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Most folks have heard of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, but did you know that there is also a Garden of the Gods in Illinois? Nestled within the Shawnee National Forest, this spectacular wilderness area is over 320 million years old and covers over 3,300 acres of amazing old growth forest and humongous rocks that call out to scramble over and climb here. The landscape is drastically different than most of southern Illinois because it is unglaciated. The fractured bedrock at Garden of the Gods, along with erosive forces like windblown sand, rain, freezing and thawing actions, have created beautiful hoodoos and fascinating rock formations. Cave In Rock is not too far away, so you can both climb and cave if you are so inclined, but today we’re exploring three “must see” areas with hills and hollows, magnificent bluffs and massive mossy boulders: Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock, Pounds Hollow. Other areas near Garden of the Gods and Pounds Hollow Recreation Area, include Rim Rock National Recreation Trail, River, River Trail, High Knob Picnic Area and the Illinois Iron Furnace, But all of Shawnee, the only National Forest in southern Illinois, is gorgeous. Take a backpack, wear shoes you can climb in that are comfortable, some water, your thirst for adventure, maybe a picnic, and, oh yes, your camera.

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view Pretty Pounds Hollow in Autumn and Garden of the Gods Rock! as presented by: Love These Pics


500 – 700 million years ago, even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, jellyfish were drifting along on ocean currents. Jellies are among the most spectacular and mysterious marine species in the world. They are the oldest multi-organ animal and have morphed into more than 2,000 different jellyfish species. Some live in freshwater, but jellies can be found in every ocean. Some sea jellies survive close to the surface while others dwell in extreme depths, glowing with bioluminescence in the pitch black water near the bottom of the ocean. Many scientists and deep ocean explorers expect to discover countless more beautiful jiggly jellyfish as they explore deep sea canyons, and other extreme water conditions near underwater volcano vents and in the harsh frozen temperatures of arctic waters. If there are aliens on our planet, it might be NOAA, and not NASA, to discover that in the unexplored depths of our oceans . . . this summer one leading British space scientists claimed aliens do exist and they look similar to huge jellyfish.

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view Jiggly Jellyfish from Dazzling to Deadly as presented by: Love These Pics


Fall’s season colors the world with every imaginable autumn color from God’s masterstroke of palette and brush. During fall, the beauty of nature is like a dreamworld, a fantasy. We encourage you to get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. You only live once and there is something about being out in nature that can balance a person and put their problems into perspective. We hope you enjoy these fantastic photos of autumn, sprinkled with inspirational quotes and words of wisdom. We love these pics!

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view Fall Fantasy: Every imaginable color from God’s masterstroke of palette and brush as presented by: Love These Pics


When the woods is Brothers Grimm scary was sort of far out, fun and freaky, so here’s another peculiar collection where spectacular flocks inspired some photographers to think of Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds or Edgar Allen Poe‘s The Raven. Flocks can be beautiful, peaceful but then . . . when the birds are scary.

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view Hitchcock’s The Birds and Poe’s The Raven: When Birds Are Sci-Fi-like Scary as presented by: Love These Pics

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