National Parks

If you’re going to places in the United States to take photographs of nature or historically significant places, you’re likely to visit a property managed by the National Park Service. The National Park Service manages close to 400 sites throughout all United States states and territories, including national parks, monuments, historical sites, and some other properties. There are 58 of them that are specifically designated as national parks, and these include some of the most amazing natural places to visit on earth like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. I had been to some of those national parks during my travels in the continental United States, so for the next few days I will write postings about each of these national parks that I had visited and highlight a favorite photograph I took at each of these parks. If you’re interested in learning about these national parks through images, you can check out Terra Galleria, the online gallery of a photographer named QT Luong who had gone to all 58 of the parks to take amazing photographs in each of them. This gallery is definitely inspirational; I would love to visit more of these national parks if I have a chance.

The National Park Service-managed property that I’ve visited the most is a special kind of ‘National Park.’ Wolf Trap National Park in Vienna, VA, is a national park specifically dedicated to presenting performing arts. The main venue within the park is the Filene Center, an amphitheater where various kinds of performing arts (music concerts from various genres, musicals, classical music, dance, opera, comedy act) are shown every night during the summer months (May to September). During the winter months, there are also performances shown almost every night at a smaller venue called the Barns at Wolf Trap. What I like about Wolf Trap is that they have a diverse selection of performances to choose from, and you can usually get tickets at the last minute for very reasonable price to watch these performances. Though you can get assigned seats inside the amphitheater, I usually prefer getting the cheaper lawn seats at the back of the amphitheater where guests are allowed to set up picnic and have food and drink (Wolf Trap is the only National Park Services property where visitors area allowed to bring alcohol to the premise). It makes for a fun outing with friends during the nice summer nights.

The photo below was taken at one of the performances I attended at Wolf Trap. In this performance, the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was played on large high definition screens, accompanied by soundtrack performed live by an orchestra and a choir.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at Wolf Trap

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