Taking its name from one of the longest living trees in the Arizona desert, the 129,000-acre Ironwood Forest National Monument is a true Sonoran Desert showcase. 🌵 Keeping company with the ironwood trees are mesquite, palo verde, creosote, and saguaro – blanketing the monument floor beneath rugged mountain ranges named Silver Bell, Waterman and Sawtooth. In between, desert valleys lay quietly to complete the setting. The national monument also contains habitat for the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and desert bighorn sheep dwelling, which makes hiking, wildlife watching and photography favorite activities in this desert jewel. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands.
Happy National Puppy Day! Did you know that dogs aren’t the only animals with pups? Other species, like the fox, have young that are also called pups. In the spring, a mother fox gives birth to a litter of 2-12 pups (also called kits). When the pups are about seven months old, they’re ready to strike out on their own. By winter the pup will find a mate and will stay with that mate for the rest of their life. Check out more photos of different pup species: https://on.doi.gov/puppies.
Photo of a red fox at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey by Ashleigh Scully via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
If you think the colorful landscape of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon is interesting, just wait until you see what’s hidden among the unique rock formations. The erosion that created the painted hills and deep ravines also revealed one of the longest records of evolutionary change on the continent. On the park’s 14,000 acres, scientists have uncovered fossils of plants and animals dating back from 5 million to 44 million years old. If each time period recorded here is a page in a book, John Day Fossil Beds holds an entire chapter of Earth’s history. Photo by Lucie Jiraskova (http://ift.tt/18oFfjl).