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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Java:: Bromo-Tengger National Park

Java, East Java, Mount Bromo. Bromo is a smoking cone inside the huge, older crater Tengger. Gunung Batok to the right of Bromo. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Java, East Java, Mount Bromo. Bromo is a smoking cone inside the huge, older crater Tengger. Gunung Batok to the right of Bromo. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bromo-Tengger national park is located on East Java, about three hours by car from Surabaya. Tengger is a huge, old caldera with the Bromo volcano inside. The smoking cone of Bromo raises from the plain of this 10 km wide caldera, but is not the highest mountain inside. Side by side with Bromo are also other mountains like Gunung Batok (2.440m) and Gunung Kursi (2.581m). Bromo (2.392m) and the nearby Semeru volcano, the highest mountain on Java (3.676m).

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Java:: Cegog – a forgotten village

Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon, 1930

Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon, 1930

On a densely populated and highly modernized island of Java, some people are still facing difficult and hard life. With small and no steady income to sustain their economy, people in Kampong Cegog must work very hard to make the ends meet. Kampong Cegog is located in the village of Rancapinang; sub-district Sumur, regency of Pandeglang, Banten.

Nestled in a hilly area, it is the last settlement before entering the south part of Ujung Kulon National Park, a world heritage site, sanctuary of the last Javan rhinoceros.

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