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Yosemite National Park - is an American national park located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, bounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers an area of 748,436 acres and sits in four counties. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. On average, about four million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing five million visitors for the first time in its history.
It's been more than 24 hours since I posted "Y" so I'll continue with "Z".
Keeping with the same theme ...
Zion National Park - is an American national park located in southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and up to 2,640 ft deep. The canyon walls are reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone eroded by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains are a mountain range consisting of parallel smaller chains extending c. 1,200 km along the length of peninsular Italy. In the northwest they join with the Ligurian Alps at Altare. In the southwest they end at Reggio di Calabria, the coastal city at the tip of the peninsula.
Round 9 ...
The Baltic Sea - is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, northeast Germany, Poland, Russia and the North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 10°E to 30°E longitude. A marginal sea of the Atlantic, there is limited water exchange between the two water bodies. The Baltic Sea is connected by artificial waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea-Baltic Canal and to the German Bight of the North Sea via the Kiel Canal. In recent years, it has become popular with the cruise industry.
The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, are rugged volcanic isles known for their black- and white-sand beaches. Tenerife, the largest island, is dominated by the sometimes-snowy active volcano Mt. Teide, which has its own astronomical observatory and is part of Teide National Park. Tenerife hosts a huge pre-Lent Carnival in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The Dalmatian is a breed of large-sized dog, noted for its unique white coat marked with black or liver-colored spots and used mainly as a carriage dog in its early days. The origins of the breed can be traced back to Croatia and its historical region of Dalmatia. It is thought that early ancestors of the breed were certain breeds of pointers and a spotted Great Dane. Today, it is a popular family pet and many dog enthusiasts enter Dalmatians into kennel club competitions. Dalmatian puppies are born with plain white coats and their first spots usually appear within 10 days; however, spots are visible on their skin from birth. They continue to develop until the dog is around 18 months old. Spots are most commonly black or liver on a white background. The liver is the recessive color in dalmatians, meaning that both parents have to "carry" liver to produce liver pups. If both parents are liver, then all puppies will be liver-spotted.
Newborn Dalmatian pups
Three weeks old - spots beginning to develop
Four-five weeks old
Three months old
Excalibur (is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes also attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Britain. Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur's lineage) are sometimes said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. Excalibur was associated with the Arthurian legend very early on)
Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies is a collection of plays by William Shakespeare, published in 1623, commonly referred to by modern scholars as the First Folio. It is considered one of the most influential books ever published.
The Great Hinkley Fire (was a conflagration in the pine forests of the U.S. state of Minnesota in September 1894, which burned an area of at least 200,000 acres, including the town of Hinckley. The official death count was 418; the actual number of fatalities was likely higher. Other sources put the death toll at 476)
Heliocentrism is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the Solar System. Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center.