The Tatra Mountains form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia, and much of the territory is a park reserve shared by both nations. This photo was taken on the Polish side, but the Slovakian side has the same name: Tatra National Park. To reach this footpath, start in the nearby town of Zakopane, a mountain resort in the Podhale region of southern Poland. The town and region have long been home to members of the Goral, or ‘highland’ people. Today, Tatra National Park overlaps some Goral villages, where the inhabitants maintain cultural traditions such as cheesemaking and woodworking.
AS OF CHRISTMAS DAY 2018 the following is being added near the beginning of this page so any readers won’t have to spend so much time rolling down to the end, where I think most additions are supposed to be posted: 1960 TRIP ABROAD–In the spring of 1960, less than a year after we married, we both caught the hepatitis that was going around the UF campus. The doctors recommended rest, and that was the impetus for the European trip that had only been fantasized….[ ]
Interesting Fact: The female chooses the nest site, and may start scouting for next year’s tree cavity at the end of each breeding season. Nest cavities can be in live or dead trees and are usually close to water. Cavities are typically 10–50 feet off the ground, up to about 90 feet. Hooded Mergansers nest readily in boxes, preferring those with wood shavings or nest material from previous uses. They prefer cavities with 3–5 inch openings. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/lifehistory)
From July to November, visitors to the Serranía de la Macarena National Natural Park are likely to see the riverweed bloom in the rushing waters of the Caño Cristales. When the water level is just right, the normally dull green plant that grows on the riverbed blooms in a fantastic burst of red, purple, orange and gold. The park is an unusual meeting of three distinct ecosystems: the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest and the Eastern Llanos. Recently, the Colombian government has limited access to the river, and now visitors must book guided tours – it’s an effort to preserve this strange scene for generations to come.]
Caño Cristales (English: Crystal Channel) is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta, and is a tributary of the Guayabero River. The river is commonly called the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow,” and is noted for its striking colors. The bed of the river from the end of July through November is variously colored yellow, green, blue, black, and especially red, the last caused by Macarenia clavigera plants (family Podostemaceae) on the riverbed.
The quartzite rocks of the Serrania de la Macarena tableland formed approximately 1.2 billion years ago. They are a western extension of the Guiana Shield of Venezuela.
Caño Cristales is a fast-flowing river with many rapids and waterfalls. Small circular pits known as giant’s kettles can be found in many parts of the riverbed, which have been formed by pebbles or chunks of harder rocks. Once one of these harder rock fragments falls into one of the cavities, it is rotated by the water current and begins to carve at the cavity wall, increasing the dimensions of the pit. [….]
False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
The circle of stones inside a small alcove in a remote part of Canyonlands National Park resembles the structure of a kiva. (a location used for religious purposes.) That is, it looks like the sacred rooms built since antiquity by the Puebloans of the Southwestern United States. The name False Kiva comes from the mystery that surrounds the origins of this particular structure. No one knows if this is a genuine kiva, when it was built or who the builders were. One thing is certain: its location affords sweeping and spectacular views over the rugged parklands of Utah. Don’t look for it on park maps though – its precise location is as shrouded in mystery as its origin.
The story of Ishmael is the next to come to a close, in the middle of Genesis 25. But before he passes away at the ripe old age of 137, the bible tells us a bit more about his children. Ishmael’s family, like Abraham’s children with Keturah, don’t factor into the biblical story directly. Instead,…