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Half Dome and storm clouds at sunset, viewed from Sentinel Bridge, Yosemite National Park, California 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 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 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 A whale shark swims through the open ocean in the Galapagos Islands.  The whale shark is the largest shark on Earth, but is harmless eating plankton and small fish, Rhincodon typus, Darwin Island Horsetail Falls backlit by the setting sun as it cascades down the face of El Capitan, February, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California Galapagos shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands, with schooling fish in the distance, Carcharhinus galapagensis, Wolf Island Scalloped hammerhead shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands.  The hammerheads eyes and other sensor organs are placed far apart on its wide head to give the shark greater ability to sense the location of prey, Sphyrna lewini, Wolf Island Galapagos sea lion pup, Punta Espinosa, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Fernandina 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 Yosemite Falls and star trails, at night, viewed from Cook's Meadow, illuminated by the light of the full moon, Yosemite National Park, California Bigeye trevally jacks, motion blur, schooling, Caranx sexfasciatus, Darwin Island Townsley Lake (10396'), a beautiful alpine lake sitting below blue sky, clouds and Fletcher Peak (right), lies amid the Cathedral Range of glacier-sculpted granite peaks in Yosemite's high country, near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park, California Half Dome and sunset clouds, evening, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Falls and rainbow, Half Dome in distance, viewed from the Yosemite Falls trail, spring, Yosemite National Park, California Perseid Meteor Shower and Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy and the Pleides Cluster, over Half Dome and Yosemite National Park, Glacier Point Cathedral Range peaks reflected in the still waters of Townsley Lake at sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California Galapagos penguin, underwater, swimming.  Bartolome Island, Spheniscus mendiculus Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow.  The Merced  River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California El Capitan eastern face, sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Falls and tall pine trees, viewed from Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California Fletcher Peak (11407') rises above Fletcher Lake (10174'), near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite's high country, Yosemite National Park, California Magnificent frigatebird, adult male on nest, with throat pouch inflated, a courtship display to attract females, Fregata magnificens, North Seymour Island Hammerhead sharks swim in a school underwater at Wolf Island in the Galapagos archipelago.  The hammerheads eyes and other sensor organs are placed far apart on its wide head to give the shark greater ability to sense the location of prey, Sphyrna lewini Half Dome and nighttime stars, viewed from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California Vogelsang Peak (11516') at sunset, reflected in a small creek near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite's high country, Yosemite National Park, California Magnificent frigatebird, adult female on nest, Fregata magnificens, North Seymour Island Hammerhead sharks, schooling, black and white / grainy, Sphyrna lewini, Darwin Island Milky Way over Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park Half Dome reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California El Capitan and clouds lit by full moon, stars, evening, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Valley and stars lit by full moon, evening, Yosemite National Park, California Nazca booby in flight, Sula granti, Wolf Island Upper Yosemite Falls and lunar rainbow, moonbow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen to the left of Yosemite Falls, where the moon illuminates the spray of the falls, Yosemite National Park, California Hiker views Vogelsang Lake, and Vogelsang Peak (11516') at sunrise in Yosemite's High Sierra, Yosemite National Park, California Giant redwood, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood National Park.  The coastal redwood, or simply 'redwood', is the tallest tree on Earth, reaching a height of 379' and living 3500 years or more.  It is native to coastal California and the southwestern corner of Oregon within the United States, but most concentrated in Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California, found close to the coast where moisture and soil conditions can support its unique size and growth requirements, Sequoia sempervirens Bridalveil Falls at sunset, with clouds and blue sky in the background.  Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite drops 620 feet (188 m) from a hanging valley to the floor of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California The bisons massive head is its most characteristic feature. Its forehead bulges because of its convex-shaped frontal bone. Its shoulder hump, dwindling bowlike to the haunches, is supported by unusually long spinal vertebrae. Over powerful neck and shoulder muscles grows a great shaggy coat of curly brown fur, and over the head, like an immense hood, grows a shock of black hair. Its forequarters are higher and much heavier than its haunches. A mature bull stands about 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) at the shoulder and weighs more than 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). The bisons horns are short and black. In the male they are thick at the base and taper abruptly to sharp points as they curve outward and upward; the females horns are more slender, Bison bison, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Fly fishing below Gibbon Falls. This flyfisherman hiked up the Gibbon River to reach the foot of Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming A rainbow appears in the spray of Riverside Geyser as it erupts over the Firehole River.  Riverside is a very predictable geyser.  Its eruptions last 30 minutes, reach heights of 75 feet and are usually spaced about 6 hours apart.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Upper Yosemite Falls near peak flow in spring.  Yosemite Falls, at 2425 feet tall (730m) is the tallest waterfall in North America and fifth tallest in the world.  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Falls is reflected in a springtime pool in flooded Cooks Meadow, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Yosemite Falls rises above the Merced River, viewed from the Swinging Bridge.  The 2425 falls is the tallest in North America.  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California Bridalveil Falls with a rainbow forming in its spray, dropping 620 into Yosemite Valley, displaying peak water flow in spring months from deep snowpack and warm weather melt.  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California   more ...

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Updated: December 14, 2017