大自然的蓝色奇观 Nature's blue wonder
Steyr River, Austria
These whitewater rapids are found in Upper Austria, where the Steyr River crashes down from the barren Totes Gebirge (the Dead Mountains) through this verdant landscape. When it comes to the ancient town of Steyr, at the foot of the Alps, it will meet the Enns River, which flows into the Danube.
What gives the Steyr that stunning blue hue? The answer is found in the mountains themselves. When there's rainfall or the surrounding snow melts, eroded sediment flows into the river. Heavier sediment sinks to the bottom and finer sediment stays suspended in the water. Sunlight is scattered or reflected by the sediment, allowing us to see a vibrant shade of blue, as the Steyr crashes through this lush landscape.
孔雀羽毛 Peacock feathers (© sarayut Thaneerat/Getty Images)
华贵的色彩 Regal radiance
Bright and colorful peacock feathers
Peacock feathers, multicolored and radiant, are instantly recognizable. Their signature 'eyespots' flash in the light when a male displays its tail plumage for a nearby female, known as a 'peahen.'
The shimmering, iridescent effect is due to the tiny, crystal-like structures of the peacock’s feathers. As the feathers shift, so does the color. This brilliant show is all done to attract a mate. When mating season is over, males lose their feathers, making it easy for us to collect them for display, art, or simply a reminder of nature's beauty.
这些蔚为壮观的山峰在何处？ Where are these spectacular peaks?
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Italy
This trio of peaks, known as the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, is located in the Sexten Dolomites of South Tyrol, Italy. The mountain group is one of the best-known in the Dolomites and tourists visit from all over the world to hike its trails. You'll enjoy a breathtaking view of the peaks from all angles and in the summer, you'll see a beautiful array of wildflowers. Make sure to plan ahead if you want to hike or camp under the moonlit sky and bring plenty of water and snacks. These peaks are part of the Dolomites World Heritage Site, which was designated in 2009.
New York City skyline
New York City's skyline is instantly recognizable, even when half-covered in fog. Eight of the United States' 10 tallest buildings reside there, all in the borough of Manhattan. One of New York City's most famous landmarks, the Empire State Building, was the world's tallest building for 41 years.
When it was completed in 1931, it towered over New York City's skyline, the first building in the world to be more than 100 stories tall. But in the decades since, it has been joined by scores of other skyscrapers and is now the Big Apple's seventh-tallest building. While it may have been overtaken by some of its younger neighbors, the Empire State Building remains one of the most iconic features of New York's skyline, if you can see it through the fog.
大自然最为色彩鲜艳的一面 Nature at its colorful best
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
Welcome to the largest state park in the golden state of California, Anza-Borrego. Located about 100 miles northeast of San Diego, the park is well known for its spectacular springtime wildflowers, stunning landscapes, and natural marvels. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit. That's when you'll find a myriad of magnificent, blooming species of flowers, including dune primrose, desert sunflowers, and desert sand verbena. These hardy wildflowers can survive in extreme heat and with little water–perfect for California's driest state park, in which some areas get just 2 inches of rain a year.
Heavier rains than usual brought a rare 'winter bloom' of wildflowers to Anza-Borrego earlier this year. And record-breaking rainstorms have continued, ensuring an excellent spring display. The wildflowers draw large crowds of tourists to the area. Though you might be tempted to take some home, the wildflowers are protected by state law and should be left for everyone to enjoy.
通往天堂的楼梯？ Stairway to heaven?
Cecil Brewer Staircase, London
This stunning staircase spirals up through three floors at Heal's department store in central London, where it has been helping shoppers get around in stylish fashion since 1916. It was designed by architect Cecil Brewer ahead of the opening of an in-store art gallery. While the gallery no longer exists, the Cecil Brewer Staircase remains a popular part of the store's heritage, particularly with photographers looking to capture a little London glamour. The lights at the outer edge of the stairs were added after World War II, and the elegant chandelier cascading from top to bottom was installed in 2013. If you visit, keep an eye out for a bronze cat on a windowsill overlooking the stairs, the store's not-for-sale official mascot.
我们已经确认了这些“飞行物体” We've identified these 'flying objects'
World Meteorological Day
Though they may look like retro sci-fi spaceships, these strange shapes are lenticular clouds. Their name, like the word lens, comes from the Latin word for lentil, as they often take that shape. They begin to form in the troposphere when moist, stable air meets an updraft caused by a large standing object like a building or mountain. The air rises and if its crest goes below the dew point, it condenses into these fascinating clouds.
Thanks to the science of meteorology, we can explain these atmospheric phenomena. Today is World Meteorological Day, which commemorates the UN led World Meteorological Organization. Since 1950, this group has exchanged information between its members so the world can benefit from better understanding and predicting our atmosphere and weather.
蜿蜒曲折的人工湖泊，鲍威尔湖 Man-made, meandering Lake Powell
World Water Day
Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River, stretching across the Utah and Nevada border. It was formed in the 1960s after the US built the Glen Canyon Dam. Though the dam creates power through hydroelectricity, it also causes water loss due to evaporation from the broader surface area of the lake. When the drought took hold around 2000, the lake's water levels began to plummet, and in 2005 it lost nearly half of its volume compared to 1999. It's important to consider our dependence on freshwater, which is why the United Nations created World Water Day in 1993. Through education and activism, they aim to create better water practices on governmental and individual levels. As our global population increases, it's crucial that we all do our part to conserve our freshwater and keep it clean.