寒冷降临科茨沃尔德 Cold falls on the Cotswolds
Winter in England's Cotswolds
The Cotswolds region is well known by Brits as a sleepy summer getaway, a day-trip destination for rambling through rolling pastures and charming villages while sampling delicious local produce. But in winter, this rural landscape takes on a new character when snows blanket the countryside.
Some visitors take several days to hike all 102 miles of the Cotswold Way, the trail that leads from charming Chipping Campden in the north, over hill and dale through villages including Dursley—near the spot where this photo was taken—and finally to the city of Bath in the south. The whole stretch has year-round appeal—especially if you include stops at cozy cafes and pubs on the route. It's no wonder the Cotswolds region is the largest patch of land in the UK designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
古老的冰川与大海相遇的地方 Where ancient ice meets the sea
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Think of this special spot as the place where two different Alaskas meet—its vast icy north and its verdant maritime south. Glacier Bay is named for this area's dominant feature, the rivers of ice that carve the landscape and periodically calve icebergs into the sea. On February 26, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge declared much of the land around the bay a national monument. But the protected area was greatly expanded in 1980, when a 3.3-million-acre expanse of glaciers, fjords, rainforest, coastline, and mountain peaks was named a national park and preserve.
Pictured here is Lamplugh Glacier, one of the relatively few tidewater glaciers in the park; the vast majority are found inland. Lamplugh is known for its intense blue color—ice and water absorb the red wavelength of white light and transmit blue light, which is what we end up seeing. The thicker and more pure the ice, the more blue it appears.
Wheaton River, Yukon
Welcome to the Yukon, one of Canada’s three territories that offers magnificent mountains, numerous species of wildlife and an all-encompassing nature retreat. Out here, winters span at least five months and temperatures can plunge as low as -40°C. With a sparse population, the Yukon boasts massive natural landmarks. It is home to Canada’s tallest mountain – Mount Logan, the country’s largest non-polar icefields, and the fierce Yukon River which runs more than 3,000 kilometers. The Yukon also has a thriving population of wildlife consisting of moose, black bears, wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep to name a few.
This Canadian territory’s dark and long winters make it an ideal destination for spotting nature’s dazzling light show – the aurora borealis. In addition to that, visitors can partake in various seasonal activities ranging from slow and tranquil to fast and exhilarating. What better way to explore the Yukon than going dogsledding with a pack of huskies? If you’re looking for a full-body workout, there’s skiing and snowshoeing to maneuver through the snowy trails across the wintery landscape. And if you’d rather lounge by the frozen lakes, you can drill a hole and try your hand at ice fishing. There’s something for everyone, here in the Yukon. For now, we’ll just take in the grandeur of this Canadian destination from today’s homepage image.
冰，冰，正在坍塌 Ice, ice, caving
Glacier cave in Iceland
The land of fire and ice is home to countless natural wonders, like these brilliant blue caves formed within the ice of a glacier. (Glacier caves are often called ice caves, but the latter term is properly used to describe bedrock caves that contain year-round ice.) The majority of these glacier caves are on the southeastern edge of Iceland in Vatnajökull glacier, which covers about 8% of the island nation and is one of the largest glaciers in Europe.
Vatnajökull's caves, formed by the flowing rivers underneath the glacier, are famous for their blue corridors and eerie atmosphere. The caves are only accessible from November until March when temperatures are cold enough to strengthen the ice. The caves vary in size and shape each year, so enjoy the beauty of this one while you can, because it may not be around next winter.
通往过去的隧道 A tunnel to the past
Point Reyes National Seashore
This evocative photo of a cypress-lined road was taken in Point Reyes National Seashore, a marine and coastal reserve under the care of the National Park Service. A portion of the park preserves the marine habitat in the harbors along the coast of the Point Reyes Peninsula on California's central coast. Inland, the area's grasslands, marshlands, and wooded uplands present a notably diverse collection of landscapes—including the cypress tunnel.
It's worth noting that at the end of this tree-lined cul-de-sac is an old ship-to-shore radio station known as KPH. It's mostly a historic site that still broadcasts locally but was once a vital communications relay for the many ships that passed by Point Reyes, especially during World War II.
梧桐树峡 Sycamore Gap Tree
Stars over Sycamore Gap
The Northern Lights have set the sky alight with color here at the famous Sycamore Gap, in Northumberland. This tree has been keeping a lonely vigil for hundreds of years at the bottom of a steep dip in Hadrian’s Wall, the 73-mile-long fortification built to mark the northwest frontier of the Roman Empire. Silhouetted against the sky, it is said to be the most photographed spot in Northumberland National Park.
This part of Northumberland is also home to Europe’s largest area of the protected night sky and England’s first and largest dark sky park. In February it hosts a dark skies festival, with activities, talks, and an exhibition to entice visitors to venture out after dark. Very low levels of light pollution in this area make it a popular destination with stargazers who can see the Milky Way - and sometimes the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy - with the naked eye on a clear night.
The Northern Lights, a celestial light show caused by charged solar particles hitting Earth’s atmosphere, are a rare treat for the lucky ones here in England's most northerly county. But this iconic sycamore is here in all atmospheric conditions, ready for its close-up.
世界鲸鱼日快乐 Wishing you whale of a World Whale Day
Humpback whales and dolphins
As surely as some tourists return to Hawaii each and every year, thousands of humpback whale families, like the one seen in this photo, make an annual winter visit to the waters off Maui. They're the reason behind today's cetacean celebration: World Whale Day. While the observance honors whales of all kinds in all the world's oceans, it was here in Maui that the Pacific Whale Foundation first held the event and timed it to match the yearly return of the humpbacks.
These whales belong to one of at least four populations of humpbacks that live in the North Pacific. This group spends winters breeding and resting up in Hawaii's warm waters before making a summer migration to their feeding grounds in the chilly depths off Alaska. If you visit Hawaii during February, you'll have one of the best opportunities anywhere to spot these majestic marine mammals—and as we see here, maybe you'll spot a few dolphins too!
Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany
Rising out of the Bavarian mists near Germany’s border with Austrian are the Berchtesgaden Alps, which surround the market town of the same name. This pristine mountain landscape is popular with mountaineers and hikers, who have plenty of peaks to choose from. Berchtesgaden National Park, established in 1978, accommodates nine mountain ranges over 81 square miles, including the dominant Watzmann, one of Germany’s tallest mountains which reach 8,901ft (2,713m) at its highest point.
Berchtesgaden is the only Alpine national park in Germany and protects a varied landscape including deep forests, rugged cliffs, and glaciers as well as green valleys and pastures – complete with diverse plants and wildlife. Also hidden somewhere beneath that thick cloud lies the emerald-green Königssee, one of Germany’s highest and most photogenic lakes, nestled within steep mountain walls.
被白霜覆盖的山毛榉林 Beech forest covered in hoarfrost
Cranborne Chase, England
If this looks to you like the setting of a fairy tale, you're not alone. These surroundings have long inspired writers and painters alike. Naturally, Cranborne Chase, England, has been designated a national protected area because of its natural beauty. It may be especially beautiful in winter, when the trees and shrubs can be coated with hoarfrost, an uncommon type of frost that forms when water vapor turns directly into ice, skipping the liquid stage.
Cranborne Chase is a plateau in southern England touching the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire. These 380 square miles of diverse countryside include rolling grasslands, river valleys, hillsides, and ancient woodlands. The area has been inhabited since the stone age, and for centuries was a royal hunting ground—in fact, the word 'chase' derives from these hunts. Today, while Cranborne Chase is protected from most new development, it's not a wilderness—nearly 90% of the land is used for farming and more than 30,000 people live here.
点亮一盏花灯 Light a lantern!
Light a lantern!
On the 15th day of the first lunar month, two weeks after Chinese New Year, the Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated. It marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year period.