Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nature Nerd Wednesdays: National Park Edition

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays!  By the middle of the workweek, I know that I'm ready for a pick-me-up, for some inspiration -- and for that reason I decided to post a nature photo or quote each Wednesday.  Perusing works of nature writing and photography helps me reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature, which is something we all can benefit from in the middle of a busy, stressful work week! 

I started the National Park Edition of Nature Nerd Wednesdays during the government shutdown, with the idea of bringing the national parks to you, since everyone was sadly prevented from being able to enjoy these beautiful natural wonders in person.  Although our national parks are once again open and available for enjoyment, I felt I would be remiss to not acknowledge perhaps the most well-known of Washington State's national parks.  And so this Wednesday, we will enjoy some beautiful scenery from Mount Rainier!

The great thing about Mount Rainier is that, well, it's tall - which meant that even though the national parks were closed for a few weeks, the mountain was still visible from afar.  However, it is hard to beat the beauty of this up-close scenery:

Mount Rainier, the stately icon of Washington State, towers over a forest resplendent with dazzling autumn hues.  I love all of the colors in this photo - absolutely stunning. 

The ending of the government shutdown also means that the Mount Rainier webcams are back up!  Anytime you want to escape to Mount Rainier National Park, you can just pull up the webcams and see a photo of the current view of Paradise, Camp Muir, or the Tattoosh Range. If you're like me and are getting a little tired of the persistent fog that has kept the Puget Sound region socked in for the past week or so, then check out the Camp Muir webcam.  Perched at an elevation of 10,000 feet up on the side of Mount Rainier, this webcam will give you a stunning panoramic mountaintop view that is well above the blanket of fog!

Let the photos from the past few National Park Editions of Nature Nerd Wednesdays be your inspiration to get out there and enjoy everything our national parks have to offer.  Take advantage of being able to hike the trails, admire the scenery, and revel in the breathtaking natural spaces that were set aside to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.  It is in our national parks that many people first fall in love with nature and develop a connection and ethic of conservation in regard to the environment, and that is certainly something to be encouraged!

For more information on the National Parks in Washington State, visit the National Park Service web page for Washington here.

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