There's plenty of debate about the pros and cons of "social media" in today's world, but among the advantages of those sites are the opportunities to enjoy some photos of "wish I'd been there" moments. The Facebook page for Grand Canyon National Park includes some recent images that remind us that our parks offer some special views of the ever-changing natural world.
The above image was taken from the South Rim of the Canyon on November 22, 2013, by Dan Ng and posted on the park's Facebook page. The comment accompanying the photo asked, "With a winter storm passing through this weekend, will we wake up to a view like this in the morning?" You'll find a larger version of his great photo at this link.
Just before sunset the following day, Mike Quinn captured a time-lapse video from the Verkamp's Visitor Center on the South Rim. This sequence, posted on the park's Facebook page, "shows in one minute what took ten minutes in real time." The post includes an explanation of the images: "Inversion clouds moving, forming and dissolving are caused by the interaction of warm and cold air masses and currents."
You can view the time-lapse video at this link; for the most dramatic results, click on the pair of small opposing arrows on the lower right-hand corner of the screen to see the image in "full-screen" mode on your computer.
Photos such as these are reminders that special moments in nature are also fleeting ones. The real-time view from a webcam at Yavapai Point on the South Rim can vary widely from hour to hour, but not many of us are fortunate enough to see the Canyon with the dramatic cloud activity shown in these images.
For one more example of the great park images available on-line, enjoy the sunset shown below. Mike Quinn shot this video from the El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim of the Canyon on August 1, 2013. It shows "the last rays of sunlight illuminating rain falling within the canyon."