America’s astounding Mother Nature

The US is home to a never-ending roster of natural occurrences, from frozen waterfalls and mass animal migrations to the Northern Lights and rocks that seemingly move of their own accord (yes, really). They can be as beautiful as they are terrifying, but never anything less than mighty. Here are some of Mother Nature’s most incredible spectacles in the US and around.

Migration of the monarch butterflies, across the US

Crossing the length of the US along both the East and West Coasts, plus the Midwest, millions of monarch butterflies make the 2,485-mile (4,000km) migration from Canada to the butterfly reserves of Mexico State and Michoacán, hitting its peak each year in January and February. The average monarch butterfly only has a lifespan of two to six weeks so amazingly, the path is undertaken by as many as four or five generations for each journey to and from Canada.

Ice caves in Apostle Islands National Shoreline, Wisconsin

These dramatic giant icicles form when it’s blood-curdlingly cold in the caves on Lake Superior’s shoreline. As they’re only accessible by foot, it’s safest to visit in February when the lake’s ice is usually at its thickest and safest to walk across – and of course, it’s vital to wrap up warm. The harsh winter temperatures make way for photogenic stacks, sheets, shelves and more.

Bombay Hook waterfowl gathering, Delaware

Over 150,000 northern pintail, American black ducks, green-winged teal, Canada geese and snow geese pass through Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge every October and November. The waterfowl stop off at this reserve on the Atlantic Flyway on the Delaware coast as they migrate between Canada and Mexico. This impressive site is one of the largest remaining stretches of tidal marsh in the mid-Atlantic; the reserve’s walking trails and observation towers allow visitors to see the wildlife in their natural habitats.

Lenticular clouds at Lake Tahoe, California

These lens-shaped clouds appear singular or stacked like pancakes that are one of a kind. Lenticular clouds are very unusual to other types in that they don’t move, and as such make them look a little like UFOs. They’re commonly found in mountainous regions such as Mount Shasta or over Lake Tahoe and tend to be avoided by pilots due to the heavy turbulence they’re prone to cause. 

Thor’s Well, Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon

This beautiful, terrifying feat of nature has puzzled people for years. It’s thought that Thor’s Well could have formed from a collapsed sea cave, but nobody knows for sure. This gaping phenomenon is located off the coast of Cape Perpetua in Oregon’s Siuslaw National Forest. Seawater gushes into the well-like centre, which occasionally erupts like a geyser, and is surrounded by sharp rocks and boisterous waves – best not to get too close.

Back to top button