As autumn arrives each year, acorn woodpeckers in the foothills begin harvesting acorns. The birds create holes in trees to store their bounty. Trees used by woodpeckers for storage are called granary trees, and may have up to 50,000 holes, each filled with an acorn.
Developed in the late 1990’s through cooperative efforts, this system of Bureau of Land Management trails, sweeping across Gooseberry Mesa in southern Utah, received National Recreation Trail status in 2006. At an elevation of 5,200 feet, views from the mesa rims are spectacular. Rising to the north are the massive sandstone sentinels of Zion National Park. Spread out below the west rim is a panorama of colorful desert mesas and water carved canyons.
Yesterday, visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona got to see this rare and amazing sight. This meteorological phenomenon is called a total cloud inversion, and it happens when the air near the ground is cooler than the air above it, creating a blanket of clouds.
Pictured here are the views of the total inversion from Mather Point on the South Rim (top) and near Desert View (middle and bottom). Photos by National Park Service.
One of the many things that make Grand Canyon National Park so amazing, is the night sky. The dark, dark, dark night sky. If you haven’t experienced it, then you are truly missing out.
Due to very little light pollution, Grand Canyon has one of the darkest night skies around. Tonight is the peak of the Geminids meteor shower. Last night, the Geminids put on quite the show. Streaks of light were shooting across the sky above the canyon. It was a breathtaking sight.
Photo provided by Erin Whittaker, Grand Canyon National Park
The New Year brought beautiful changes to the Grand Canyon National Park landscape, blanketing the park in a layer of snow and creating this picturesque winter scene. While it often snows on the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon during winter, the New Years Storm that hit Arizona last week brought snow all the way to the bottom of the canyon (a rare occurrence for the park). Photos by National Park Service.
Top photo: The view from South Rim Historic District.
Middle photo: Sunset on New Year’s Day near Lipan Point.
Bottom photo: New Year’s Day sunset from Yavapai Point on the South Rim.