Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Apr 15, 2022
World Art Day
To celebrate World Art Day, we"re taking a look at one of the greatest triumphs (pun intended) of public art—last fall"s "L"Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," by the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Completed and staged 16 months after Christo"s death at age 84, "Wrapped" was the fruition of an idea 60 years in the making. On view for 16 days from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021, the project required 270,000 square feet of recyclable silvery-blue polypropylene fabric that completely covered the monument. The fabric glistened and glimmered with the changing light of Paris. The pleated fabric was held fast to the arch by nearly 2 miles of red rope.
Apr 14, 2022
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Grab your boots and gear, today we"re heading to Arizona to hike out to Horseshoe Bend. Known as the "east rim of the Grand Canyon," it"s actually about 140 miles from the other rims and is really more a part of nearby Glen Canyon. Scientifically, the beautiful view exists thanks to something called an "entrenched meander." Around 6 million years ago, the area was closer to sea level. The Colorado River, following the path of least resistance, meandered and became trapped when the Colorado Plateau uplifted around 5 million years ago. Over time, the river water cut through exposed sandstone, forming the thousand-foot-deep, 270-degree horseshoe-shaped bend.
Apr 13, 2022
Stress seems to melt away when you gaze at this serene forest protecting the mitsumata blossoms below. While the flowering buds are beautiful in their natural state, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia chrysantha) has so much more to offer. Originally brought from China to Japan by monks, the green plant is now a staple of Japanese papermaking and one of three principal ingredients in washi, traditional Japanese paper. No wonder, then, that it"s also known as the Oriental paperbush. Mitsumata washi is dense and holds ink well—it"s a favorite of artists and calligraphers—and sheets of mitsumata paper are also used in traditional shoji screens.
Apr 12, 2022
International Day of Human Space Flight
Sixty-one years ago today, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to see Earth from space, with a view likely similar to this image of the waning gibbous moon taken from the International Space Station. With a call of "Poyekhali!" ("Off we go!"), Gagarin launched into low Earth orbit in his Vostok 3KA spacecraft, making history in less than two hours with a complete trip around the planet. Landing in rural Russia, he became an instant worldwide celebrity—that is, after convincing puzzled locals he was a comrade and not a space alien.
Apr 11, 2022
Fiddlehead fern fronds
You"re officially on notice: Fiddlehead season is about to ramp up! Foragers already know that spring is the best time to find this delicacy in the wild. Fiddlehead fern fronds are one of the first fresh vegetables ready for the yearly harvest. Eaten in Europe, Asia, and North America for centuries, fiddleheads are not only tasty but are also nutritious: They"re a source of antioxidants and omega fatty acids, as well as iron and fiber. When cooked, fiddleheads are said to have a somewhat nutty, grassy flavor akin to a cross between spinach and asparagus.
Apr 10, 2022
Make the most of this family photo—caracals tend to go solo as adults, so these cute cubs will hang out together only until they"ve honed their hunting skills from watching mom. In the meantime, we think they make ideal mascots for Siblings Day, celebrated in the US and Canada on April 10.
Apr 9, 2022
Light show at the skatepark
The art of light painting combines with the artistry of skateboarding to bring you this provocative image from Arvada Skatepark in Colorado. At 40,000 square feet, the park, which opened in 2012, is one of the largest in the country. The massive park includes a snake run, large bowl, medium bowl, street plaza with manual pads, banks, granite pieces, ledges, rails, step ups, stair set, benches, Jersey barrier, brick stamped china bank, and a pyramid. And if you know what all those things are, you"re probably a steezy sk8r.
Apr 8, 2022
Today we"re taking a trip to the verdant cliffs at the edge of Madeira, the principal island of the Portuguese archipelago that"s also called Madeira, roughly 320 miles west of Morocco in the North Atlantic. These terraced hillsides are just outside the village of Ponta Delgada, on the north coast of the island. Originally uninhabited, Madeira and the other islands in this chain were settled by the Portuguese in the early 1400s and became a main stopover for European explorers during the so-called Age of Discovery.
Apr 7, 2022
Today we"re visiting a city with over 2,800 years of history—it"s one of the oldest in Europe. Málaga is said to have been founded by the Phoenicians in 770 BCE and today its year-round exceptional weather has made it a center of tourism in Spain. Situated perfectly along the Costa Del Sol, this culturally rich mecca is visited by around 6 million tourists in an average year. If you can pull yourself away from the beautiful beaches, you"ll find yourself in a city abounding in historical architecture, museums, and restaurants featuring outstanding local seafood.
Apr 6, 2022
Crested caracaras are no strangers to spring fever. These members of the falcon family make their intentions loudly known, throwing their heads back with guttural calls and cackling cries to attract a partner. Couples are loyal to each other and to their home, mating for life and returning yearly to the same nesting site and even the same tree. This courting pair is in the grasslands of Texas, the northern extent of the crested caracara’s range. The striking birds can be found in pastures, farmland, deserts, and savannas from the southern United States all the way down to the southern tip of South America.
Apr 5, 2022
Goðafoss waterfall, Iceland
Goðafoss is one of the hundreds of show-stopping waterfalls Iceland is blessed with. And though it isn"t the island"s highest waterfall—that would be Morsarfoss at over 787 feet—or most powerful (the thundering Dettifoss), Goðafoss, has, within its swirling waters, its own story to tell.
Apr 4, 2022
Norway s Kjeragbolten boulder
If you have nerves of steel, you"d enjoy the precarious, one-of-a-kind photo op that is the Kjeragbolten boulder. Visitors climb up Kjerag, a mountain on the southwest coast of Norway, for the chance to clamber onto the stranded rock and have their daredevil pic snapped for posterity. Indeed, Kjeragbolten is so popular that you might have to wait up to an hour for your turn—plenty of time for second thoughts and jitters.
Apr 3, 2022
Lake Tai s cherry trees in bloom
The tranquil appearance of Lake Tai belies its location within Wuxi, China, a metropolis of 7.5 million people in southern Jiangsu province. A short distance to the east is the megacity of Shanghai. But city life feels a world away here at China"s third-largest freshwater lake. More than 20 miles across in places, Lake Tai provides a needed retreat from urban life, drawing locals and tourists to its picturesque shores.
Apr 2, 2022
Whangārei Falls in New Zealand
This lush, Eden-esque location on New Zealand"s North Island has been a popular spot to bring a blanket and picnic basket for generations of Kiwis. Whangārei Falls is part of the Hātea River. At the falls, the river drops 85 feet over a basalt lava flow. The surrounding park provides a loop trail ideal for a hike along the edge of the river.
Apr 1, 2022
April Fools Day
In honor of April Fools" Day, take a moment to appreciate this trick of the eye created by the French street artist and photographer who goes by the name JR. He"s known for surreptitiously posting large black-and-white photographs in public locations, often in humorous contexts. This cheeky public-art piece from 2021 was installed in the desert sands of the Giza pyramid complex in Egypt. The installation makes it look as if the detached tip of the Pyramid of Khafre magically hovers above its base.
Mar 31, 2022
Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower
Locally, it"s called "La dame de fer," which translates to English as "The Iron Lady." To the rest of the world, it"s the Eiffel Tower, a landmark nearly synonymous with all things Parisian. It"s one of the most recognizable structures in the world and the most visited monument with an entrance fee. The Eiffel Tower took 500 workers two years, two months, and five days to complete. Most of the structural work was finished by the end of March 1889 and to celebrate, the builders led a group of government officials and journalists to the top of the tower on March 31. It was, at the time, the highest man-made structure in the world. With the addition of a new radio antenna on March 15, 2022, the Eiffel Tower grew an additional 20 feet and is now 1,083 feet tall, just in time for its 133rd birthday.
Mar 30, 2022
Belted Galloway cows
These cool cows are Belted Galloways, also known as "Oreo cows." (And if you like a glass of milk with your cookies…) The heritage breed originated in the southwest of Scotland, and it thrives on the region"s rough pastures and windswept slopes. Belted Galloways fight the elements with a double-layer coat: The long, coarse hair diverts rain, and beneath that, the cow has a soft undercoat to keep it warm and dry in the harsh Scottish winters.
Mar 29, 2022
Northern coast of Colombia
Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastline on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Seen here is a stretch of beach near Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona and the small town of Buritaca, on the Caribbean coast along Colombia’s north shore. This region boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. It"s also among Colombia"s most ecologically diverse areas, with jungle, desert, and one of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Mar 28, 2022
Kawachi Fuji Garden
Today we"re taking a trip to a Japanese purple paradise. This photo captures just one of over 22 different varieties of wisteria planted at the Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan. Hundreds of wisteria plants were meticulously cultivated to form tunnels that bloom with shades of blue, white, purple, and pink. The walkable tunnels open into large domes of wisteria vines for visitors to sit under and bask in the fragrant flowers. An overlook gives visitors an impressive view of not only the flowers but also the surrounding valley and its bamboo groves.
Mar 27, 2022
World Theatre Day
What better place to celebrate World Theatre Day than the ancient theater of Taormina, Sicily, an amphitheater built in the Hellenistic style of the Greeks in the third century BCE. The venue was later expanded by the Romans and is one of the signature sights in Taormina. And if you look in the upper-right corner of the photo, that"s Mount Etna giving a performance of its own, spewing a little ash and smoke.
Mar 26, 2022
No flower better signals the start of spring than crocuses, early bloomers that come in Easter egg colors such as purple, lavender, orange, pink, and yellow. Crocuses are perennial, flowering bulbs that are built for toughness. As you can see, the plants are able to endure frost and even snow because their flowers and leaves are protected by a waxy cuticle. That"s why the first blooms you see in spring are often crocuses. They can grow in a variety of environments, even in the high elevations of the alpine tundra above the tree line.
Mar 25, 2022
Tolkien Reading Day
For Tolkien Reading Day, we"re visiting the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps, which is believed to have inspired the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell in J.R.R. Tolkien"s novels "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." Like Tolkien"s mythical Elf settlement, Lauterbrunnen Valley has a bit of storybook appeal, with an unusually narrow valley floor hemmed in by steep Alpine cliffs and dotted with numerous waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen became popular among mountain climbers and hikers beginning in the late 19th century, and Tolkien hiked through the valley in 1911. The valley remains a popular tourist destination.
Mar 24, 2022
Shhh, it"s sleeping. But don"t confuse that with hibernating. A tree squirrel, like this red squirrel in Scotland, doesn"t hibernate during the winter. Hibernating is more of a ground squirrel trait. But the red squirrel is particular about where it sleeps, mostly building its nest, or drey, high above the ground in the cavity of an evergreen tree. Nests are often lined with soft materials such as leaves, moss, and grass. This little sleeper is using its bushy tail to keep warm, with the help of some lichen and pine needles.
Mar 23, 2022
World Meteorological Day
Did you check the weather forecast today? Does it look like rain? Will it turn colder? What"s the outlook for the weekend? These questions may seem commonplace, even mundane, but the answers can be of crucial importance. Given our reliance on weather prediction, let"s tip the rain hat to the world"s weather experts on World Meteorological Day, celebrated each March 23 by the United Nation"s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Mar 22, 2022
World Water Day
You can almost hear the crash and feel the spray of this cluster of pristine waterfalls in southern Idaho. Could there be a better place to celebrate World Water Day? Since 1993, the UN has dedicated March 22 to advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources and bring attention to topics relevant to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Each year a different aspect of this critical resource has been emphasized, with themes like "Valuing Water," "Water and Climate Change," "Water and Jobs," and "Why Waste Water?" This year"s theme is "Groundwater—Making the Invisible Visible."