These chickadees were captured on canvas by Marsha Karle, a former National Park Service employee who now concentrates on painting. She draws almost all of her inspiration for her wildlife paintings from the national parks. You can learn more of her story, and of other painters in the parks, in Traveler's Essential Guide, Winter.
Yellowstone National Park
Is the natural world that surrounds you the same as the one that surrounded your parents, or your grandparents? What about that of your great-grandparents? The short answer, of course, is 'no.'
Recently a friend wrote to ask where I was spending the winter and when I replied, "Yellowstone," they appeared to be dumbfounded.
A debate over whether the wolverine needs Endangered Species Act protection has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend its deadline for making the decision on that question.
Yellowstone National Park is a fully functioning ecosystem, one constantly in motion as wildlife populations ebb and flow, climate slowly changes, and geologic processes continue. Details of some of those changes are reflected in the park's 2013 Natural Resource Vital Signs report.
With a snowy fall having laid down a reasonable snowpack on Yellowstone National Park, the park will open for the winter season on Sunday.
Among the functions performed by the National Park Service, few can top "fire management" in terms of costs, public safety, and impacts on both park and adjacent property and activities. That said, you may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to review and comment on the agency's new Wildland Fire Strategic Plan: 2014-2019.
Winter in the National Park System often brings to mind frosty snowscapes, places where you can skim on skinny skis, or clomp along in snowshoes that, though a bit cumbersome, help you go places you might not venture without them.
Outdoors, in the majesty of the national parks, masterpieces are created by artists drawn to nature's beauty.
It was a (hopefully not) one of those once-in-a-lifetime visits to a far off national park, and I was flat on my back. That, however, was not all bad at Virgin Islands National Park on the Caribbean island of St. John, where basking under the February sun on the sugar-sand beaches in between snorkeling adventures is de rigueur. Preferably with a cool drink in hand and a rattan mat beneath you.