Bluebirds of a feather

The Eastern Bluebirds

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” -Maya Angelou

Eastern bluebirds are the most widespread of the three types of bluebird. They’re found in in grasslands, forest clearings and meadows across a huge area from southern Canada to Central America.

A vibrant male Eastern Bluebird pirches proudly on the branch of a tree. Photo online

All bluebirds are cavity nesters, making their homes in the hollows of trees, often in holes vacated by bigger birds like woodpeckers. Nest boxes have also played a big part in helping the eastern bluebird population rebound after a steep decline in the early 20th century, due to reduced habitat and the introduction of non-native species, which compete with them for nesting holes.

An adult female Eastern Bluebird – photo- internet

Other types of bluebirds are the mountain bluebird and the western bluebird.

The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small North American migratory thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands and orchards.

The bright-blue breeding plumage of the male, easily observed on a wire or open perch, makes this species a favorite of birders. The male’s call includes sometimes soft warbles of jeew or chir-wi, or the melodious song chiti WEEW wewidoo.

I do hope that you fell in love with the minute bluebirds that make the meadows, the far away forests and the familiar orchards more beautiful, colorful and enjoyable. Their song is enchanting. Next time you see one, stop and listen to its chirping.

the source (partly) – the internet

Cristina David

Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain

 “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”

There is a place in the south of PERU, where a mountain attracts, not so much for its grandeur, but  for its spectacular look. We are talking about Vinicunca, or rainbow mountain, which has become one of the greatest tourist attractions in the land of the Incas.

Located in the Cordillera de Vilcanota – southeast of the city of Cusco, Vinicunca offers a wonderful show, from the same path that leads to it. It is a journey of approximately five hours by car and on foot that, even though demands a high physical preparation, culminates in a postcard image that is forever engraved in the memory of the traveler.

The popularity of Vinicunca expanded only five years ago thanks in large part to trekking and mountaineering lovers who were amazed by this unique phenomenon. The majesty of its colors and the peculiarity of its landscape began to be posted on social networks. The trek on the way to this Rainbow Mountain is as beautiful as the mountain itself.

Vinicunca, the mountain of seven colors – Photo on internet

On Instagram, for example, thousands of Internet users reacted to the publication and shared it on their own social networks, creating a multiplier effect. The American site Business Insider included Vinicunca as part of a list of the 100 essential places to visit in the world.

Geological origin

The color of Vinicunca is because a geological formation accumulated over time by the mixture of marine, lake and river elements. This gathering of minerals dragged by the waters of the mountain range, the winds and the humidity, has caused the oxidation of the place and has made that the mountain acquire that magical diversity of tones.

Explaining the rainbow-like colors

Geologists and experts in the field affirm that this phenomenon has been discovered thanks to the melting of the glaciers that formerly covered the mountain and that constantly received snow until the early nineties.

The altitude of the mountain is around 5200 meters or over 17,000 feet, so time for acclimatizing to the high altitude may be necessary during the trek up to the summit. Travelers to Peru and locals generally agree that the best time of the year to visit the colorful site is in August, since it is dry season and provides a beautiful view, maximizing the vivid colors of the mountains. Nevertheless, the famous colors always look beautiful.

The Andes – by drone

Enjoy!

Cristina David

5 Spectacular Rock Formations

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.— Jules Renard

While I have a great appreciation for manmade wonders, nothing comes close to the beauty of the natural world.

We all yearn to spend time in nature, and thankfully there’s no shortage of incredible sights to enjoy; from mighty mountains and roaring waterfalls to thick forests and beautiful beaches, we’re spoiled for choice. In this article, we will explore one natural phenomenon in particular—rock formations.

Whether for their shape, components, location or beautiful surroundings, tourists have long been drawn to these spectacular-looking rocks. Many of them are huge, and viewing them is breathtaking. Here, I endeavour to showcase 10 of the most incredible rock formations in the world.

1 Church Rock – Utah

Photo – Internet

Church Rock is a solitary column of sandstone in southern Utah along the eastern side of U.S Route 191, near the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This 200 foot roadside oddity near Monticello is called Church Rock.

Photo – Internet

2 Aphrodite’s Rock (Cyprus)

This is one of the most famous spots in Pafos, a coastal city in Cyprus. It is also known as Petra tou Romiou, which means ‘Rock of the Greek.’ Its popularity is linked with Greek mythology and the belief that Aphrodite—the goddess of love, beauty, procreation and pleasure—was born here. There is a belief that swimming around Aphrodite’s rock brings one eternal beauty.

3 Old Harry Rocks (England)

Photo – Internet

Old Harry Rocks can be seen up close on foot by walking from either Studland or Swanage across Ballard Down, a gorgeous chalk grassland . This UNESCO World Heritage site at the end of the Jurassic Coast is simply spectacular.

Further south from Old Harry Rocks along the South West Coast Path is the charming coastal town of Swanage, and beyond that Durlston Country Park and Dancing Ledge.

Old Harry Rocks is a spectacular cliff formation and one of the best places to visit on the Jurassic Coast. This is the very eastern end of the Jurassic Coast and the white chalk rocks gleam brightly in the sun.

Thousands of years ago, Old Harry Rocks and the Needles on the Isle of Wight were linked by a line of chalk hills that eroded away. What’s left is a series of impressive rock stacks and cliffs. Old Harry Rocks can be reached from South Beach Car Park at Studland Bay and its a 1 mile walk along the fields and grasslands to reach the clifftop, with great views over Studland Bay  along the route (a 4 mile stretch of golden sand).

4 Uluru Ayers Rock (Australia)

Photo – Internet

Visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Uluru. Not only is it a spectacular natural formation, Uluru is a deeply spiritual place. You can feel a powerful presence the moment you set eyes on it.

At 348 metres high, Uluru is one of the world’s largest monoliths, towering over the surrounding landscape and some 550 million years old.

Made of sandstone, Uluru is often referred to as the heart of the ‘Red Centre’ and is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. Breathe in, see the colours change before your eyes, hear the stories of time and be amazed as Uluru captures your heart.

For the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu, World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park holds a special cultural significance where earth and memories exist as one.

Feel the connection to the land as this iconic rock formation hides ancient wisdom and diverse plant and animal life. Discover an awe-inspiring landscape where creation stories are whispered on the winds.

5 The Arbol de Piedra (Bolivia)

Photo – internet

The Arbol de Piedra is another stunning example of geological erosion; over millennia, strong winds have rendered this volcanic rock formation thin at its base. Situated in the Desierto Siloli in Bolivia about 4,600 metres above sea level, the uniqueness of this isolated rock lies in its resemblance with a stunted tree.

Beside the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, you’ll find the stunning landscape of the Siloli Desert, a starkly contrasting scene to that of the vast white salt flats. Here, at the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve entrance you will find crazy rock formations that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The stand out among these different volcanic rock figures is the Arbol de Piedra, meaning ‘Stone Tree’.

Named after its unique appearance which resembles a surrealist vision of a tree, the Arbol de Piedra is 5 meters tall and has been formed by the work of wind erosion over millions of years. The base of the tree predominantly consists of quartz which is sensitive to erosion from strong winds in the area. The winds here carry sandstone and salt which increases the erosional effect on the rock. The upper part of the Arbol de Piedra is made up of iron that has a stronger defense to the winds which is what gives the Arbol de Piedra its large mushroom shape.

Enjoy these breath-taking formations made of stone and maybe, some day you will get to see at least one of them!

Cristina David