Join us in celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From humble beginnings, our 16th President rose to become one of the most influential figures in American history. Learn about his life and legacy at some of our nation’s historic sites: https://www.doi.gov/blog/walk-footsteps-abraham-lincoln. Photo of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. courtesy of Drew Geraci.
Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River in Washington, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge preserves unique habitat for wintering birds and other fascinating wildlife. Quiet and attentive visitors may be treated to the sight of a long tailed weasel running across a trail or a group of river otters playing in the water. Look out over distant fields and you might see a coyote hunting for rodents or a white tailed deer grazing watchfully. The refuge is a place where people can share a bond with nature, and each other, by passing on outdoor traditions to new generations. Sunset photo by Donna Torres (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Last night’s “super blue blood moon” was the second full moon of January and appeared 14 percent bigger than the usual full moon. The reddish color is an effect of the lunar eclipse, when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. It’s the first time this has happened in 150 years. Did you see this rare and spectacular event? Photo from the Pony Express National Historic Trail in Nevada by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management. #SuperBlueBloodMoon
The craggy arms of a large, red mangrove stretch out to greet the morning sun at Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Rising above the water line on aerial prop roots and thriving on tropical coastlines, mangroves provide shelter for plants and animals. They’re just one of the many interesting sights you’ll see near the continental United States’s southernmost point. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Spreading across Long Valley in California, the Volcanic Tablelands are a vast and unique landscape formed 700,000 years ago. Small canyons and bluffs dot the mostly flat area, offering amazing night sky views. Carved into the gray, red and pink rocks are extraordinary petroglyphs, mysterious symbols created by Native Americans centuries ago. Archaeologists can only speculate on their meaning. Photo of Bureau of Land Management site by Brandon Yoshizawa (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Want to escape the winter cold? South Florida offers some amazing public lands getaways. Don’t miss sunrise at Big Cypress National Preserve. The orange light shimmers on the wetlands as a terrific variety of wildlife greets the morning. You’ll forget all about the snow at home. Photo by National Park Service.
Snow clings to the jagged sides of Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. This astounding geologic feature is considered sacred to the Northern Plains Indians and other tribes, who call it “Bear’s Tipi” or “Bear’s Lodge.” Winter activities include hiking and cross-country skiing, but a word of caution: trails are not maintained during the winter months. Check out more amazing photos of public lands in winter: https://on.doi.gov/2Bt6ijV. Photo by National Park Service.
You won’t see much snow at Merced National Wildlife Refuge in California, but you can see a whole lot of snow geese. The refuge’s wetlands attract large numbers of migratory birds throughout the winter. Living in large groups, they watch out for each other as they forage for stems, grains and berries. Sunset photo by Joanne Freemire (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park in South Dakota is undeniable. From hiking past unique rock formations and fossil beds to watching bison run across the grasslands and the surprise of a swift storm moving in, outdoor adventures abound. Photo by Christina Laws (www.sharetheexperience.org).
First light streaks across the sky, chasing away the stars over Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. The orange dawn quickly reveals the mountains, forests, rivers and lakes scattered across this epic landscape. With beauty like this, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Photo by Kim Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).