.photos courtesy of

There are skies and then there are Blue Ridge Parkway skies. The southern end of the parkway in North Carolina winds through the highest elevations, offering dramatic mountain top views. When photographer Robert Stephens chanced upon this scene at Bear Trap Gap, he said “It almost felt like an out of body experience. You can’t believe what you’re seeing, but it’s there! I was so in awe of the light filtering over the ridges I had to remember to snap my shutter!” Photo courtesy of Robert Stephens.

Canyonlands National Park sits under the desert sun nearly every day, but in the early morning hours when the air is cool and the sun is rising, a majestic glow of indigo filled this Utah valley with mist. The iconic Airport Tower can be seen in the distance, standing just behind the Washer Woman Arch. Photo courtesy of Sam Koerbel. 

DO NOT PUT YOUR AXOLOTLS ON GRAVEL!!!
This photo set shows very clearly how axolotls can ingest small pieces of gravel.
If kept on gravel substrate, axolotls have a good chance of accidentally swallowing small stones along with their food when eating. Often these pieces will get stuck in the digestive tract and can eventually kill the animal. This one was very lucky to pass all of the stones in her system.

The top photo shows her belly full of stones.
The bottom right photo shows how she looked after she passed them.
The third photo is all of the gravel she passed.

Please keep your axolotls on fine sand, tile, or bare/bottom tanks. If you wish to place stones in the tank, take care to ensure they are larger than the axolotl’s head so that they cannot be ingested.

(Photo courtesy of Candice Mills)

A lavender sunrise reveals the marbled and cracked surface of Dream Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. If not for the chill, this would be the most beautiful floor in the world. Photo courtesy of Eric Schuette.

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Top left photo courtesy Lee Towndrow/Little, Brown and Company

On his first day in the seventh grade, Sherman Alexie opened up his school-assigned math book and found his mother’s maiden name written in it. “I was looking at a 30-year-old math book,” he says — and that was the moment he knew that he needed to leave his home.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. His mother was one of the few people who could still speak the native language, but she didn’t teach it to him. In his new memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, he describes growing up surrounded by poverty, alcoholism and violence.

Check out his conversation with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross here.

– Petra

this picture is very offensive to me because 

1. hold on to spinning around, confetti falls to the ground, may these memories break our fall. will you take a moment, promise me this, that you’ll stand by me forever but if God forbid fate should step in, and force us into a goodbye if you have children some day, when they point to the pictures, PLEASE TELL EM MY NAME, tell them how the crowds went wild tell em how I hope they shine etc. 

2. she’s literally waving goodbye??? like where is she?? what is she doing??? when are we gonna see her again??  how long will her hair be the next time she appears?? 

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New discovery in Luxor

A Spanish archaeological mission working in Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank has discovered a unique funerary garden almost 4000 years old. The discovery of the garden may shed light on the environment and gardening in ancient Thebes during the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BC.

A unique discovery out of Egypt is the first of its kind. While scenes of funerary gardens have been witnessed in mosaic’s and paintings, this is the first one discovered in situ. It comes with the root and trunk of a 4,000 year old small tree. And a bowl with dates and fruit inside. on May 3, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world, and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres in Montana and Wyoming, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, animals and more. It’s also an amazing place to greet the new day. Photo courtesy of Aaron Selig.

As night falls on Devils Tower National Monument, it transforms from a place of darkness into a place of wonder. Thousands of twinkling, glittering stars dot the night sky over an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie surrounding the Black Hills. Stay for nature’s night show at Wyoming’s Devils Tower – it’s worth it! Photo courtesy of David Kingham.