Layered rock formations rise like islands in an ocean of fog at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. From golden sunrises to star-filled nights, Badlands offers terrific chances to explore ancient fossil beds, observe a variety of wildlife and learn about the park’s fascinating cultural history. Young visitors, don’t forget to get your Junior Ranger badge! Photo by Barry Castetter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Winter has Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in its icy grip. For countless generations, the Upper Tanana Valley of Alaska has served as a natural travel corridor – for wildlife, native people and explorers. Despite the blanket of snow, many animals live here year round – including the Great Grey Owl, which preys on small rodents. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is anything but dismal. With more than 111,200 acres of seasonally flooded wetland forest and the 3,100-acre Lake Drummond at its center, the refuge contains some of the most important wildlife habitat in the mid-Atlantic region. In the winter, the lake provides a resting place for thousands of migratory birds including Tundra Swans and Snow Geese. In the summer, it’s home to Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. It’s also an amazing place to witness the start of a new day. Photo courtesy of Tom Hamilton.
Sunrise after a fresh snowfall gives an aura of peace to this small meadow at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. With a golden sun and pink light filtered through the morning fog, it’s easy to picture something magical happening in this majestic place. Are you in the mood to frolic? Photo by Shawn Stackhouse (www.sharetheexperience.org).
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.