The Empire State Building

US, New York City. View from the Empire State Building observation deck. Stitched panorama. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

US, New York City. View from the Empire State Building observation deck towards Central Park. Stitched panorama. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Not that there is any lack of vantage points in New York, but one of the best must undoubtedly be from the top of the Empire State Building. The queues here can be very long in the high season, so a good tip should be to come here when the number of tourists is at its lowest. If you come in the tourist season, try to be here early in the morning or in the afternoon. Out of season you can also risk encountering queues, but usually the wait is much shorter.

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Roseate Spoonbill

US, Florida, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Black Point Wildlife Drive. Roseate Spoonbill. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

US, Florida, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Black Point Wildlife Drive. Roseate Spoonbill. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The Roseate Spoonbill belong to the same family as the Ibis, and can be found both in South and North America, mostly in shallow fresh or coastal waters. It’s closest relative is the Yellow Spoonbill. it is a rather large bird with 120–133 cm wingspan and a body mass of 1.2–1.8 kg.

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Winter is coming at Revtangen

The Common Ringed Plover is a small plover. At Revtangen on Jaeren, south west Norway. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The Common Ringed Plover is a small plover. At Revtangen on Jaeren, south west Norway. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Winter is coming. At Revtangen bird observatory south of Stavanger that means time for action, but fortunately of a peaceful nature. Autumn is high season for bird ringing when it comes to migratory species like waders.

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Redwood forests – the natural cathedrals

United States, California. Muir Woods National Monument is an an old-growth coastal redwood forest north of San Francisco. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

United States, California. Muir Woods National Monument, a cathedral of trees. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

It’s hard to visit a redwood forest without beeing in awe of the size and age of these prehistoric but fortunately still living giants, some can be as high as 115m and as old as 3.500 years. Their lineage can be followed back to the time of dinosaurs, when the redwood species of that time were the dominant trees in the forests of North America.

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Death Valley National Park

United States, California, Death Valley. From Dante's View 5,500 feet (1,700 m) above sea level. Great view of central part of Death Valley. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

United States, California, Death Valley. From Dantes View 5,500 feet (1,700 m) above sea level. Great view of central part of Death Valley. (Photo Bjorn Grotting

Don’t let the name scare you, Death Valley is far from a dead valley. Located in the Mojave Desert in eastern California the valley makes up most of the Death Valley National Park, one of the largest national parks in the United States. It is home to a large variety of plant and animal species, and for geologists it’s an open book presenting a number of geological eras.

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Joshua Tree National Park

United States, California, Joshua Tree National Park. Skull Rock. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

United States, California, Joshua Tree National Park. Skull Rock. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

The fascinating Joshua Tree National Park in California represents three different ecosystems; the Mojave Desert to the north, the Colorado Desert which occupies the eastern and southern parts and finally The Little San Bernardino Mountains. As the name suggests the park can offer large habitats with the characteristic Joshua tree, mostly found in the western parts of the park. Similarly fascinating is the geologic formations found here, almost like somebody has been sculpting them.

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Värmland county of lakes

Sweden, Värmland, Sunset. Fire in the sky. Colourful sunset at a small lake in Värmland, not far from the Norwegian border. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Sweden, Värmland. Fire in the sky. Colourful sunset at a small lake in Värmland, not far from the Norwegian border. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Värmland is maybe one of the most scenic landscapes in Sweden, and has inspired painters, writers and musicians for centuries, like Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, many of her novels take place in Värmland. Värmland is both the name of a landscape and county. Landscapes no longer serve any administrative functions in Sweden, but often has the same borders as a county.

The county has 10512 lakes, including Lake Vänern which is the largest inland lake in Western Europe. Other large lakes are Fryken, Glafsfjorden and Värmeln. The Klarälven river is very important, 460km long from it’s sources in Norway, ending in Lake Vänern.

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Sakhalin, Russias largest island

Russia, Sakhalin. Okhotskoye is a small village at the south east coast of Sakhalin, not far from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Residential buildings are mostly made of wood. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Russia, Sakhalin. Okhotskoye is a small village at the south east coast of Sakhalin, not far from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Residential buildings are mostly made of wood. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Sakhalin island, just north of Japan and off the east coast of Russia, has led to many bitter disputes between the two countries. The island is today part of Russia, and is Russia’s largest island.

I visited the island last year, and have added several images to the photo gallery.

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Winter in Grand Canyon

United States, Arizona, Grand Canyon. Sunset at Lipan Point, with sunrays hitting some of the peaks. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

United States, Arizona, Grand Canyon. Sunset at Lipan Point, with the last sunlight hitting some of the rock formations. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

I recently came back from a trip to western United States, including a couple of days at the Grand Canyon. It was still early February, so I was afraid we would meet some really bad weather up there. To my delight we had cold but nice and sunny winter conditions, with some snow in parts of the park.

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Giraffe – The Cameleopard

Giraffe at sunrise in Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Giraffes feeding on leaves, acacia trees are among its favorite food. At sunrise in Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

How about some images of giraffes, the tallest animal walking the earth?

These are images I took during a visit to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa a while ago. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi is located 280 km north of Durban, and is the oldest proclaimed park in Africa.

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