- Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania & New Jersey
- Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi & Tennessee
- Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), California
- The Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
- Utah Highway 128, Utah
- Beartooth Highway, Montana & Wyoming
- Great River Road, St. Louis, Missouri
- Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, Oregon
- Going-to-the-Sun Road, the only road that crosses Glacier National Park, Montana
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Even without the lure of its mysterious lake monster, Kanas Lake is a spectacularly beautiful lake on an equally stunning nature reserve in northern Xinjiang, China.
Travelers rave about the splendid Alpine scenery at Kanas Lake, a long flowing, pristine lake that is found in the Altay mountains that supplies Kanas River, also in the nature reserve. The forests are filled with stunning, colorful trees.
The lake even has its own legendary lake monster! Similar to Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, stories of the Kanas Lake Monster have been in the Chinese media since the 1980s about an enormous, serpent-like creature.
Apparently the lake monster reappeared in 2005 and again in 2006, bringing tons of journalists and conspiracy hounds hoping to photograph the mysterious beast of the lake.
Chinese scientists insist it’s just a big school of salmon-like fish and not a lake monster. Legends usually start for a reason and some claim the serpent exists.
The stunning beauty of waterfalls, frozen in time. Only in extremely cold climates will water freeze into place, forming the most amazing, glistening ice formations.
Ice forms on still bodies of fresh water, like lakes, when the temperature hits 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) or below, but the physics of freezing becomes a lot more complicated in moving water. Waterfalls don’t immediately stop flowing and freeze over when the temperature plummets to the freezing point.
The temperature of the water in the river/stream and waterfall it supplies drops slightly below freezing and supercools, which causes the water molecules to slow and begin to stick together to form solid particles of “frazil” ice. These are tiny discs roughly one millimeter (0.04 inches) in diameter, yet this is enough to start the freezing process.
The frazil ice discs will clump together when they come into contact with one another, as well as sticking to nearby surfaces. In the case of waterfalls that flow down the face of a cliff, the discs will accumulate against the cold rock, while for a free-falling waterfall, ice will cling to the overhang.
Eventually the frazil ice will form an anchor from which it will grow and, provided the temperature of the water is sufficiently cold enough for long enough, it will create a column that runs the length of the waterfall. Over time, the river or stream will completely freeze over leaving an icy snapshot of the waterfall, eerily frozen in time.
Winter can be as beautiful as it is frigid – the snow and ice that covers much of the hemisphere in the winter is a informativeness force like no other. We invite you to cuddle up with a cup of tea and your warmest blanket and enjoy some of the most beautiful winter photos out there.
In reality the change of the seasons from winter to summer is one of the best direct indications of the earth’s cosmic movement that we can personally experience. Winter occurs in the Northern hemisphere when the Earth’s northern axis tilts away from the sun. The minute change in distance from, and angle to the sun, creates the drop in general temperature that we experience in the winter. This angle is also the reason why it’s colder the farther up north you go. As the seasons change, you can imagine our beautiful planet slowly rocking back and forth on its axis.
Although some may hate the cold, don’t forget that the winter is a necessary part of our life cycles – these winter landscapes will soon be full of life. Most plants and animals have adapted to the change of seasons in one way or another, and the cold grip of winter allows plants and animals to hibernate or migrate. Some tree seeds, like acorns, will only germinate after they’ve spent the winter on the cold ground.
(via Bored Panda)
World’s Longest Wooden Sculpture
Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui recently unveiled this exceptionally large and intricately carved wooden sculpture that measures some 40 feet (12.286 meters) long, 10 feet (3.075 meters) high and almost 8 feet (2.401 meters) wide. Four years in the making, the tree carving is based on a famous painting called Along the River During the Qingming Festival, which is a historical holiday reserved to celebrate past ancestors that falls on the 104th day after the winter solstice. The Guinness World Records group arrived in November in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, where the piece is currently on display, to declare it “the world’s longest wooden sculpture”.
Puzzlewood Magical Forest — The Real Middle Earth
Puzzlewood is a unique and enchanting place, located in the beautiful and historic Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. There is more than a mile of meandering pathways through Puzzlewood and over 14 acres of ancient woodland. It has an atmosphere quite unlike any other wood. The magical forest is one of the most stunning in the world and it’s easy to see why it’s been used as a filming location for Merlin and Dr. Who. It is no wonder that JRR Tolkien is reputed to have taken his inspiration for the fabled forests of Middle Earth from Puzzlewood.
In Puzzlewood you will find strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees. The geological features here are known locally as scowles. The scowles originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in limestone many millions of years ago. Uplift and erosion caused the cave system to become exposed at the surface. This was then exploited by Iron Age settlers through to Roman times for the extraction of iron ore.
Evidence of Roman occupation of the area is supported by the discovery of a hoard of over 3,000 Roman coins from the 3rd Century which were found in the scowles of Puzzlewood. Once the Romans left, nature reclaimed the old workings with moss and trees, to create the unique landscape. The historical use soon became forgotten, and the folklore of “Puzzlewood” began.
In the early 1800s, a local landowner laid down a mile of pathways which meandered through the trees and gulleys to open up this ancient forest originally for the amusement of his friends and children. In the early 1900s, Puzzlewood opened to the public. Since then it is has remained essentially unchanged with the same stunning pathways and bridges as in earlier times, but with the addition of a variety of animals and visitor facilities.