trail map

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My first day in Wellington, so a wander round town. Took the cable car, which takes you up 150m to the high ground above the city, then a leisurely walk back down through the Botanical Gardens, which contains some impressive specimens. The building which looks like a beehive is The Beehive, the New Zealand Parliament building.

Since the terrible shock of the beer prices in Auckland I haven’t actually had an alcoholic drink, but Wellington is mad for craft beers, with loads of breweries, brew-pubs and bars, so I thought sod it, I am supposed to be on holiday! Credit card in hand I visited a couple of places on the craft beer trail map and sampled the produce. And I feel all the better for it.

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It’s Almost Spring, but There’s Still Time to Try Fat Biking on Public Lands!

In just a few short years, fat biking has become one of the fastest growing winter sports in the United States.  In 2014, the BLM Hartman Rocks Recreation Area near Gunnison, Colorado held its Winter Growler Fat Bike Race, and this year, the BLM showcased its outstanding winter riding opportunities at the first-ever Fat Bike Expo in Anchorage in late February. 

The BLM booth at the Expo featured BLM’s partnership with the International Mountain Bicycling Association. It also featured the new National Conservation Lands recreation mapping project and the MTB Project, a mountain bike guide and trail map website presenting the top 20 BLM Backyard to Backcountry rides on public lands.

Keep reading

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#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick to Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area – A Quiet Oasis in Urban Southern Florida!

Visitors to the Atlantic Coast of South Florida who want a break from the hustle and bustle of this mostly urbanized area will find a welcome respite in northern Palm Beach County.  The 120-acre Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area packs in a remarkable array of natural and historical resources in addition to its spectacular namesake lighthouse.  The 105 foot tall brick lighthouse itself, an early homestead, and other historic structures are visitor and photographer mainstays and are open for tours most days. However, don’t end your visit there.  An interpretive trail traverses several Florida coast vegetation types and ends with an overlook of mangrove forest and the intracoastal waterway.

Photo tip: A polarizing filter works just like polarized sunglasses and cuts the glare on the water surface and other objects. This will improve photo clarity of manatees as they remain mostly under water, and also brings out the colors of all scenery – it’s my mainstay filter and as a bonus it (like any filter) protects the camera lens from scratches.

The waters around the ONA offer opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding past mangroves and other native vegetation. Osprey, herons, egrets and ibis are commonly seen along the shore. In winter, manatees congregate in the adjoining waterways and are often visible surfacing for air right next to shore. Look for gopher tortoises along the trails sunning themselves at mid-day.

Photo tip: When photographing wildlife, try to capture behaviors; an osprey eating a fish, a tortoise walking towards its burro. This makes for more interesting shots than an animal just standing looking at the camera.

Check out our @esri Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse ONA multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, helpful links and a map of the area:  http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/traveltuesdayfloridajupiterinlet

Let me trace my fingers over your body, connect each scar, trail across each freckle, map every birthmark and burn mark. Let my lips speak my prayers against your skin, of my love for you, of my worries and concerns. Let me gaze upon you as the deity you are, as though you were the moon itself, or the star I wish upon at night. Darling, your body is a fairy tale, let me help lead you to your happy ending.