preserving nature

Is everyone wearing green today? Nature’s light show displays a fantastic emerald ripple above Denali National Park in Alaska, a great place to see the Northern Lights. Says photographer Carl Johnson, “Having great aurora borealis images to show for a night out in the cold cannot truly capture the thrill of just being out there and witnessing this amazing phenomenon.” Photo courtesy of Carl Johnson. #StPatricksDay

Winter has come to Lake Clark National Park & Preserve in Alaska and left it wrapped in white and blue. Besides water and sky, every feature is coated with snow and frost – obscured by a wispy fog and lingering clouds. It’s peaceful, beautiful and cold enough to make your teeth chatter. Photo by J. Mills, National Park Service.

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Sleepy elephant (I love when it breathes and it’s like a foot away from its head)

Winter in south Florida means highs in the 70s, making it a great time to visit Big Cypress National Preserve. With over 729,000 acres of freshwater wetlands, Big Cypress is home to an amazing variety of plants and animals, including the rare Florida panther and the iconic American alligator. The sunrise views are also outstanding. Photo by National Park Service.

A crystalized neanderthal skull found inside of a sinkhole in 1993. Due to its isolation, the skull was not effected by most detererating forces.

Big Cypress National Preserve protects over 729,000 acres of freshwater wetlands in south Florida. Together with neighboring Everglades National Park, the preserve is essential to the health of the state’s diverse wildlife and marine estuaries. It’s also a place of stunning beauty and amazing outdoor experiences. Aerial photo by John Kellam, National Park Service.

The wind and cold don’t bother this muskox. Its long, coarse outer fur keeps it waterproof and windproof. Its underfur, qiviut, traps its body heat to keep it very warm. Muskoxen are one of the only large animals hearty enough to survive year-round in the Arctic. Although their populations have fluctuated over the last century, today they number around 3,800 in Alaska – many of them in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Photo by National Park Service.