The Dolomites in Italy, or Le Dolomiti in Italia, are some of the most jagged peaks on Earth. This region is truly an alpine paradise. Supposedly these mountains were formed from ancient reefs, and therefore they pop up in clusters, or groups, instead of traditional straight ranges. Between these jagged, towering groups of mountains are gentle grassy meadows filled with wildflowers and Bavarian alpine towns. Hikers can travel from town to town using the towns as basecamp for day hikes, or for longer hikes they can sleep in the numerous alpine huts situated high up in the mountains.
The Heart Of The Alps, The Incredible Dolomites Mountain Range, In Photographs
Professional landscape and architecture photographer from Cologne, Germany Kilian Schönberger ventures into the wild heart of the Alps and captures the unrestrained beauty of the Dolomites rock formations. The beautiful and imposing mountain range dotted by woods with a hidden melting pot of culture and history spanning across many Mediterranean communities and several decades dating back to WWI.
The boy has yellow hair, fluffy as a newly-hatched Pidgey, and he’s
staring at the sky. “Hey kid,” Zenna says, “you need to get
inside. Storm’s a-coming.”
He doesn’t turn his head; he says, “I’ve lost my baby,” while
still scanning the low-hanging sky. The corners of his mouth quaver.
Fuck. Zenna’s terrible with children; she never knows how to stop
them from crying. Pokemon are so much easier.
“Your starter?” Zenna says: the boy looks about ten. Maybe. It’s
hard to say. Locktown is a city built on crumbling industry, gouged
by poverty, crouched in the shadows of the Zapdos Mountains – which
jag up from the earth like the spine of a starved beast. It’s a hard
land, and it’s inhabitants are hungry more often than not. This
little one has sharp collarbones and pointed cheeks. Zenna pulls a
chocolate bar from her pocket, unwraps it slowly.
At the crinkle, the boy’s head snaps around. His eyes are huge. “My
baby,” he says again, “my Fearow.”
“Your –” his what.
Fearows are savage bastards at the best of times, too much for all
but the most hardy of trainers – more trouble than they’re worth
half the time. “Your Fearow,” she says. The boy nods. He’s
staring at the chocolate bar. Zenna throws it over. He fumbles the
catch, snatches it up from the ground, doesn’t bother to brush the
dirt off before cramming it in his mouth.
“Baby,” he says, “'cos Mama
didn’t have any but me and she used to call me her Baby but she’s
gone now so I’m the grown-up and he’s the Baby, see? He’s mine, he’s
flown off, it’s the storm, you know?”
“You should get inside,” Zenna
says, as the wind starts up. It’s bitter and spangled with ice.
“Where do you live?”
“Uh – “ the boy says, “uh,
see, there was Mama’s house only last week our landlord finally
realised that we weren’t paying rent anymore and kicked us out –
Baby would have stuck up for me but it isn’t worth it to fight them,
no one can fight them, Giovanni would –” and his voice cuts off.
He wipes a patina of snot on the back of his hand. “Mama always
said to trust in my instincts so I did, I ran and I took Baby and ran
and now I’m – I’m sleeping here,” and with one waved hand he
encompasses their surroundings: wind-blasted fields, tumbledown
factors, the wreckage of a once-prosporous town.
“You’re sleeping rough?”
“Yeah. Mama says – said –
trust my instincts and they’re saying not to go back to Locktown.”
“It’s a dangerous place. Here, why
don’t I help you find Baby?”
“Would you?” The kid’s face
lights up. “Thanks miss!”
“Call me Zenna,” says Zenna,
“Zenna Embers. Here,” and she throws a Pokeball. Her Charizard,
Candela (named for her baby sister; they have the same irascible, demanding temperament; it seems only right), emerges in a flare of white light: the boy coos in
admiration, and Zenna resists the temptation to preen. “Right
Inferno! We’re looking for a Fearow –”
It all happens very quickly after
that. A mighty roar of thunder shakes the earth. Lightning rends the
sky apart with greedy, crooked fingers. Thunder answers the
lightning, lightning answers the thunder, and in a heartbeat Zenna is
in the middle of the worst storm she has ever known. Rain pounds down
like the fists of a vengeful god, cold and punishing. Candela lifts
his wings, intending to shelter her; but all this rain is worse for
him, so she recalls him and screams, “Kid!” over the howl of the
wind. “We’ve got to get to shelter! We’ve – “
Words snatched from her throat. The
boy stands in a corona of light so bright it hurts to look at. There
is a Zapdos on his shoulders. Its wings are arced over his head,
shielding him from the downpour; the rain fizzles into steam against
the lightning of its feathers.
And just like that the storm clears.
Heavy grey clouds peel back to reveal the brilliance of a blue sky.
And the kid says, “Baby! You worried me.”
The Zapdos – the Zapdos, god
of lightning and god of the mountains and and and – nuzzles
his head. He laughs in delight. “This is my friend,” he says,
“Zenna,” and Zenna can barely breathe as the – god of
thunder and bird of light and power and – regards
her with two ferocious eyes. She resists the temptation to knee; it’s
a primal, absurdist notion; but she’s faced with a myth,
an actual honest-to-gods myth.
“That’s not a Fearow – it’s a
Zapdos “ she says.
“Of course it’s a Fearow,” the boy
chirrups, “got the pointy feathers and everything. Thought you were a trainer, you should know that sort of thing.”
“Uh,” says Zenna.
“Oh, where are my manners?” the
boy continues, grinning and petting the Zapdos’s chest. “My name’s
Spark. Nice to meet you!”
Bracing Nature “At Its Most Raw and Wild” in Norway’s Lofoten Islands
For more photos and videos from Norway’s Lofoten Islands, explore the Skrøva location page, browse the #@skrova
hashtag and follow @eivindnatvig on Instagram.
Nestled among the craggy mountains of Norway’s northern coast, the Lofoten Islands are some of the most idyllic on earth. Situated on a small group of islands, the fishing village of Skrøva is home to just a few hundred residents, and tourists flock to the area in the summer months seeking retreat from the modern world. The natural arctic surroundings provide the perfect setting for hiking, watching whales and spotting the Aurora Borealis in the clear night skies. With just a few daylight hours for most of the year, long sunrises and sunsets bathe Skrøva’s white sand beaches and jagged mountain backdrop in a pink light.
Living in Skrøva also lets you experience weather “at its most raw and wild,” says local Instagrammer Eivind Natvig (@eivindnatvig), who captures breathtaking moments from Skrøva’s natural landscapes on Instagram. “Skrøva is somewhere you can experience human vulnerability to the elements,” he says. “When storms come in, we are often isolated from the rest of the world, which provides a wonderful freedom but has its own set of challenges.”
“As one of a handful of people lucky enough to live on Skrøva, I have the unique opportunity to witness and share the daily changes in our incredible nature with Instagrammers around the world,” says Elvind. “I hope my photography can bring something different to the way people see Lofoten.”
Not far from the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian island of Vega boasts one of the most scenic landscapes in the world—jagged mountains rising in the background, mossy plants and brush growing over chiseled boulders, and uninterrupted views of the Norwegian Sea. In this distinctly Nordic environment, traditional huts known as naust sit by the seaside. These windowless wooden cottages have straightforward tectonic forms and a strong material vocabulary, weathered over the years from standing in this oft harsh terrain.
BLM Winter Bucket List #11: White Mountains National Recreation Area, Alaska, for Trails Surrounded by Rugged Beauty and Northern Lightshow
Located just an hour’s drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, the one-million-acre White Mountains National Recreation Area offers stunning scenery, peaceful solitude, and outstanding opportunities for recreation.
The BLM White Mountains includes more than 240 miles of maintained winter trails surrounded by jagged limestone mountains and cliffs, high mountain passes, and broad, rounded valleys. Whether you choose to explore by ski or snowshoe, snowmobile, dog team, or even fat bike, you’ll find crisp, clean air, dazzling views, and if you’re lucky, shimmering northern lights against a star-studded sky.
One of the highlights of a tour through the White Mountains is an overnight stay at one of BLM’s public recreation cabins – the perfect place to warm up after a day on the trail.
It’s difficult to comprehend the size and scope of the Alaskan wilderness. Jagged mountains rise out of endless snow plains. Huge glaciers fill valleys. Everything makes you feel small. Winter at Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is beautiful, but intimidating. Photo by National Park Service.