Alam-Pedja自然保护区，爱沙尼亚 Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, Estonia (© Sven Zacek/Minden Pictures)
谨慎行事！ Tread carefully!
Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, Estonia
Among Estonia's stunning natural sites is the Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, covering 132 square miles of wilderness in the heart of the country. This occasionally ice-covered, vast area of wetlands, forests, and rivers is the largest natural reserve in Estonia. From the majestic white-tailed eagle to the elusive black stork, more than 200 bird species can be found here. The landscape is a tapestry of aquatic forests: still water, bog, and floodplain forests. Winding trails and boardwalks invite explorers to craft their own adventures.
当冰块变成了艺术 When ice imitates art
Lake Peipus, Estonia
Lake Peipus, the fifth-largest lake in Europe, dates back hundreds of millions of years to the Paleozoic Era and is known for its sand dunes, which can 'sing' when the wind blows just right. In the winter the frozen lake surface may feature ice hummocks, as seen in this image. The hummocks are caused by slow, uneven pressure in the ice pack.
像湖一样的大海 The sea that acts like a lake
Baltic Sea, Estonia
The Baltic Sea in northeast Europe is a peculiar body of water, possessing the characteristics of seas, lakes, and estuaries. Strictly speaking, it is in fact a sea and thus appropriately named, joined to the Atlantic Ocean through three straits in Denmark: the Oresund, Great Belt, and Little Belt. Technically, the Baltic is classified as a brackish sea, meaning it is not entirely fresh and not entirely saline. The Baltic Sea isn't landlocked, but it does border many countries, including Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia—and it's the Estonian coast featured in today's image.
Like a lake, the Baltic is relatively shallow with an average depth of 150 feet. Its salinity is so low it nearly qualifies as freshwater. That's because hundreds of rivers empty into the sea, and more fresh water falls on the sea in the form of rain and snow than evaporates. The Baltic can also be described as a giant estuary, into which flow dozens of rivers. Sailors favor the Baltic because there is very little current and tide to contend with, and even when surface winds pick up, the seas remain relatively calm. Easy to navigate, gateway to so many lands—the Baltic has been integral to trade and commerce, and inevitable conflict, in the region for centuries. It has been known by many names, proof the Baltic is a true meeting place.
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.