Thursday, February 11, 2010

The National Parks

I have been watching Ken Burn's documentary "The National Parks - America's Best Idea" on PBS and find it riveting. The history behind these parks is disturbing in the sense that it took incredible efforts on behalf of visionaries to protect these areas. I guess this is the case in most situations. The protectors need to fight the exploiters at every step. Luckily for all of us, the protectors prevailed.

Having visited three national parks last fall in a wonderful nature tour, I could never be stronger in my convictions that these are sacred, precious areas (among many others) and should be allowed to exist for as long as this amazing planet exists.

One of the most exceptional parks that I visited was Mesa Verde in Colorado. The scenery, ancient ruins and wildlife were breath-taking. One evening wild Elk bugled in the far hills as the sun slowly set. Later that same night the sky was lit up by great splashes of distant lightning while the stars shone in astonishing abundance and a meteor streaked across the sky. It was a most magical time.

Male Elk

Lavendar sunset

Another park was the Petrified Forest in Arizona. This place had a special significance to me since I had an uncle who lived in Arizona and gave me a piece of petrified wood when I was a child. I was fascinated by that wood. I probably thought "petrified" meant scared and I wondered what could have scared the trees so much. Even though I came to understand the actual nature of the transformation of the wood, it has fascinated me all my life. I was thrilled to actually be in this "forest" and walk where my uncle once walked.

Close up of petrified wood

Petrified log

And finally, the Grand Canyon, again in Arizona, which defies description. It is an experience rather than a place.

Blue shaded Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon


  1. The Grand Canyon! Oh the Grand Canyon!!!! It took my breath away. I stood on the edge and still couldn't believe that it was real. I felt like I was in the middle of a painting. Awesome, totally awesome!

  2. When Cuppa says she stood at the edge, she isn't kidding. She gave me fits. I would love to get back to that area of the world and see some of the places that we didn't get to.

  3. There's a scene in the documentary where a man is standing at the edge and, even knowing that he didn't fall, I closed my eyes! I had no idea you could stand on these precipices with no guard rails. I loved the view but from a safe distance! :-)

  4. What an interesting, and informative post! There was a TV documentary series over here last year about Yellowstone National Park which was fascinating. Flighty xx

  5. I would love to get to the Petrified Forest...These photos are lovely!! Happy night to you!

  6. We have some truly spectacular places on this great planet of ours. Visiting the parks in Arizona is high on my list. Your photos are spectacular too. :-)