Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Painted Desert Arizona

The Painted Desert is a badlands in the Four Corners area running from near the southeast into Petrified Forest National Park and east of Grand Canyon National Park.  But it is easily accessed in the north side of Petrified Forest National Park. The brilliant and varied colors include more common red rock and shades of lavender. It took millions of years for nature to form this natural canvas of unbelievable design that some describe it as a multi-colored layered cake.
The Painted Desert was named by an expedition under Francisco Vázquez de Coronado on his 1540 quest to find the Seven Cities of Cibola.  Hence, passing through the wonderland of colors, they named the area El Desierto Pintado “The Painted Desert”. The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert is a living history book. The majestic colors, hues, and shades paint a tapestry of time. Visualize that once this was a tropical forest! Dinosaurs walked here.
The most part of Painted Desert is protected as Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area. Nonetheless, the area is easy and longer hikes into the colored hills. The magical Painted Desert continues north into the Navajo Nation, where off-road travel is allowed by permit. Wind and rain, the sedimentary composition of the rocks and the lack of protective vegetative, all subsidize to the rapid erosion of the Chinle Formation.
The Painted Desert is composed of stratified layers easily erodible siltstone, mudstone, and shale of the Triassic Chinle Formation. The fine-grained rock layers comprise plentiful iron and manganese compounds that offer the pigments for the various colors of the region. Thin resistant lacustrine limestone layers and volcanic flows cap the mesas. Further, several layers of silicic volcanic ash occur in the Chinle and provide the silica for the petrified logs of the area. The erosion of these layers has resulted in the formation of the badlands topography of the region.
In the southern portions of the desert, the remains of a Triassic period coniferous forest have fossilized over millions of years. Wind, water and soil erosion continue to change the face of the landscape by shifting sediment and exposing layers of the Chinle Formation. An assortment of fossilized prehistoric plants and animals are found in the region, as well as dinosaur tracks and the evidence of early human habitation.
Painted Desert Weather?
The Painted Desert has a cold desert climate with hot, dry summers and cold, though virtually snow-free winters. The annual precipitation is the lowest in northern Arizona. In several places is lower even than Phoenix. Most area of Painted Desert is accessible only by foot or unpaved road through major highways and paved roads.
Where is the Painted Desert?
The towns of Cameron and Tuba City are two major settlements roughly from Cameron - Tuba City southeast to past Holbrook and the Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is about 190 km long by about 97 km wide, making it roughly 19,425 km2 in area. Nowadays, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest are well-protected lands? Which provides a rich history of various ancient peoples, a breathtaking assortment of views, and a picture of life as only the dinosaurs knew it. Source: CP

Monday, 15 April 2019

Chesil Beach – United Kingdom

The English Chesil Beach “Chesil Bank” lies in the county of Dorset. It is popular for its pebbles stretched 18 miles (28 kilometers) long and north-west from Portland to West Bay. Chesil Beach is also called Shingle Beach. The most of Chesil Beach length is separated from the mainland by saline water called the Fleet Lagoon, which is a shallow area. The 13 KM long Fleet Lagoon is having a width of approximately 900 meters at little sea down to just 65 meters in the Narrows with the deepest part is 4 to 5 meters. The size of pebbles varies from pea-sized to fist-sized. The average diameter of the stones is 2 inches (5 cm). It is the largest shingle tombolo in the UK.
There are different types of rocks can be found here including quartzite, granite, flint, magnetite, pumice, and others. Nevertheless, some stories related to smugglers landed on this beach in the midnight may judge exactly where they were by the size of shingles. On the eastern side of Chesil Beach, an area of Hamm Beach consists of shallow sand dunes overlaying shingle. Moreover, Fossils take place all along the landward shore of the Fleet and along the landward side of Chesil Beach from Abbotsbury to West Bay. Some evidence recommends that Chesil Beach is no longer being replenished by natural means.
The key site is at Burton Bradstock. There have been numerous shipwrecks on Chesil Beach, predominantly during the age of sail. Chesil Beach is a popular location for sea angling, with access at Chiswell, Ferry Bridge, Abbotsbury, Cogden, Burton Bradstock and West Bay. In the summer and spring season, Chesil Bank is an important breeding site for Little Terns Sterna albifrons. They feed in the shallow waters of the lagoon, as well as nearby waters outside the SPA. 
In the Second World War, the Chesil Beach and the Fleet were used as an experimental bombing range by the RAF before and during World War II. The small population and density of nearby areas are proximity to the naval base on Portland. Also, this area was also used for machine gun training and Highball bouncing bomb testing during the war. Chesil Beach shelters Weymouth from the prevailing wind and waves and prevents the area from being eroded by wave action. CP


Sunday, 14 April 2019

Gatbawi (Mokpo) – South Korea

In South Korea, Gatbawi is a natural sandstone and Tafoni formation found near the mouth of Yeongsan River. Gatbawi means “hat rock” because it is a rock shaped like a hat. Also, there is a traditional Korean costume item worn like a hat resembling a Satgat, or a traditional Korean conical bamboo rain hat. The two individual formations are named Jeongbawi and Satgatbawi. The larger rock is called the "father" and the smaller is called the "son". Gatbawi is one of the "8 famous spots of Mokpo" and was designated Natural Monument Number 500 in April 2009.

Gatbawi is a natural tafoni small cave-live feature found in granular rock such as sandstone, with rounded entrances and smooth concave walls formation between 6 to 8 meters in size. There are two folk legends surrounding the origins of the rock formations that compose Gatbawi. There is a story associated when a long time ago, a young man lived with his sick father and sold salt. However, he was a poor but kind man who would do anything to help his sick father.

The young man worked as a farm hand for a rich house to save money to cure his father's illness. He did his job in an excellent manner but, in the end, his master didn't pay him. Unfortunately, when he returned home after one month, he found his father’s body was already cold. Then, he was repenting his decision that he had been foolish to not caring for his father for one month.

The least he could do was to try to make him comfortable in the afterlife. Unluckily, as he was moving his father’s body, he slipped and dropped the coffin into the sea. He felt awful about his father’s underwater burial. To make amends, he remained in that spot, wearing a bamboo hat until his death so that he too could not see the sky. Sometime after his death, two rocks rose up at Gatbawi.

Another interesting story attached with the rocks tells, when Buddha and a disciple traveled across the Yeongsan River, they took a rest in this place. After that, they kept on their journey leaving behind their hats. Thus, it is said that their hats became the rocks making them be identified as the monk rocks.

The Bridge of Gatbawi

A pedestrian bridge called “Boyaenggyo Bridge” leads out over the sea surrounding Gatbawi. Earlier to the bridge being built in 2008, Gatbawi was only accessible by ferry. Since the addition of the bridge, visitors can visit Gatbawi on foot. Source: - CP

Friday, 12 April 2019

Great Dune of Pilat, France

Most of you heard about Asian or African deserts. But have you ever heard about the Desert in France? There is a little piece of natural phenomena found on the soul of Europe. The Great Dune of Pyla is a rare geological phenomenon and a very popular tourist attraction, being the tallest sand dune in France. Europe's tallest sand dune nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, an enormous pine forest, the Arcachon Bay, a sandbank and a peninsula!
The Great Dune of Pilat, located in the municipality of La Teste-de-Buch 60 km from Bordeaux in the Arcachon Bay area, is the tallest sand dune in Europe. Great Dune of Pyla is also called “Great Dune of Pilat”. The sand dune is huge about 500 meters in width, 3 km in length and rising to a height of 107 meters above sea level.
The dune is considered a foredune, meaning a dune that runs parallel to a shoreline, behind the high tide line of a beach. Every year, more than one million visitors come to see this unexpected beauty. The interesting part of the dune is relentlessly moving inwards, gradually pushing the forest back to cover houses, roads and Atlantic Wall.
At some times, it was moving back 10 meters in a year, but after that rate of movement is discontinuous. In the last 60 years, the great dunes have moved around 280 meters giving an annual displacement of 4.9 meters per year. The endless dune landscapes you find in desert Arab countries, the contrast between the sand and forest makes this European sand dune an even more striking sight.
So, moving Great Dune covered about 22 private properties. Even a road of North East part was overlapped in 1987 after an avalanche of sand, the buried in 1991. A house was buried over the dune is referenced in a newspaper on September 19, 1936. The South East of the dune, a Bordeaux family had decided to build a villa in 1928.
However, after 20 years, the sands started to invade the house had completely disappeared over the sands. This Desert in France is famed for the exceptional scenery it offers from its peak. You can see on one side the huge pine forest and on the other the Atlantic, the headland.
This slope is really a challenge for everyone. The only athletic person can be climbing up in an efficient way. For the others, a staircase makes the ascent a little easier. The Man-made stairs protrude to top view which majestic. The seacoast and vast pine forest of Les Landes is more enjoyable when the weather is clear, the Pyrennees range.
Due to its exposed location along the sea and steep angle, the Dune of Pilat is a famous paragliding spot with great soaring conditions. These special ingredients make it a unique landscape probably throughout the world. It is sometimes described as a "menacing sand wall" or even called a "sand monster" swallowing up "parts of France".
The Desert in France is a magical place; one can climb it, jump in it, run up and down, take photos, stay and wait for the sunset for astonishing. If someone feels energetic than you can scramble up the dune freestyle! Source: CP


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area. The park is covering approximately 46,000 acres located 26 km south of Overton, Nevada and 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The park name derives from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone. These are formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. On a sunny day, these rock formations look like they are on fire, giving the park its name, the Valley of Fire. This is Nevada's oldest park, was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates.
History of Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire included the Ancient Pueblo Peoples “Anasazi”, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. They were mostly involved in hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited their stay. A perfect example of rock art (petroglyphs) left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.
In 1931, the Valley of Fire State started to create initiated by Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. The work lasted into the early 1940’s. They built campgrounds, trails, stone, visitor cabins, ramadas, and roads.  However, the Valley of Fire Park was opened in 1934.
Climate of Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park has a dry and warm climate typical of the Mojave Desert which means it comes with all the weather extremes associated with a desert climate. Winters are mild with daytime temperatures ranging from 12 °C to 24 °C. The overnight lows in the mid 3-8°C. Storms moving east from the Pacific Ocean occasionally bring rain during winter months. Daily summer highs usually range from 46 °C may reach near 49 °C. Thunderstorms from the Southwestern Monsoon can produce heavy showers during summer. The best times to visit are spring and fall. 
Valley of Fire State Park Road
The Valley of Fire State Park can last just an hour or two, only stopping at scenic overlooks and hiking one or two short trails or all day. If you choose to explore every nook and cranny of this place. The main road which is leads to Valley of Fire Road and traversing through the park. The 16.9 km section of the road is Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30, 1995. Mouse’s Tank Road is probably one of the most scenic and photographed spots in the park.

Things to do in Park
Driving through the Valley you can enjoy majestic view of Pink, red, and orange sandstone rocks create amazing vistas that you can see from your car. Pink Canyon, also called Pastel Canyon, is a spot that many people don’t seem to know about. It’s an unmarked spot to visit but it’s one of the prettiest places we saw in the Valley of Fire.
The valley of fire has a visitor’s center plus facilities for picnicking, camping, and hiking.  Petroglyphs are seen throughout the park, with Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock two areas in particular with numerous petroglyphs that are relatively easily accessible. The park also preserves three stone cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Towards to east entrance an arch rock formation look like an elephant, with a little bit of imagination. White and red zebra print sandstone creates a great photo opportunity. It’s a 1.5-mile round trip hike out to the Fire Wave. Also you climb the staircase at Atlatl Rock to see the best display of petroglyphs in the Valley of Fire. As you are in the desert, so bring plenty of water, sunglasses, hats, sun screen and comfortable shoes. Valley of Fire is a popular filming location for shooting automobile commercials and other commercial photography. It has provided automate setting to film making sites TV shows.
Valley of Fire Plants and Flowers
The valley of Fire is dominated by creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush.  Cactus species such as beaver tail and cholla are also abundant.  The springtime blooms with desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow.  This makes the park look especially spectacular in the spring.
Valley of Fire Wildlife

Valley of Fire is teeming with wildlife, but most of the animals that reside in Valley of Fire are nocturnal.  There are many species of lizards, snakes, coyote, bobcat, kit fox, skunk, jackrabbit, and antelope ground squirrel.  It is always a nice treat to see desert big horn sheep and you are likely to see sheep in the middle of the day.  The desert tortoise is a rare species and is protected by state law. Source: CP

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Tatacoa Desert - Colombia

Among all the landscapes in Colombia, Tatacoa Desert is most impressive, due to its greatness, its natural rarity, and its peculiarity.  A 330 Square Kilometers desert is a second largest arid zone in Colombia after the Guajira Peninsula. The desert is located north of Huila Department, 38 KM from City of Neiva and 15 KM from Natagaima in Tolima. This semiarid region is a rich deposit of fossils and has two distinctive colors, other in the area of Cuzco and gray in the Los Hoyos area. The Tatacoa Desert is one of the few places on the earth, where the sky always seems majestic. In the desert, you can expect blue skies during the day and endless constellations at night.

Tatacoa Desert Landscape

The Tatacoa Desert or the Valley of Sorrows is not just a desert, but a tropical dry forest. Tatacoa is a Spanish name, meaning rattlesnakes. During the Tertiary Period, it was much wetter, with thousands of rare flowers and trees, but as time passes, it has been gradually drying up to become a desert. The Tatacoa is heavily eroded and crossed by dry canyons that develop transiently in the winter months or during the rainy seasons.
The exclusive secretive shapes are created on clay surfaces, creating labyrinthine gullies in the landscape that can reach 20 meters deep. The Tatacoa Desert is one of the amazing landscapes, geographical wonders, and a magic sky. The desert average temperature is 28° C; yet on sunny days, it can go up to 40° C. For these reasons, the Tatacoa Desert receives many visits of paleontologists and geologists for whom it is a research paradise.

Fauna and Flora in Tatacoa Desert

In the low humidity and high temperatures, there is relatively little runoff, and animal and plant life is adapted to the conditions. The plants in this area are adapted to climatic conditions through the development of horizontal roots. The wildlife includes rodents, turtles, spider, snakes, spiders, scorpions, eagles, alligators and wildcats, and cacti reaching between four and five meters high.

Great Tourist Destination 
Tatacoa Desert atmospheric conditions are good for astronomy and many extraordinary natural destinations of Colombia. The area has little pollution or noise, attracting tourists who stay there to enjoy the silence, scenery and tranquility or the stressful city noises. Although it is not necessary to go into the observatory for stargazing, as the desert is a place with a privileged and clear view of the sky, as there is no light pollution.

The most important thing is your health in a desert environment. So bring plentiful water as you could get lost, get sunstroke or dehydrate. So, to make your experience safer it is the main key. Tatacoa Desert is one of the most iconic places in Colombia. Despite the particular geographical conditions, a cavernous desert, difficult climatic conditions has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. A good reason to be here, The National Bambuco Pageant is the Tatacoa Star Party 2009, which will take place in the desert between June 17 and 20, 2009. Source: CP

Things to Do in Tatacoa Desert

Here are some of the interesting activities that may entice you whilst at Desierto de la Tatacoa.
·         Observatorium
·         Rent a Bike
·         Horse Riding
·         Fauna and Flora
·         Hiking with a local guide

·         Swimming

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