The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones, which has resulted in the avenue becoming a tourist attraction.


In about 1775 James Stuart built a new house, named Gracehill House after his wife Grace Lynd. Over 150 beech trees were planted along the entrance road to the estate, to create an imposing approach.


According to legend, the hedges are visited by a ghost called the Grey Lady, who travels the road and flits across it from tree to tree. She is claimed to be either the spirit of James Stuart’s daughter (named “Cross Peggy”) or one of the house’s maids who died mysteriously, or a spirit from an abandoned graveyard beneath the fields, who on Halloween is joined on her visitation by other spirits from the graveyard.



The Dark Hedges were used as a filming location for the “King’s Road” in the television series Game of Thrones. The trees have also been used in the 2017 Transformers film The Last Knight.




Mountain Highway Perils

A very close call!

By a matter of mere seconds, a motorist cruising along a highway in Taiwan missed being crushed by a massive boulder that plummeted to the road in front of them.

The jaw-dropping scene was captured by the car’s dash cam in a piece of footage almost sure to provide viewers with a jolt.

In the remarkable video, the driver’s picturesque journey, punctuated by pop music playing on the radio, is suddenly interrupted when the enormous rock drops from a nearby cliff and hits the road.

The bounding boulder’s impact causes it to crack up into a few pieces and, amazingly, the largest chunk also narrowly misses smashing into the car, making the driver doubly lucky that day.

Fortunately, the vehicle was no worse for wear after the close call, which is rather miraculous when one considers what it would have looked like if the timing were different.

Mountain Vault


The Granite Mountain Records Vault (also known simply as The Vault) is a large archive and vault owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) excavated 600 feet into the north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Utah. The Granite Mountain facilities feature a dry, environment-controlled facility used for long-term record storage, as well as administrative offices, shipping and receiving docks, a processing facility and restoration laboratory for microfilm.

Records stored include genealogical and family history information contained in over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm and 1 million microfiche. This equals about three billion pages of family history records. The vault’s library of microfilm increases by up to 40,000 rolls per year. Since 1999, the church has been digitizing the genealogical microfilms stored in the vault. The church makes the records publicly available through its Family History Centers, as well as online at its FamilySearch website.

There is a second vault, two miles further up the canyon. However, this vault is owned and operated by Perpetual Storage Inc., and run for-profit.







Colorful Landscapes

One of the best examples of colorful landform is on Mount Danxia, in Guangdong Province, in China. The Danxia landforms are made of strips of red sandstone alternating with chalk and other sediments that were deposited over millions of years, like slices of a layered cake. Over 700 individual locations have been identified in China, mostly in southeast and southwest China, where this type of colors and layers can be seen—all of these are referred to as Danxia landforms.




The Hill of Seven Colors, Purmamarca

About 70 km south of Humahuaca is another rainbow-colored hill—Cerro de los Siete Colores, or the Hill of Seven Colors, located near the tiny village of Purmamarca, in north-western Argentina. The hill was formed by a complex geological process that involved deposition of sea, lake and river movements and subsequent elevation of the land due to the movement of the tectonic plates about seventy-five million years ago. It is said that you can see seven colors in the hill, but most people can pick out only four. The colors are most clearly visible in the morning.





Ausangate Mountain

The Ausangate mountain, about 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco, in Peru, is also known as Rainbow Mountain or Cerro Colorado because of its exposed layers of rock bearing red, ochre, and turquoise colors. The mountain is considered to be holy and believed to be the deity of Cusco by local Peruvians. It is a site of daily worship and offerings by local citizens. Every year thousands of Quechua pilgrims visit the Ausangate Mountain for the Star Snow festival which takes place a week before the Corpus Christi feast.





Painted Hills of Oregon

The colorful layers and banded striations that make up the Painted Hills in Wheeler County, Oregon, the United States of America, were formed over 35 million years ago by volcanic ash layers deposited by ancient eruptions when the area was a river plain. Over time, the layers of ash containing different minerals compacted and solidified into the various bands of colors seen today. The black soil is lignite that was vegetative matter that grew along the floodplain. The grey coloring is mudstone, siltstone, and shale. The red and orange hues are from laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid.






The Red Earth Terraces of Dongchuan

Some 250 kilometers northeast of Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province, lies Dongchuan, a rural area with the world’s most imposing red earth. Spread over vast terraced fields, Dongchuan’s unusual brownish-red color comes from its rich deposit of iron and copper. Exposed to the warm and humid climate of Yunnan, the iron in the soil undergoes oxidization to form iron oxide which is naturally red in color. These oxides, deposited through many years, gradually developed into the extraordinary reddish brown soil seen here today. Every year during spring, when this area is ploughed for agriculture, a large number of visitors and photographers come to see squares of freshly upturned red earth waiting to be sown along with areas of budding green plants. The fiery red soil juxtaposed with emerald green barley, and golden yellow buckwheat, against a blue sky produces one of the richest color palate rarely seen in nature.