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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Petra, the rose red city

Petra is Jordan's most visited tourist attraction. al-Siq is the main entrance to the ancient city. Al Khazneh, The Treasury, seen from the end of the gorge. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Petra is Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction. Al Khazneh, The Treasury, seen from the end of the gorge. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Petra became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Also known as the “rose red city, half as old as time”, it is not difficult to understand why it has become Jordan’s largest tourist attraction. Some say this is partly because of Steven Spielberg’s movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” from 1986, but no doubt this site would could have become famous anyway sooner or later. It was also chosen as one of the controversial “New Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007.

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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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Bali:: Gianyar, the richest district on Bali

Bali, Gianyar. Some of the many large statues in this area. Close to the center of Gianyar city. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bali, Gianyar. Some of the many large statues in this area. Close to the center of Gianyar city. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Traditionally Gianyar has been the richest district on Bali, today about half the population here works in the tourist industry. Gianyar city is the administrative center of the district, while Ubud is the cultural capital and has the largest population. Gianyar city is located about 23 km from Denpasar, and is a junction for north and east bound traffic. Around Bedulu, between the Petanu and Pakrisan rivers, is a 10 km long belt of land known as “the land between the rivers”.

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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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Winter sunset

Norway, Stoksund. Winter colours. An ice and snow covered landscape at sunset. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Norway, Trondelag, Stokksund. Winter colours. An ice and snow covered landscape at sunset. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

It’s always fun to look through old photos. I captured this scene more than ten years ago. It got me a price in a photo contest held by Trondheim’s largest newspaper. This was back in the “old” days, while film based cameras were more common than the digital wonders we use today. Most of us who shot film know the feeling; you think you have a nice shot, but will not know the result for several days, or weeks in worst case.

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