潜力惊人的萌芽 The sprout with amazing potential
With a little love and support, this little sprout at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California has a big future ahead of it. It has the potential to one day be the tallest tree on the planet, or at least close to it. Its 'big brother,' Hyperion, currently holds the record at 380 feet. They're giant sequoias, aka giant redwood trees. They often grow upwards of 300 feet tall and can live for thousands of years. They're heroes of nature, affecting the weather and climate, while housing and protecting other plants and animals. But all of this little sprout's potential is at risk because the giant sequoia is an endangered species. Fewer than 80,000 of them remain. That's why today is an important day for it and all trees.
That's right, today is Arbor Day, the day where we stop a moment to think about the trees (and hopefully even plant a few). The first American Arbor Day occurred 150 years ago when an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska in 1872. This year, America's Arbor Day Foundation is celebrating its 50th year of dedication to tree planting. They've planted over 350 million of them over the years, but the mission never ends. Trees are vital to the health of our planet, which means they're important for our own health as well. Why not do a little to make the future a better place and take a moment to nurture or plant a new tree today?
无尽的夏夜 Endless summer
Don't lose your sunglasses! At least not during this time of year in Svalbard, Norway, when the sun crests the horizon and never dips below it again for more than five months. From about April 19 to August 23, it's nothing but sunshine on this island above the Arctic Circle, more than 500 miles north of mainland Norway. It's not quite a day at the beach, with average summertime high temps of 39 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (toasty compared to average wintertime temps of 5 to 9 degrees). And who knows how far it is to the nearest Ray-Ban store?
Norway is one of eight nations in the Northern Hemisphere that experience the phenomenon known as the 'midnight sun' (but the only one that lays claim to the name 'Land of the Midnight Sun'). Parts of the United States (Alaska), Canada, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Kingdom of Denmark (Greenland) also see the sun at local midnight during the summer months. In these northernmost climes the path of the sun is often cause for celebration. Svalbard celebrates Sun Festival Week when the sun first emerges in early March. St. Petersburg, Russia, is renowned for its White Nights of endless twilight, and Midsummer is a huge outdoor party in many northern nations. You'll want to get your sunshine while you can, because the endless dark of the polar winter lasts just as long.
12世纪的历史遗迹 The castle of a thousand and one lives
Château de Hunebourg
Today, we take a breath of fresh air, nature and history with this view of the Alsatian castle of Hunenbourg, located west of Neuwiller-lès-Saverne, in the Bas-Rhin, in Alsace. The castle of Hunebourg, listed as a Historic Monument since June 2007, is installed on a sandstone rock 425 meters above sea level and accessible by the Zinsel valley.
Formerly owned by the Counts of Hunebourg, the castle was built in the 12th century. Years after years, it passed from hand to hand. In the second half of the 20th century, the castle became what it still is today, a hotel.
The site welcomes its visitors in an exceptional natural setting where you can still admire the remains of the original building such as the floors and furniture, the cave of Love, which was used as a place for romantic dates, reconstructed by Spieser, or the markers of divided areas.
你能把灯关掉吗? Could you turn off the lights?
Dark Sky Week
During International Dark Sky Week, we're counting ourselves lucky to have this spectacular nighttime view, considering the astonishing fact that 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky. Unneeded artificial light is classified as a pollutant and has been proven to have harmful side effects. Not only does it waste money and energy, it also disrupts plants and animals, is believed to impact the climate, and blocks our view of the universe.
Encouraging people to get away from artificial light is one of the goals of International Dark Sky Week, and today's photo shows just how magnificent that can be. Here, we're treated to a beautiful view of the Milky Way from Yosemite National Park in California. Yosemite is part of a network of national parks monitoring dark night skies to gather a complete data set of light pollution. They've learned that 'two-thirds of Americans cannot see the Milky Way from their backyard, and if current light pollution trends continue, there will be almost no dark skies left in the contiguous United States by 2025.'
Luckily, dark sky is a recoverable resource. There are ways to reduce our light use and improve the view of the night sky for everyone. Think about it over the course of the next week, preferably while gazing at a night sky undisturbed by light pollution—or at least a beautiful photo of one.
看到和被看到 See and be seen
World Book Day
World Book Day takes us to the Tianjin Binhai New Area Library in Tianjin, China. Nicknamed 'The Eye,' this immense, stunning facility was completed in 2017 as the focal point of the Binhai Cultural Center. Designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with local architects, the library's floor-to-ceiling bookshelves appear well stocked with books, but most of them are actually printed images. The real books are stored in traditional rooms with normal shelves. Still, it looks super cool.
The original idea for World Bood day was conceived in 1922 by Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés to honor famed 16th century author Miguel de Cervantes. It was first celebrated in 1926 on October 7, Cervantes' birthday, before being moved in 1930 to his death date, April 23, which is also the date of William Shakespeare's death. In Spain, the day often involves an exchange of gifts, with the traditional gifts being a book and a rose. In 1995 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established World Book Day as a worldwide celebration of the written word and the power of stories.
1922年，西班牙作家维森特·克拉维尔·安德烈斯（Vicente Clavel Andrés）为纪念16世纪著名作家米格尔·德·塞万提斯（Miguel de Cervantes）而构思了世界嘘声日的最初构想。1926年10月7日，塞万提斯的生日，第一次庆祝这个节日。1930年，塞万提斯去世，也就是4月23日，也就是威廉·莎士比亚去世的日子。在西班牙，这一天通常包括交换礼物，传统的礼物是一本书和一朵玫瑰。1995年，联合国教育、科学及文化组织（UNESCO）设立了世界图书日，作为全世界对文字和故事力量的庆祝。
世界之眼 Eye of the world
For this year's Earth Day we find ourselves floating above Karula National Park, the smallest national park in the smallest Baltic nation. Visiting this jewel of Estonia feels appropriate for Earth Day, as it is home to a variety of endangered species, including animals such as the pond bat, the lesser spotted eagle, and the black stork. Rare plants thrive here, too, like the endangered Baltic orchid, mezereon, and the daisyleaf grape fern. In addition to the draw of its biodiversity, Karula is a popular spot for camping, adventure tourism, fishing, nature photography, hiking, and cycling.
On this day in 1970, some 20 million Americans rallied in communities across the United States to raise awareness of environmental issues. The landmark event is credited for sparking the passage in the 1970s of the most comprehensive environmental reform legislation in US history, including the creation of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earth Day is now celebrated in nearly 200 countries and has grown to include Earth Week and even Earth Month celebrations. That's good news for Earth's residents, big and small.
在公路上吃草的绵羊，冰岛 Sheep graze along a road, Iceland (© Matthew Kuhns/Tandem Stills + Motion)
今天冰岛人在庆祝什么? What are Icelanders celebrating today?
First day of summer
After long—very long—winter nights, it's not surprising that the First Day of Summer is cause for a big celebration in Iceland. The public holiday falls on the first Thursday after April 18, and launches Harpa, the first summer month of the old Norse calendar that was followed by the country's first inhabitants. The year was split into just two seasons back then—summer and winter—which explains why Sumardagurinn Fyrsti, the First Day of Summer, falls in chilly April. Indeed, folklore has it that if you put a dish of water outside the night before the holiday and it freezes, you'll have a good summer. Regardless of temperature, the holiday does herald the arrival of those famously long days with little darkness, a welcome relief after the light-deprived winter months.
So how do Icelanders celebrate the First Day of Summer? Well, they take part in flag-waving local parades, listen to marching bands, and enjoy outdoor games and sports with family and friends. There's a tradition of giving summer gifts ('sumargjafir'), and those are often connected to outdoor activities—maybe a bike or a soccer ball, or new clothes—to encourage children to play together in the fresh air after the long, frigid winter. And of course, what celebration would be complete without food? The holiday gets people cranking up the barbecue and gathering for 'summer' food, even though the average high temperature in April is in the 40s. Getting cold watching a parade? Icelandic crepes with thick cream and jam inside will warm you up. Feeling chilly but you're determined to think 'summer'? Join the hardy Icelanders who make ice cream a First Day of Summer must-have.
巴尔干湖上的木板路 Boardwalk over Balkan lakes
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia
In a country more famous for its coastline, about a million visitors each year venture inland to amble along these boardwalks and marvel at spectacular lakes and mountains. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest of Croatia's national parks. The big attraction is the series of 16 descending, turquoise-colored lakes, connected by subterranean karst rivers, and above ground by streams and waterfalls. The lakes are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by moss, algae, and bacteria. The water changes color from green to azure to gray depending on the angle of the light and the density of minerals and organisms in the water. About 11 miles of wooden boardwalk make it easy for people to wander among the lakes, falls, and caves that are open to visitors year-round.
The 115-square-mile park was established in 1949 in what is now central Croatia, near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1979, Plitvice's unique beauty put it on the list UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The lakes seem to magically disappear into the moss-covered earth, and then reappear downstream, proof enough that these woods are indeed enchanted.