Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...

Olympic National Park captured by the Landsat 8 satellite. NASA Earth Observatory image.

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year, and the NASA Earth Observatory has joined in the fun with a special photo gallery featuring images of national parks as viewed from space. We've all heard the gaping Grand Canyon is clearly visible from high above Earth, but you can also see the striking beauty of the mountains, seashores, deserts and forests in other national parks from space.

Take a look at the gallery here.

It is always beneficial to look at things from different perspectives, because each viewpoint elicits a different reaction and emotion. Whereas one viewpoint might cause us to feel as though we're very small people in a vast and powerful landscape, the other may make us feel like the world is smaller, closer, and that we're more connected than we realized.

Here's a photo of Yellowstone Falls captured by my (much) younger self using a disposable camera:

And here's the Earth Observatory image of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the Yellowstone River, and somewhere down there, the same falls in the image above.

Does one of these photos make you feel connected and important? Does one make you feel smaller and insignificant? And now the question is... which viewpoint gives you each of those reactions? I bet it's different for everyone!

Perspective. It's a good concept to ponder now and then, and what better muse than nature?


  1. Interesting question! I guess I feel more connected to the land-based shot, although the grandeur (as I remember from being there myself) made me feel small. I'd say the satellite shots make us/me realize how small we really are in the scale of the massive universe. Yes, new perspectives are important.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jill! :) I agree - when I'm standing in front of something as expansive and impressive as the Yellowstone falls scene, I tend to feel very small and insignificant. The satellite imagery always makes me feel like the world is much smaller than we realize, and drives home the fact that we're all connected and "all in this together."

      It's interesting to hear how everyone else sees it - love the different perspectives!