These beautiful tulips were photographed on spring day at the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA. Named after the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina, hundreds of tulips can be found in bloom during the spring. The garden sits at the northwest corner of Golden Gate Park at the base of the Dutch Windmill, built in 1903. The windmill once operated to pump groundwater throughout the park for irrigation now serves as a focal point of the tulip garden. The Dutch Bulb Grower’s Association donates hundreds of tulip bulbs each year in honor of Queen Wilhelmina.
Easily recognizable as they run out with each retreating wave to feed, Sanderlings often are seen in large groups and are the most common shorebird in Florida. Sanderlings are usually seen in their gray winter plumage from August through April as shown in this photo taken on an October day at Sand Key Park in Clearwater, FL. The most wide-spread wintering shore bird in the world, Sanderlings breed in the summer months in the Arctic tundra. It is not uncommon for non-breeding birds to stay in their warmer winter locales in the summer months.
About 35 miles southwest of Rochester, NY you’ll find Letchworth State Park. Billed as the “Grand Canyon of the East” the Genesee River travels through the gorge over three large waterfalls offering spectacular views. The rock walls are as high as 550 feet in some areas with a width of only 400 feet near the middle falls, thus earning the name the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The park is named after William Pryor Letchworth who gave a 1000 acre estate to the state of New York in 1906 that now comprises the heart of the park .The park now covers over 14,000 acres offering views like this on the 66 miles of hiking trails.
Zebras are synonymous with Africa. This is a Grévy’s Zebra, the largest of the three species of zebra, and is found wild in Kenya and Ethiopia. As compared to other types of zebras, the Grévy’s Zebra is taller, has longer ears and has narrower stripes. This species was named after the French president Jules Grévy, who was given one of the zebras as a gift in the 1880’s. While I wish this photo had been taken on an exotic safari, it was in fact taken in Tampa, FL. On this afternoon, I was able to catch this zebra having a little fun trying to scratch an itch.
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Manhattan is Rockefeller Center. At its center is the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, easily one of the most famous and easily recognizable office buildings in the country. Opened in 1933, the 70-floor, 872-foot sky scraper is home to the “Top of the Rock” Observation Deck that allows a unique 360 degree panoramic view of the city. One of the largest and most well known tenants of “30 Rock” is NBC which houses their main headquarters, many of thier New York studios and the live operations for NBC News and MSNBC there.
Nothing says ‘tropical’ quite like a coconut palm tree. Intolerant of cold weather, coconut palms thrive in sandy soil and have a high tolerance for the salt water and sea spray they are normally near. They love abundant direct sunlight, regular rainfall and finally, humidity. With such specific growing conditions, it’s no wonder coconut palms are only found the in the tropics. Coconut palms are found in south Florida along the coast, and throughout the Keys. This palm was photographed in the Florida Keys in Marathon.
At approximately four feet tall, the Great Blue Heron is the largest North American Heron with a wing span of up to six feet. One of the most common herons, the Great Blue Heron is often seen in shallow water stalking fish. They are found near fresh or salt water, with fish serving as their main diet, but will also eat small frogs, reptiles and insects. Great Blue Herons are monogamous opting to nest in trees near the water in colonies of up to 100 birds. This Heron was photographed at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, FL, from a bridge over the McKay Creek.