This fragile poppy looked rather strong against the wind in a large wheat field just outside the city center of Geneva, Switzerland.
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Photographers Orsolya and Erlend Haarberg documented landscapes and wildlife in northern Sweden. Tangled strands of the Rapa River flow below the slopes of Sarek National Park, one of six reserves that make up Sweden’s Laponian Area World Heritage site. Veiled in melting snow and ice, Laponia warms in the summer, inviting city dwellers to venture above the Arctic Circle and experience the area’s splendid solitude. Scalloped patterns in gray marble were among the phenomena that awed geologist Axel Hamberg, who conducted a decades-long study of Sarek National Park. The Siberian jay is a year-round resident of Stora Sjöfallet National Park, where the birds are known to hikers and foresters as fearless campsite companions, always on the watch for scraps of food.
Sunlight reveals a plume of ice crystals (foreground) on a bone-cold day in Muddus National Park. Every season in Laponia brings a gift to the eye, including a female rock ptarmigan in winter garb. Footprints of a glacier can be seen from above Muddus National Park, where peaty string fens form in glacier-dug lowlands when the frozen ground melts in spring. Go behind-the-scenes with our storytellers and join conversations about photography, art, and journalism. In this picture from the early 1940s, travelers in California’s San Joaquin Valley gather owl’s clover and blue lupine in a field along Route 99. The Monterey shale formation offers a potential font of oil and gas for California, but new development poses a risk to rare wildlife such as the California condor. Derricks bow and rise at South Belridge field west of Bakersfield, California, pumping oil just as they have for more than a century. Once found across much of North America, the California condor now inhabits only a few regions in Utah, Arizona, and California. Waves lash at the cliffs in California's Monterey Bay, where rocky outcroppings of the Monterey formation are a feature of the jagged coastline.The Monterey formation indeed owes much of its mineral richness to the sea. The powerful hind legs of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, found only in California's San Joaquin Valley and nearby foothills, allow it to launch up to 60 centimeters in pursuit of unsuspecting bees and grasshoppers.
The steelhead trout once swam abundantly in the Salinas River as the waterway carved its path through central California, past the San Ardo oil field, into the fertile Salinas Valley, and out into Monterey Bay.
In honor of April 18, we take a look at how science organizes and names speciesa€”sometimes with a sense of humor. Mountains, wildlife, and wide open skies inspired more than great pictures for our photographer. Indonesiaa€™s Tambora eruption brought on a deadly spate of coolinga€”presaging the costs that come with sudden changes to climate.


During the first billion years of existence, Mars was an active and violent place with volcanic eruptions, meteor showers, and huge floods cutting channels across its surface. To delete this file, click the file name with your mouse, then right-click and scroll down the menu to the "delete" option.
To remove the photo permanently from the desktop, locate the photo on the hard drive and drag it to the trash. Travel is all about escape, and the urge to get away often leads us out of cities and into the countryside.
The craggy Cliffs of Moher wrap around the western coast of County Clare, providing a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Men and horses pause near El Calafate, a town just beyond Lake Argentina in the southern reaches of Patagonia. Standing at low tide, the torii on Miyajima is thrown into silhouette as the sun sinks behind a mountain.
In unusual or mixed lighting conditions, or with subjects of one predominant color, try to manually set your color balance.
Cable cars ascend through low clouds to reach Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf), a true symbol of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This picture was taken just a couple of minutes before the clouds overtook the sun and the rain began to fall. In summer, clouds rolling in from the Norwegian Sea make Laponia a soggy landscape of rushing rivers punctuated by wetlands and bogs. Laced with bogs and marshlands, Muddus proved so difficult to log that it now preserves stands of pine trees hundreds of years old.
The photo originally accompanied a 1942 feature story on California’s abundant wildflowers. The current range includes landscapes that sit atop the Monterey shale formation, where a potential fossil fuel bonanza has spurred interest in oil exploration and drilling beyond conventional oil fields.Listed as endangered in 1967 and reduced to just nine individuals in the wild in 1985, the California condor remains one of the most endangered vertebrates.
Covering much of western California, the formation was once part of the ocean floor in a region of intense upwelling, where life-sustaining nutrients are churned up from the water's depths to zones where sunlight could penetrate.
When not feeding on insects, this spotted-and-striped lizard has been known to gobble up other lizardsa€”including young of its own speciesa€”and just about anything else small enough to be overcome and swallowed.Though it feeds opportunistically, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard is particular about its habitat, requiring sparsely vegetated, undeveloped areas.
Since then, lava and wind have continued to mold its shape into strange and beautiful formations, like this dune field in Herschel Basin which appears to be cemented in place. In this gallery, get tips for taking the best landscape shots.Here, Mount Everest (at left) glows at dusk.
Carry a good umbrella, a box of plastic bags, perhaps a small tarp (some are specially made for photography), and a towel with which to dab your equipment.
The Tuareg have historically roamed the desert from southern Algeria and Libya to eastern Mali. The famous vermilion gate was built in 1875 and is the largest in Japan, standing about 53 feet (16 meters) high.


Landscapes are full of linear elements— roadways, train tracks, fencerows, ridgelines, tree branches. Like much of the oil produced here over the past 150 years, the petroleum has sprung from a jumble of rocks known as the Monterey shale formation.Until now, California has generally produced that oil conventionally, from the traps and folds in the Earth where it has seeped over millennia. Fewer than 400 live today, but a $40 million recovery program in the works since 1980 has put them on the rebound.These imposing scavengers soar steadily on wind currents as high as 15,000 feet (4,600 meters), their wings outstretched to spans approaching 10 feet (3 meters) tip to tip. Taking place during the Miocene epocha€”about 18 million to 6 million years agoa€”this promoted the explosion of a group of plants called diatoms, explained Bob Garrison, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a leading expert on sedimentology whose work has focused primarily on paleo-oceanography."These diatoms flourished in these upwelling zones because they could take advantage of these nutrients," he said in an interview during a visit to one of the formation's rocky outcroppings. The food you find, you hope that it's not tainted by rodenticide and other toxins," he said. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club named the species in their lawsuit as one that could be threatened by oil and gas development on public lands in Monterey and Fresno counties.Since the 1870s, irrigated agriculture, petroleum development, transportation infrastructure, and other activities have eliminated most of the original natural communities in the San Joaquin Valley, ravaging the blunt-nosed leopard lizard population. Environmental groups suing the Obama administration to prevent fracking on more than 17,000 acres of public land leased for oil and gas activities say developing the leases could make matters worse for the steelhead by affecting flows of the Salinas River and its tributaries, and opening the possibility for wastewater from the operations to contaminate nearby streams.
A favorite composition of photographer Michael Melford’s is an environmental shot showing the animal surrounded by its habitat—rather than the usual tight shot taken with a long lens. This means using a tripod to hold your camera perfectly still while the shutter is open, though you can sometimes find a solid surface to rest your camera on and trip the shutter with the camera’s self-timer. But the industry believes that advanced technologies including the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques that have supercharged oil and gas production in Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania could be key to unlocking oil that remains tightly bound underground in the Monterey formation. In search of food, they may travel up to 150 miles in a day, descending into grassland and oak savanna foothills to forage for carrion. The diatoms and other forms of organic matter, he said, "settled to the seafloor, where it became buried, heated up, and converted to oil."It was a violent path from there, geologically speaking, which makes for complicated oil recovery. The animals have been known to "recolonize" abandoned oil fields, but as oil activity increases, the populations decline. This long exposure captures the essence of the village with the locals all joining for a party near the boat ramp. GPS tracking data of condors in the wild population inhabiting central and southern California shows individuals have ventured into areas around sites leased for oil exploration in Monterey County.Risks for the condor amid oil and gas development are numerous, the Center for Biological Diversity warns. The birds have been known to spend time on oil pads and other equipment in southern California, and habitat fragmentation threatens to subdivide the population's already-small gene pool. And even state leaders who have backed a clean energy future are mindful that an oil-fueled economic boom could add millions of jobs over the next decade or two.



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