Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Jul 22, 2020
Wildebeest on the move
Each year, as many as 1.5 million blue wildebeest move through the Serengeti region of eastern Africa, traveling in a roughly 800-mile loop through Tanzania and Kenya as they chase lush, green grass and fresh water. When resources are depleted in one area, the animals move to another. Late summer often finds them in Kenya"s Maasai Mara National Reserve, shown on today"s homepage. The speedy wildebeest (the species can run up to 50 mph!) is not alone in its journey; hundreds of thousands of zebras, gazelles, and elands accompany the herd. The great number of animals makes this phenomenon one of the largest land migrations on Earth, often called the World Cup of Wildlife.
Jul 21, 2020
Belgium celebrates its independence
On July 21, Belgium celebrates its independence from the Netherlands and the anniversary of the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The holiday brings us to the bank of the River Meuse across from the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant, the best-known landmark in the Belgian town of Dinant in Namur province. For such a small city (population about 14,000), Dinant has a rich history. It"s the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, and has a museum dedicated to his life and instruments. The Charles de Gaulle Bridge, which crosses the Meuse, is lined with 28 saxophone sculptures, each one representing a different country in the European Union. Namur province is also the birthplace of Leffe beer, which was brewed by monks in the abbey of Leffe starting in 1240.
Jul 20, 2020
Earthrise on Moon Day
Only two dozen people have ever personally witnessed the Earth rising over the lunar surface: the crews of Apollo 8 through 17. Those 24 astronauts are also the only humans to leave low-Earth orbit and see the "dark" side of the moon—and only 12 of them walked on its surface.
Jul 19, 2020
Venice by night
In Venice, Italy, the third Sunday in July is known as "Festa del Redentore" (The Redeemer"s Feast), which commemorates the city"s salvation from the plague in the 16th century. As Italy still reels from being hard hit by the new coronavirus, the holiday is particularly poignant this year. It traditionally features a fireworks display, a regatta, and a temporary bridge that connects the Zattere promenade to the Church of the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca. While this year"s celebration will look different due to COVID-19, it will still be an important and festive day for Venetians.
Jul 18, 2020
The moth wonderful time of the year
You"re forgiven if this is the first you"re hearing of National Moth Week, even though it"s been going strong for eight years as a global call to learn about and observe the fuzzy little insects. All too often dismissed as pesky, drab counterparts to our brightly fluttering friends the butterflies, moths seem to hog every light but the spotlight. But they don"t need flashy marketing to win the numbers game: With an estimated 160,000 moth species (though some estimates go up to half a million), they vastly outnumber their swaggering butterfly cousins in the Lepidoptera order.
Jul 17, 2020
Let s face it: It s World Emoji Day
Most versions of the calendar emoji (
Jul 16, 2020
Summertime in Alaska
Humpback whales are famous for breaching—leaping out of the water in a spectacular display of size and power. Even though they can weigh more than a house and stretch to 50 feet in length, they still manage aquatic acrobatics that are amazing to behold, as the picture on our homepage captures so beautifully. Scientists don"t know why some whales breach but speculate it"s a form of communication or a mating display. Or maybe they"re just having fun.
Jul 15, 2020
Who left the tub running?
"Sound II," this sculpture by Antony Gormley, has stood here in the oft-flooded crypt of Winchester Cathedral in the south of England since 1986—not trying to get a plumber on the horn, but quietly standing guard and studying the water in its cupped hands. Elsewhere in the cathedral you"ll find another notable statue: The likeness of William "Diver Bill" Walker, a local hero who—for six years starting in 1906—worked alone in a heavy diving suit to shore up the increasingly flooded structure as it threatened to sink into the boggy soil beneath. Nowadays it"s stable, but the lowest level still sees its share of standing water during rainy periods.
Jul 14, 2020
Under Parisian skies
For Bastille Day, aka French National Day, we examine not the titular prison that was the site of the beginning of the French Revolution, but another building inexorably wrapped up in that powder-keg moment of French history. The dome in the upper right portion of this photo belongs to the Panthéon. Construction of the building—intended to be a church—began in 1758. But by the time it was completed in 1790, the French Revolution was in full swing and the new establishment decided that it should instead be used as a mausoleum for distinguished French citizens, which it remains today.
Jul 13, 2020
Welcome to the Hoh
Don"t let this sunny picture fool you. The Hoh, a temperate rainforest on the western side of Olympic National Park in Washington state, sees between 12 and 14 feet of rain each year, making it one of the wettest places in the continental US. But all that moisture creates a lush, even mystical environment. The forest features a mix of conifers and deciduous trees draped heavily with moss, like the arching big leaf maple in our homepage image. A stroll through the forest will also reveal the massive Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees that may reach more than 300 feet up into the dense canopy. Below, the woods teem with ferns, lichen, and other vegetation. It"s an enchanted forest right out of a fairy tale.
Jul 12, 2020
A day to take a moment
"A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air. It is continually receiving new life and motion from above. It is intermediate between land and sky." So Henry David Thoreau immortalized Walden Pond, but he could have been describing this calming image of Ežezers Lake in Latvia. Today, the birthday of that famous American advocate for pursuing a simple life is also National Simplicity Day, an annual reminder to unplug, slow down, step back, and consider your life. Thoreau"s most famous work (that you probably haven"t read since high school), "Walden," is his account of the two years, two months, and two days he spent away from society in a cabin near the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Through this work he encourages us to take a step back and look for ways to simplify our lives. "Our life is frittered away by detail," Thoreau observed. "Simplify, simplify."
Jul 11, 2020
How Quảng Ngãi got its grove back
Could these humble rows of trees prevent a natural disaster? The Vietnamese government hopes so. Mangrove forests like Bàu Cá Cái in coastal Vietnam"s Quảng Ngãi province are an important shield against destructive typhoons that rock the coast each year. Unfortunately, mangrove trees have been depleted over the years by population growth, climate change, and increased use of waters for fish farming. Plantings at Bàu Cá Cái—outlined by bamboo frames to create the neat patterns seen here—have been part of a major initiative to regenerate nearly 10,000 acres of mangrove forest around the country.
Jul 10, 2020
Italy s submerged village
A 14th-century church tower peeking above the water offers a clue to the past here at Lake Reschen, in northern Italy. Until the mid-20th century, this site in the Italian Alps was home to the village of Graun, which included some 163 homes. But then in 1939, an electric company announced plans to build a dam and an artificial lake here, which would submerge Graun and part of the town of Reschen. Despite public outcry and delays due to World War II, the towns were eventually submerged in 1950 (with everyone safely removed, of course). These days, the remaining church steeple draws tourists, especially in winter, when the lake is frozen over and visitors can walk across.
Jul 9, 2020
High alpine color in Colorado
Songstress Dolly Parton once sang "wildflowers don"t care where they grow," but we gotta believe the wildflowers growing in Colorado"s American Basin, shown here, are pretty delighted with their surroundings. American Basin is in the San Juan Mountains in the southern part of the state, about a five-hour drive from Denver. Visitors here will find rocky cliffs, streams, unique rock formations, and some spectacular wildflowers. July and August are the best months to see the blooms—it"s the time of year when you"ll reliably spot the Rocky Mountain columbine (Colorado"s state flower), elephant"s head, Parry"s primrose, and marsh marigold. Bring us back a bouquet, all right?
Jul 8, 2020
It s only Wednesday
After looking at this adorable gray seal pup you may be surprised to learn that its Latin name translates to hooked-nose sea pig (or piglet, in this pup"s case). Over 110,000 gray seals, more than 35% of the world"s population, make their home in and around the coastal waters of the British Isles. As autumn approaches, pupping season begins, and fuzzy pups—like the one photographed here—can be spotted on the coasts and beaches of the eastern Atlantic. About a month after the seal pups are born, they"re abruptly weaned when their mothers return to the sea to hunt for food and find a new mate. The older pups then congregate for protection in groups called weaner pods. Within weeks they shed their thick pup fur and take to the sea to learn how to catch their own fish.
Jul 7, 2020
Mercury in retrograde
Today we"re traveling to outer space to catch a glimpse of the Caloris Basin on the planet Mercury. This small planet—about the size of Earth"s moon—is riddled with craters, but none as spectacular as the Caloris Basin. One of the largest impact craters in the solar system, Caloris is about 950 miles across and ringed by mile-high mountains.
Jul 6, 2020
Welcome to the Ring of Fire
Today we"re visiting the pair of volcanoes known as Tolbachik—the flat-topped Plosky (Flat) Tolbachik on the left of our image, and the majestic Ostry (Sharp) Tolbachik on the right, which soars 12,080 feet above the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia. These are just two of roughly 300 volcanoes scattered through the region; 29 of them, including the Tolbachik complex, are still active. In fact, there is so much volcanic activity here that UNESCO calls the peninsula "one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world," and has designated it a World Heritage site.
Jul 5, 2020
There once was a lighthouse from...
Nantucket is the island home of about 12,000 people. But venture to its sandy northern reaches, composed of narrow sand spits and only accessible via 4x4 vehicles, and you might not bump into many folks on your way to this historic—and still very important—lighthouse.
Jul 4, 2020
Happy Independence Day!
Across the United States on July 4, we celebrate the adoption on this day in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence, one of the best break-up letters ever written. In this pronouncement, the Second Continental Congress put Great Britain on notice that the 13 American Colonies were no longer subject to its rules or rulers and were forming a new country, the United States of America. Declaration signers, recognizing the importance of the moment and the message, anticipated that generations later, we would remember and celebrate "from one end of this continent to the other." The celebration we"re looking at here is at the National Mall in Washington, DC, with fireworks rising above the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, and reflected on the Potomac River.
Jul 3, 2020
Dog days of summer
The weather is warmer, and the days are longer, which can only mean one thing—the dog days of summer have arrived. These Cape foxes are helping us celebrate the dog days with their frolicking in the Kalahari Desert. They may not be the kind of "dogs" you typically think of, but Cape foxes are from the same family (Canidae) as the pooches you know and love. Partly to escape the heat in the desert scrubland it prefers, the Cape fox is most active just before dawn or after dusk, commonly spotted during the early mornings and early evenings.
Jul 2, 2020
All Rhodes lead to the beach
Welcome to sunny Rhodes, Greece, an island of stunning beaches and steeped in history. Rhodes sits just off the coast of Turkey and has been occupied for more than 3,500 years by a parade of empires, from Minoans and Persians to Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, and even a Catholic order of knights. It is still famous for being the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—the Colossus of Rhodes—even though there"s no visible trace of the statue since it was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BCE, having stood for just 54 years.
Jul 1, 2020
Canada s $20 view
For Canada Day, we"re looking at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. And if you"re thinking that this amazing view is worth more than $20, you"re right. But this priceless scene was once featured on Canada"s $20 bill, hence the nickname. Canada Day, celebrated on July 1, commemorates the date in 1867 when Canada was recognized as a self-governing country under the British Empire. It"s not exactly Canadian Independence Day—it marks the passing of the Constitution Act of 1867, which was the first major step toward Canada"s sovereignty.
Jun 30, 2020
We re gonna need a bigger birdhouse
You"re more likely to see jabiru storks down on the shores of ponds or on riverbanks, where they hunt for small fish, amphibians, and lizards. They"re the tallest flying bird in South and Central America, with the largest males standing 5 feet. Despite their size, jabiru storks are graceful fliers. Here in the Pantanal, a sprawling tropical wetland in western Brazil, jabiru storks will build a massive nest in late August or September—just as spring is beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. The stork mates in this image may be scouting out a good place for their nest. And once it"s built, the pair will raise anywhere from two to five jabiru stork chicks.
Jun 29, 2020
Goats don t grow on trees
You"re not seeing things—these goats in Essaouira, Morocco, have climbed high up into an argan tree. And it"s not a one-time event. The goats enjoy the small yellow fruit these trees produce, and when the low-hanging fruit is gone they"re willing and able to make the climb. Goats aren"t the only ones benefitting from these trees. The nuts from argan trees are used to produce argan oil, which is edible and also used for some rather pricey cosmetics, making it a valuable export.
Jun 28, 2020
Since 1970, New York City has celebrated LGBTQIA+ pride with a parade, public speeches and rallies, and record-setting crowds—officials estimate the 2019 NYC Pride March drew in 5 million people. This photo shows the LED display casting rainbow-hued light across the upper levels of Manhattan"s iconic Empire State Building to celebrate 2014"s Pride Week.