If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Land of the Living Wind

Image 1-- Sunset casts a rosy glow over granite peaks encircling a glacial lake in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Chile's prized jewel, the 598,000-acre (242,000-hectare) national park is a mosaic of landforms including soaring mountains, golden pampas, and grinding ice fields.

Image 2-- Moreno Glacier rises above Lake Argentino as a rugged wall three miles (4.8 kilometers) wide and almost 200 feet (60 meters) tall. One of 47 massive ice fields in Argentine Patagonia's Glaciers National Park, this grinding, groaning force of nature covers a hundred square miles (260 square kilometers).

Image 3-- Hundred-foot-tall (30-meter-tall) araucaria trees surrounding a waterfall reach for the stars in Chile's Copahue Provincial Park. Living relics of the Jurassic period, these thousand-year-old giants stand as symbols of Patagonian tenacity in a landscape both severe and sublime.

Image 4-- A single ranch can stretch for several hundred thousand acres in Río Negro, a province in northern Argentine Patagonia. Ranch workers oversee far-flung grazing from outposts called puestos, like the one above, where hours are long and comforts are few.

Image 5-- Settlements, like this twinkling village built between the mountains and the sea, are few and far between in Patagonia. The 260,000-square-mile (673,000-square-kilometer) region is so sparsely settled that population density is as low as one person per square mile in some areas.

Image 6-- A lone lighthouse stands guard on the Patagonia coast. Cold waters rushing in from Antarctica support a wide variety of life along Patagonia's southern coast, including sea lions, cormorants, and albatrosses.

Image 7-- The 69,930-acre (28,300-hectare) Copahue Provincial Park, on the eastern border of Chile, is home to prehistoric araucaria forests, vast prairies, snowy Andean peaks, picturesque lakes, and lunar-like landscapes of rock formations, shown here. The park sits in the massive collapsed caldera of Copahue volcano.

Image 8-- The snowy peaks of the Andes spawn thousands of gushing streams and waterfalls in Patagonia. From majestic mountains to trembling volcanoes, Patagonia remains the unspoiled frontier of South America.

Photographs By: Peter Essick

*original post Jan 15, 2009