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Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only North Pacific humpback whales, a mother and calf pair swim closely together just under the surface of the ocean.  The calf will remain with its mother for about a year, migrating from Hawaii to Alaska to feed on herring, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui North Pacific humpback whale, breach, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui Half Dome and storm clouds at sunset, viewed from Sentinel Bridge, Yosemite National Park, California Breaking wave, Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, morning, barrel shaped surf, California The Second Wave at sunset.  The Second Wave, a curiously-shaped sandstone swirl, takes on rich warm tones and dramatic shadowed textures at sunset.  Set in the North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah, the Second Wave is characterized by striations revealing layers of sedimentary deposits, a visible historical record depicting eons of submarine geology, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad Panoramic photo of Crater Lake National Park Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Bald eagle, closeup of head and shoulders showing distinctive white head feathers, yellow beak and brown body and wings, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska Cholla cactus, brittlebush, ocotillo and various cacti and wildflowers color the sides of Glorietta Canyon.  Heavy winter rains led to a historic springtime bloom in 2005, carpeting the entire desert in vegetation and color for months, Opuntia, Encelia farinosa, Fouquieria splendens, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls, viewed from the Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California Bull elk spar to establish harems of females, Gibbon Meadow, Cervus canadensis, Gibbon Meadows, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Grand Prismatic Spring (left) and Excelsior Geyser (right).  Grand Prismatic Spring displays a stunning rainbow of colors created by species of thermophilac (heat-loving) bacteria that thrive in narrow temperature ranges.  The blue water in the center is too hot to support any bacterial life, while the outer orange rings are the coolest water.  Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest spring in the United States and the third-largest in the world.  Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Alaskan brown bear catching a jumping salmon, Brooks Falls, Ursus arctos, Brooks River, Katmai National Park A large, old brown bear (grizzly bear) wades across Brooks River. Coastal and near-coastal brown bears in Alaska can live to 25 years of age, weigh up to 1400 lbs and stand over 9 feet tall, Ursus arctos, Katmai National Park Mesa Arch, Utah.  An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch. Yup, that's me, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park Full grown, mature male coastal brown bear boar (grizzly bear) in sedge grass meadows, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Old Faithful geyser, sunrise.  Reaching up to 185' in height and lasting up to 5 minutes, Old Faithful geyser is the most famous geyser in the world and the first geyser in Yellowstone to be named, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Mule deer in tall grass, fall, autumn, Odocoileus hemionus, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A kelp forest, with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds.  Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A Florida manatee, or West Indian Manatee, swims slowly through the clear waters of Crystal River, Trichechus manatus, Three Sisters Springs Horsetail Falls backlit by the setting sun as it cascades down the face of El Capitan, February, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Mount Rainier is reflected in the calm waters of Reflection Lake, early morning, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington Yosemite Valley Tunnel View, Storm clouds at sunset, Yosemite National Park Bald eagle makes a splash while in flight as it takes a fish out of the water, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Portrait of a young brown bear, pausing while grazing in tall sedge grass.  Brown bears can consume 30 lbs of sedge grass daily, waiting weeks until spawning salmon fill the rivers, Ursus arctos, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Milky Way and Shooting Star over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky, Arches National Park, Utah Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline at dusk, Space Needle at right Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington Oceanside Pier at dusk, sunset, night.  Oceanside Tiny hikers atop Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.  Near Stovepipe Wells lies a region of sand dunes, some of them hundreds of feet tall Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains Hiker in North Window, sunset, western face.  North Window is a natural sandstone arch 90 feet wide and 48 feet high, Arches National Park, Utah A SCUBA diver swims through a giant kelp forest which is tilted back by strong ocean currents.   Giant kelp, the fastest plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island California sea lions swim and socialize over a kelp-covered rocky reef, underwater at San Clemente Island in California's southern Channel Islands, Zalophus californianus Humpback whale breaching with pectoral fins lifting spray from the ocean surface, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui A SCUBA diver swimming over a rocky reef covered with kelp, watches a brightly colored orange garibaldi fish, Hypsypops rubicundus, San Clemente Island Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California Hotel del Coronado with holiday Christmas night lights, known affectionately as the Hotel Del. It was once the largest hotel in the world, and is one of the few remaining wooden Victorian beach resorts. It sits on the beach on Coronado Island, seen here with downtown San Diego in the distance. It is widely considered to be one of Americas most beautiful and classic hotels. Built in 1888, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 Scripps Pier solstice, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park.  The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman Milky Way and stars at night above Mount Rainier, Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington Light Beam in Upper Antelope Slot Canyon.  Thin shafts of light briefly penetrate the convoluted narrows of Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, sending piercing beams through the sandstone maze to the sand floor below, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona   more ...

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Updated: July 22, 2018