Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Oct 18, 2021
A Welsh wonder turns 70
Here on the west coast of Great Britain, we"re enjoying views of the windswept uplands and jagged peaks that surround the small village of Capel Curig in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. Renowned for its rugged and mountainous landscape, Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales and home to over 26,000 people and even more sheep—the wooly farm animals outnumber people 3 to 1 in Wales. About 60% of the park"s population speak Welsh, one of Europe"s oldest languages, and today they will be wishing this spectacular setting a "pen-blwydd hapus" (happy birthday) as Snowdonia celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Oct 17, 2021
A walk among the giants
On New Zealand"s North Island, Whakarewarewa Forest is home to a diverse range of native plants and animals. There"s also a series of lakes as well as hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and even active geysers. But Whakarewarewa Forest features something that no other forest in New Zealand can claim: a stand of majestic redwood trees called the Redwood Memorial Grove. The redwoods were introduced from their native California at the beginning of the 20th century.
Oct 16, 2021
Unearthing a queen s lost tale
Almost 3,500 years ago under Queen Hatshepsut"s reign, Egypt enjoyed decades of peace and flourishing culture, and this elegant temple is just one piece of her larger-than-life legacy. But the pharaoh who succeeded Hatshepsut forbade all mention of her rule, taking credit for her monuments and leaving her name all but unknown for millennia.
Oct 15, 2021
Autumn in the Prosecco Hills
It"s fall here in the Prosecco Hills of northeastern Italy. We"re just outside Farra di Soligo, a village about 30 miles northwest of Venice. This region is known for growing the glera grape used to make the sparkling white wine called prosecco. Once considered a poor cousin to Champagne, prosecco now eclipses it in global popularity. More than 600 million bottles of prosecco were produced in Italy in 2018, about twice the amount of Champagne.
Oct 14, 2021
Happy birthday, Saguaro National Park
If you know what these distinctively shaped cactuses are called, you can name this patch of public land in the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro National Park was established on this day in 1994 to protect giant saguaros like these. The slow-growing, prickly behemoths have been known to reach almost 80 feet into the Arizona sky. Just don"t be tempted to climb one—take it from us, a closer look at that celestial display isn"t worth getting jabbed by 3-inch saguaro spines.
Oct 13, 2021
Celebrating a young girl s age-old discovery
When 12-year-old Mary Anning uncovered the complete skeleton of a fish-like creature near her home on England"s southern coast in 1811, extinction was a shaky idea in science. Fossils were nothing new—everything dies and leaves remains, after all. But could an entire species really die off? Were more of these 17-foot sea monsters lurking in the depths of the English Channel?
Oct 12, 2021
High tide at the walled city
Saint-Malo was founded by the Gauls more than 2,000 years ago and has an appropriately rich and storied history. Built on the Brittany coast of the English Channel, Saint-Malo became an important stop for ships coming into and out of Western Europe. And because of its strategic location, Saint-Malo was, for a time, a favorite spot for pirates, corsairs, and privateers—as ships made their way through the channel, pirates lurking off the Saint-Malo coast could pounce easily while French authorities looked the other way.
Oct 11, 2021
Just north of Ketchikan, Alaska, is Totem Bight State Historical Park, a 33-acre space dedicated to preserving elements of the Indigenous Haida and Tlingit cultures of this area. Visitors can walk through the low door of the Clan House to see how families from the tribes once lived. The park also boasts a collection of 14 traditionally crafted totem poles based on 19th-century originals. The order and positions of the symbolic faces on the poles show the progression of a specific story that can be interpreted by those who know how to "read" the carvings.
Oct 10, 2021
A shell of many colors
We could perhaps fool you and claim you"re viewing a long-lost Jackson Pollock canvas, but it was Mother Nature who painted this blackfoot paua (aka rainbow abalone) shell. And modern art it ain"t: Fossils from similar marine gastropods date back at least 65 million years.
Oct 9, 2021
Birds of a feather
For World Migratory Bird Day, we"ve journeyed down to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Mexico to join a group of sandhill cranes and their mallard duck friends as they feed in shallow water. Each year beginning in late October, this 57,000-acre refuge becomes the winter home to tens of thousands of migratory birds including sandhill cranes and various species of geese and ducks who travel from as far away as Alaska and Siberia to hunker down in warmer climes. They stay until late February when they begin their journey back north to their summer homes.
Oct 8, 2021
An uncommonly cool critter
An octopus"s life depends on camouflage, so don"t tell this one it"s sticking out like a sore tentacle. Or maybe this master of disguise is posing for the camera on purpose. Either way, we"re glad to have spotted it just in time for World Octopus Day!
Oct 7, 2021
Great on so many levels
Water flows evenly over seven distinct tiers of packed earth at Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall, a remote gem four hours northwest of Bangkok. Part of Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, the waterfall features a trail network leading up to each terrace, offering visitors a close-up look at every level of the picturesque cascade.
Oct 6, 2021
A valley view at 9,000 feet
This is the Dallas Divide, but we"re hundreds of miles from (and 8,500 feet above) North Texas. This saddle amid the southwestern Colorado Rockies cuts a swath just north of the San Juan Mountains. Nestled in those peaks you"ll find Telluride, Silverton, and other former mining towns that got a boost from the Rio Grande Southern Railroad when it came to the Dallas Divide in 1890. Nowadays the divide hosts State Highway 62, a less-traveled byway for most Colorado travelers—but worth the detour if you"re keen on a sweeping valley vista.
Oct 5, 2021
A day to celebrate teachers
To celebrate World Teachers" Day, we"re in the Jiangsu province of China, taking in this birds"-eye view of kindergarteners drawing together under the tutelage of some hard-working teachers. The UN created this day back in 1994 to draw attention to the vital role that teachers play in providing kids a quality education. The observation also highlights the obstacles that teachers face every day, particularly in challenging times like these.
Oct 4, 2021
Hey neighbor, it s World Space Week!
Space is a big, lonely place, so it"s nice to know we have neighbors. The pictured Andromeda galaxy is our Milky Way"s closest neighbor—right next door at 2.5 million light-years away. Our cordial relationship with Andromeda goes back about 10 billion years to when both galaxies were still forming. But trouble is brewing: Andromeda is on a collision course with the Milky Way, due for impact in 4 billion years. This neighborhood"s about to get rough…
Oct 3, 2021
Birthplace of Roman emperors
Just a few miles north of Seville, Spain, you"ll find the ancient ruins of Itálica, the first Roman city outside of Italy. The city was founded in 206 BCE by the Roman general Scipio as a place to house veterans from the Second Punic Wars. Itálica was also the birthplace of at least two Roman emperors.
Oct 2, 2021
A river on the tundra
This mesmerizing expanse captures a small stretch of the 95-mile-long Ivishak River in northern Alaska. The Ivishak flows in the Philip Smith Mountains and the foothills of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The entire run of the river is in a region called the North Slope Borough, Alaska"s northernmost borough (Alaska is divided into boroughs, not counties). Look at the magnificent colors and textures this photo captures—it"s a view that"s preserved and protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Oct 1, 2021
What s better than a smile?
How about two smiles? Some would say there"s plenty to be glum about these days, but to help you grin and bear it, we"re sharing this pic of a pair of hyacinth macaws in Brazil"s Pantanal region as they say "cheese" for the camera.
Sep 30, 2021
Global commerce in motion
The COVID-19 pandemic has been rough sailing for everyone, and especially so for seafarers on shipping vessels. As if moving more than 80% of the world"s goods wasn"t a big mission already, the pandemic created urgent needs for certain goods to be shipped to all corners of the globe. At the same time, it forced travel restrictions that made shipping more complicated. Hundreds of thousands of sailors and other shipping personnel have found themselves stuck on ships much longer than planned as virus precautions impede crew changes.
Sep 29, 2021
The largest American bison around
Emerging from a stand of trees in the Northwest Territories of Canada comes a wood bison, the larger of the two subspecies of the American bison. (The plains bison is the other type). The wood bison once numbered in the tens of thousands, roaming the chilly boreal forests and open meadows in northwestern Canada and parts of Alaska. But by the early 1900s, these majestic animals, as with their cousins to the south, were driven almost to extinction by hunting, disease, and habitat loss.
Sep 28, 2021
The snows of Fuji
This shot of Mount Fuji"s symmetrical cone was taken in September 2020, showcasing the first snow of the season. The dusting proved short-lived, melting off in just a couple of days. And snow wouldn"t come again until the end of December—raising new concerns about decades of rising temperatures on Fuji"s slopes.
Sep 27, 2021
Sometimes to be left alone, you just have to act prickly—like a thorn bug. Looking like a plant"s painful parts, this sneaky insect wards off predators simply by being itself. Thorn bugs are found in the countries of Central America, such as Honduras, where this photo was taken, as well as Mexico, and parts of Florida…but only if you can spot them.
Sep 26, 2021
World Rivers Day
Today we"re recognizing World Rivers Day, a celebration of our planet"s waterways. The event branched off in 2005 from its source, BC Rivers Day, which has been observed by British Columbians in Canada since 1980. The annual event is now celebrated on the fourth Sunday of September by millions of people in more than 100 countries. It is a day that raises public awareness about rivers around the world and encourages their conservation.
Sep 25, 2021
Autumn comes to the Porcupines
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, in Michigan"s Upper Peninsula, is considered one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. Visitors can follow the park"s Escarpment Trail, seen here, up to striking viewpoints of popular attractions in the park, like Lake of the Clouds and the Upper Carp River Valley. And in autumn, when this photo was taken, hikers are treated to a kaleidoscope of foliage as the hardwood forest canopy alights with fall color.
Sep 24, 2021
The crossroads of empires
Today, we"re 11,000 feet above sea level in the city of Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes. Cusco is considered the historical capital of Peru, a designation that"s even enshrined in the country"s constitution. The city served as a capital for the Incan Empire in the three centuries before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.