view north

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.

If not for the foresight of a few individuals including Theodore Roosevelt, the American bison could have become extinct. Hunted to the edge of annihilation, by the early 20th century only a few small herds remained. In 1956, 29 bison were brought from Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska and released in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Here they roam freely on 46,000 acres and number in the hundreds. Photo by National Park Service.