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Posts tagged ‘Nature’

The Natural Beauty Surrounding Vegas

The first thing most people think of when thinking of Las Vegas is the strip. Bright blinking neon lights, loud music, and spotlights are more of what people envision in Vegas than wide open spaces, natural park like settings, nature watches, and the beauty of the desert at sunset. Of course that is if you can get a little ways out of Vegas otherwise you’ll never notice the sun going down for all the bright lights.

Granted most of these beautiful places to visit are fair distances from Vegas but if you are this close to them it would be a shame to miss out on their beauty for the sake of a car ride. The first one I’d like to mention is Bryce Canyon National Park. It is actually in Utah and about 270 miles from Vegas. The fee to enter is $20 per vehicle but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The views you will see are worth every mile and every penny. You should also be on the lookout for some of the wildlife particularly the Great Basin Rattlesnake, bald eagles, and golden eagles. There are beautiful flowers that often bloom in the spring and early summer months if you happen to be visiting at this time it’s worth keeping an eye out.

The Grand Canyon is about 300 miles southeast of Vegas. This is another beauty that is well worth seeing if you have a day free or even really to make a priority of. There is a fee to bring your car into the park and you should check to see exactly what the current rate is before making the drive. For most people any fee is well worth experiencing this piece of American legend and lore. You can also opt to take one of many tours that will take you around the canyon and some that will take you to the bottom and back up again. If you are truly brave you should also consider one of the helicopter tours.

Floyd Lamb Park is open each day from 6 in the morning until 7 at night. This park is located about 20 miles from the strip in Vegas. It also has four fully stocked ponds, a barbecue area, and is home to some very interesting fossils and remains. The fossils and remains that have been identified here include the following: bison, mammoths, camels, giant sloths, and horse among other animals. This area became a state park in 1977 and visitors who have a fishing license for Nevada may fish in any of the park’s ponds but there is a limit of three fish per person.

Lake Mead is another great area nearby in which to enjoy the great outdoors of the Nevada desert. Lake Mead is a man-made lake and the 16th largest of its kind in this hemisphere. This lake was created by the Colorado River and the Hoover Dam and is about 1.5 million acres (I don’t know about you but that figure to me is actually staggering). This area is a very popular area for boating, swimming, and as wildlife observation area.

If you love the great outdoors there are plenty of places to get out there and enjoy nature in and around the Las Vegas area. You can do a lot more than view wildlife in any of these parks and each one offers something special to those that visit. I would hope that you could enjoy them all, however I would recommend that you spend at least one day of your trip outdoors in nature somewhere.

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Popular Backyard Activities for Teens

Just about everyone one enjoys being outside. There is just something about being outdoors that creates excitement.  While all individuals may enjoy relaxing or playing in their backyard, there are some who get the chance to be outside more than others.  Those individuals include teenagers. Most teenagers love being outside; in fact, during the summertime most can be found in their backyard. 

One thing, when it comes to teenagers, is that many are hard to please. This is because many teenagers are at the age where they easily lose interest in certain activities.  If you are the parent of a teenager, especially one that will be spending their summer break at home, you may want to familiarize yourself with some popular backyard activities, especially those designed with teenagers in mind.  Not only may this familiarization give you ideas for family friendly backyard activities, but it may also help to ensure that your teenager is outside, instead of spending their summer indoors.

If you have a pool in your backyard, your teen may literally be set for the whole summer. Although many teens get bored with certain activities, there is just something unique about a swimming pool. In fact, if given the opportunity, many teenagers would spend their entire summer break in their swimming pool.  While most teenagers are experienced swimmers, not all are.  If your teenager will be spending their summer break alone, you may want to establish some pool rules. These rules may help to ensure that they are safe while swimming alone.

Even though swimming is one of the most popular backyard activities, for teens, not everyone has a pool.  If you are looking for a way for you child to cool off during the summertime, but without having to purchase an expensive pool, you may want to examine the kiddie pools that are available. Kiddie pools are a great and safe way for teens to say cool in the summer.  When it comes to kiddie pools, not all teens will want to use them. However, many teenage girls enjoy wading in a kiddie pool, especially with their friends.

If a swimming pool, including a kiddie pool, is not an option, you may want to focus on other fun, outdoor water activities.  Many teens enjoy playing with water balloons or water guns. These water activities are a great way to cool off, but they are also fun to play with others.  Whether your teen is playing with their siblings or their friends, it is safe to assume that everyone will have a fun and cool time. 

Other fun, but dry, outdoor games may include horseshoes, basketball, football, soccer, kickball, baseball, or volleyball. As with most games, the games that your child will be able to participate will depend on if they are playing by themselves or with someone else. For those playing alone, basketball is an idea. Teens playing their siblings or friends will not have a shortage of games to choose from.  In fact, most backyard games are designed with two or more players in mind. For those of you who may live on a lake or waterway, You may enjoy fishing, boating or just skipping stones.

While it is important to focus on backyard activities, such as games, you may also want to think about what your child will eat. If they will be spending the majority of their time outside, you may want to think about allowing them to eat in the backyard.  Barbeques are ideal, when adults are present.  If your teen will be alone or with their friends, you may want to suggest a backyard picnic.  A few drinks, sandwiches, or snacks can make for an easy and safe backyard meal.

When organizing backyard activities, for your teen, you may also want to get them involved.  Teenagers are at the age where they like to make their own decisions. While your suggestions may be great appreciated, your teenager may have their own backyard activities in mind.  If this is the case, that is fine; however, you may want to make sure that those backyard activities are not only fun, but safe. 

New York City is a Gold Mine for the Nature Lover

You probably don’t realize that New York City is in fact the greenest city in America. Of nearly 200,000 total acres, more than 50,000 of those acres are of park or open space. While Central Park is the most famous of green spaces in New York City it is only number five of the top 10 largest parks in the city.

For those who love nature, New York City may not seem to be the oasis for wildlife that it actually is. There is plenty to do in New York City that will enhance your appreciation of nature and/or allow you opportunities to educate yourself about nature or simply be out and about enjoying it.

New York is home to some 1,700 parks and playgrounds where you can enjoy activities such as bike riding, inline skating, ice skating (seasonally), row boating, basketball, skate boarding, softball, soccer, tennis, Frisbee, or even a rousing game of tag with the little one that lights your eyes. Be sure to bring a blanket so that you can lie on your back and watch the clouds roll by. While you’re at it, see if there’s a stray bird or two that you can identify.

For those who love nature there are plenty of places to get close to it in New York City. For those who are interested in bird watching New York Botanical Garden offers guided tours. Blue Heron Park is another great place to watch birds. Some of the varieties you’ll see her include: Woodpeckers and Warblers. Clove Lakes Park not only offers bird watching but also fishing, row boating, paddle boating, and outdoor ice skating when the weather permits.

For those who prefer nature activities that require a little more action than bird watching (well sometimes), there are plenty of excellent opportunities to go fishing in and around New York City. Central Park’s Charles A. Dana Discovery Center is a great place to go ‘catch and release’ fishing. They’ll even lend you a pole. You can also go fishing in Willowbrook Park. While you’re there be sure to let the little ones ride the Carousel, it will net you a tremendous amount of smiles for the small price (in today’s world) of $1. Other activities available at Willowbrook park include: archery, ice-skating, an archery range, football, soccer, horseshoes, tennis, and horseshoes.

If plant life is more your speed or you just enjoy seeing the more obvious signs of nature, then there are plenty of chances for your to observe the amazing wealth of plant life and greenery in and around New York City. Central Park Conservatory Garden offers six acres of beautiful plant life to enjoy. You can see three distinctive patterns in the gardens here. The North Garden is meant to be a formal French inspired garden, the central garden is meant to lend an Italian atmosphere, while the south garden is styled after a traditional English garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers another opportunity for enthusiasts to enjoy the finest in greenery that New York has to offer. This garden even has a special club designed to help youngsters bring out their inner green thumbs. Be sure to check it out.

Another area of Central Park that bears mentioning is Belvedere Castle and the turtle pond that runs below it. Belvedere castles is a great place for bird watching and the other wildlife surrounding it only magnifies its appeal. Be sure to stop by the Central Park Conservatory at Belvedere Castle in order to borrow a backpack that contains binoculars, a sketch pad, and a map of the park to help you bird watch like a pro. You must provide ID and children under the age of 6 cannot borrow.

If you love nature, don’t fret, there’s plenty of nature to be shared and enjoyed in New York City. Make sure that you take the time to enjoy several of the parks that are available to your during your stay in this wonderful and exciting city.

Walt Disney: A Short Bio

Born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Elias Disney and mother Flora Call Disney Walter E. Disney was the best thing that happened to show business in the last century. Walt’s family moved to Marceline, Missouri after his birth where he was brought up in a farm. Drawing caught his imagination ever since he was seven years old and he sold his sketches to his neighbors. Family moved to Chicago again where Disney concentrated both on Drawing and Photography in his high school. He also attended the Academy of Fine Arts at night.

Walt was also attracted to the beauty of nature as he grew up and he began to love and appreciate it. Though his father was particularly opposed to his plans her mother and elder brother Roy encouraged him to pursue his dreams. Disney even tried to get into military service but was rejected because he was only 16 years of age and thus was underage to join military. But he joined Red Cross where he was sent to France and he spent a year there driving ambulance.

After returning from France he pursued a career in commercial art and even started a small company called Laugh-O-Grams which went bankrupt soon. This prompted him to go to Hollywood. It is said he had only one suitcase and $20 with him when he went to Hollywood. His elder brother Roy was living in California, he pulled in $250 and they borrowed another $500 and constructed a camera stand. It didn’t take a long wait before they received an order from New York to make the first Alice Comedy and they started producing cartoons in the rear of a real estate office in Hollywood.  After successfully making Alice Comedies Walt became a famous figure in Hollywood.

Walt married one of his employees Lillian Bounds and they had two daughters. The cartoon film Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 and his talents were exposed to the world in a silent cartoon called Plane Crazy. The year coincided with the introduction of sound in movies just before the release of the cartoon. The cartoon character Mickey made its screen debut in Steamboat Willie which was the world’s first fully synchronized sound cartoon. The cartoon premiered at the Colony Theater in New York on Nov. 18, 1928.

Walt was never content with his work and his quest for excellence made him introduce Technicolor in cartoons in 1932. He used multiplayer camera technique in 1937. On December 21, 1937 Walt released the first full length animated musical film called “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” made at a whopping cost of $1.5 million. The animated film is still regarded as one of the rare feats of the motion picture industry.

Walt had a studio in Burbank constructed which was ready in 1940 and the employee count went up to 1,000 which consisted of artists, animators, story men and technicians. Disney used combine live action with the cartoon medium in 1945 in the musical “The Three Caballeros”. Walt went to make many award-winning cartoon films such as “True Life Adventure” series, “The Living Desert” and many more. Disneyland was launched in 1955 with a capital of $17 million and the investment increased by 10 fold within a few years. Walt turned to social causes in 1965 and directed a film on Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow to improve the quality of urban life in America. But Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966 leaving many achievements and unfulfilled dreams behind him.

Walt Disney envisioned and had directed to purchase about forty-three square miles of land, double the size of Manhattan Island in central Florida. It took about fifty months to complete the planning and construction of the Walt Disney World which was eventually opened to public on October 1, 1971. Walk Disney was truly a pioneer and visionary of many modern days’ technologies. No wonder why he has received more than 950 honors and 48 Oscar awards and 7 Emmy awards. Truly this man stands out for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of art of cartoon making.

Why Camping Makes the Ultimate Family Vacation

Are you and your family interested in taking a family vacation soon? If you are, have you already decided what you would like to do or where you would like to go?  If you have yet to decide what you would like your next family vacation to be about, you may want to take the time to examine camping.  Camping is a fun way to spend your next family vacation.

Although it is nice to hear that camping is a fun way to spend your next family vacation, you may be wondering exactly why that is.  What you need to know is that camping is often referred to as one of America’s favorite pastimes. There are a number of different reasons for that, as well as reasons as to why camping is great for family trips or family vacations.  A few of the many reasons why you should at least examine camping for your next family vacation are outlined below.

One of the many reasons why camping is perfect for family vacations is because camping is in activity that is ideal for individuals of all different ages. For example, there are many parents who actually take their newborns camping with them.  It is more than possible for you to go camping with your children, even younger children, as long as you make sure that you keep an eye on your children at all times.

Another one of the many reasons why camping makes for great family vacations is because camping comes in a number of different formats. For instance, camping vacations can be as short as one day or they can last as long as a week or more.  This means that you can plan your next family camping vacation around you and your family.  In addition to the length of your camping adventure, you will also find that you can camp a number of different ways. For instance, camping is often done in traditional camping tents or in motor homes.  When deciding how you and your family would like to camp, you may want to think about what would be best or easiest for you and your family.

The activities that you and your family will have access to is another one of the many reasons why camping is great for family vacations. Although camping is considered a fun activity all on its own, you will find that it isn’t the only activity that you and your family can participate in.  In the United States, a large number of campground parks have on site swimming pools, on site lakes, on site playgrounds, and on site hiking trails. What does this mean for you?  It means that, in addition to camping, you and your family may enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and much more!

The cost of camping is another one of the many reasons why camping makes for great family vacations.  Although you will likely be charged an admission fee or a camping fee to camp at a public campground park, you will likely find the cost very affordable.  The supplies and camping equipment that you need is also extremely affordable, as most of the supplies can be purchased for discount prices, both on and offline.

As it was previously mentioned, camping is great for family vacations, as it is a fun activity that is ideal for just about anyone, no matter what the age.  As fun and exciting as camping can be, it is important that you remember to keep an eye on your children at all times, especially younger children. Although camping can be a fun and exciting activity, it is one that can also be dangerous.