Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Vasquez Rocks, A Spectacular Rock Formations

The beautiful Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is a 932-acre park located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, in northern Los Angeles County, California. This is an exclusive rock formation in the area, which are in result of rapid erosion and uplift about 25 million years ago and later exposed by activity along the San Andreas Fault. However, it is in Agua Dulce between the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles and seen easily by motorists driving the Antelope Valley Freeway (CA 14). It is projected that more than 25 million years ago, the collision of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates uplifted the area along the Elkhorn Fault. Therefore, energetic erosion of the highland along with uplift and volcanism caused debris flow sediments to be distributed in alluvial fans into a speedily subsiding rift well-known as the Soledad Basin.

It is favorite location of commercial, movies, and television due to its mesmerizing landscape. Vasquez Rocks has been used repeatedly in motion pictures, television series, and in moving and still-image advertisements.  Many photographers like this rock place for photography purpose. It is also considered a heaven for hiking trails. In 1970’s the land and rock formations were acquired by the Los Angeles County government and added to the National Register of Historic places in 1972. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature. In 1873 and 1874, Tiburcio Vásquez, one of California's most disreputable bandits, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. Because of its significance as a prehistoric site, the Vasquez Rocks comprise mainly of coarse-grained conglomerate and breccia sediments which were deposited nearby to active faults during rapid uplift and subsequent erosion of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Vasquez Rocks preferred to call it Nature's Haven where the animals were trained and lived with them. Vasquez Rocks is an amazing and if you’re “Star Trek” fan then you will like it even more. The stunning rock formation has been nicknamed "Kirk's Rock" due to being featured in several Star Trek episodes, each time representing a different planet Hike is good too although a little tricky at places. There is no fee to enter the park, but make sure collecting rocks is strictly prohibited. Therefore, if you want to climb some of the rocks you should wear good quality shoes or climbing shoes. Moreover, you should bring adequate water in the summer as it gets very hot. The park activities include: campfire nature talks, equestrian programs, a junior ranger program, seasonal special events, hiking and horseback riding. Picnic areas are provided. Charismatic Planet

Shahareh Bridge, Yemen

Shahareh is also called Shehara is actually a large mountain village and seat of Shaharah, almost 90 km to the northeast of the 'Amran Governorate, Yemen. The village lies at 2600 metres and overlooks mountainous bulging swells to the south and shimmering hot plains to the north. The village, which lies on top a sharp mountain of the same name, Jabal Shaharah, comprises of numerous ancient stone houses and a cistern. The area is popular due to its limestone arch bridge, constructed in the 17th century by a local lord to link two villages ((Shahara and Al-Madan) across a deep gorge. It can be reached through the city of Houth.

Shahara is the administrative center of the district and city is situated on the converging mountains; the eastern and the western recognized as “Shaharat Al-Feish” and “Shaharat Al-Amir”, each is over 3000 metres above sea level. Hence, travelling between the two mountains used to need a lot of time and effort due to the uneven roads and precipitous terrain. The bridge was built in 1323 A.H, 1905 AD during the Imam Yahia Bin Hameededdein’s regime of the Ottoman Turkish period. The Shahara Bridge is considered to be one of most significant Yemeni architectural masterpiece and a great geometric work, with lovely innovations with the existence of a paved stone road in the western mountain starting from at the bridge and travelling upwards. Moreover, due to the declivity of rocks, the architect was forced to design arches and erect the paved way that was built on them. Every year myriads tourists come to see this famous Bridge of Sighs and admire the engineering efforts. The bridge can be reached by climbing many terraced slopes or, selecting the path of least resistance, by hiring a local fella' and his pick-up truck to carry you up. 

Therefore, the view from bridge at Shahara is really awesome, as both sides of the bridge the mountains parted and revealed a glimpse of the massive valley. Many legends believe that the local people can eliminate the bridge in few minutes in case of any forthcoming danger. No doubt it is a frightening bridge and a prevalent tourist attraction. The local residents still cross it often as a part of their daily routine work. However the manufacturing mastermind of this bridge can be reached by climbing the numerous stepped slopes or, selecting the path of least resistance, by accompanying a local guide with you.Source: Charismatic Planet

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Flowering Desert: A Climatic Phenomenon in Chilean Atacama Desert

The “flowering desert” also called “desierto florido” is a climatic phenomenon that occurs at the Atacama Desert, in Chile. The magnificent phenomenon comprises of the blossoming of a wide range of flowers in the months of September and November every year. The flowering starts when rainfall is unusually high, a normally this region receives less than 12 mm of rain a year. The flowers blossoming take place when the infrequent level of rainfall reach the seeds and bulbs that have been in a latent or dormant state and roots them to germinate in early spring. Therefore, it is accompanied by the propagation of insects, birds and minor species of lizard. At its height, the phenomenon can be seen from just south of the city of Vallenar to just north of the city of Copiapó throughout the coastal valleys and Chilean Coast Range. The phenomenon is strictly dependent on above-average rainfall, although highly excessive rainfall has been seen to limit blooming. The area proved to be one of the chief sources of Chile’s wealth until World War I. The Atacama Desert is one of the driest and one of the oldest deserts places on Earth.

Climatically, the event is related to the El Niño phenomenon, a band of anomalously warm ocean water temperatures that occasionally develops off the western coast of South America, which can lead to an increase in evaporation and therefore precipitation. Due to gorgeous beauty of flowering desert, the site has been emerge in popular tourist attraction with visitors visiting the climatic phenomenon from various points around the southern Atacama, including Huasco Vallenar, La Serena, Copiapo and Cladera. The flowering desert comprises over two hundred species of flower, most of them endemic to the Atacama region. The different species germinate at different times through the flowering desert period.

Some of the most common species include Garra de león, Pata de guanaco, Añañuca, Schizopetalon tenuifolium. This area is also home to cacti, succulents and other examples of xerophilous plants, as well as animal species including the Tuco-tuco and the Four-Eyed Frog. In recent times, various concerns have been raised by environmental organizations regarding the possibly damaging effects of large numbers of tourists visiting the flowering desert, the illegal trade of native flower species, and the development of motorsport. Chilean Government has established a series of prohibitions and control in response of environmental organizations has suggested that these activities limit the potential for regeneration of the existing species. In addition to informative campaigns to the public, and especially to tourists, in order to limit the damage.

El Tatio, Third Largest Geyser Field in World

Head into the Andes Mountains of northern Chile and you'll find “El Tatio” a geyser field at 4,320 meters above mean sea level. El Tatio is among the highest-elevation geyser fields in the world, and has more than 80 active geysers, making it the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. El Tatio, name comes from comes from the Quechua word for oven. The geysers erupt to an average height of about 75 centimeters, with the highest eruption observed being around 6 metres. 

This place is a major tourist attraction, and tourists usually arrive at sunrise when each geyser is surmounted by a column of steam that condenses in the cold air. The steam plumes disappear as the air warms up, and possible to bathe in the hot geyser water in a small pool. Though the nearby population center to the El Tatio Geysers is Calama, a beautiful ancient town with a small but developing tourist sector, the vast majority of visitors come on day trips from San Pedro de Atacama.

Moreover, there’s wreckage at the site from an old project for harnessing geothermal power. The exploration of El Tatio is controversial, because this site is a popular tourist attraction, and receives more than 100,000 visitors per year, and is the principal attraction of nearby San Pedro de Atacama; that the geysers are in an indigenous zone and people put value on and show to the world. Well, if you want to see the see this place, then the best time to see the geysers is 06:00, so make sure you wipe the sleep from your eyes if you want experience the breathtaking display. So be careful, and watch your step, because in some places, tourists have fallen through the thin crust into underlying pools of boiling water and suffered severe burns. Dress in layers: it's toe-numbingly cold at sunbreak but you will bake in the van on the way back down. 

The area is also home to a number of hot springs, you’ll find pools with waters at comfortable temperatures or if you’re willing to brave undressing in the cold high-altitude air. The ground takes a while to reach 16ºC after the chill of the night has passed, but the experience is worth the wait. Source: Charismaticplanet.com