Bing Wallpaper Gallery
May 26, 2020
It s tree-climbing season
These cheetah cubs in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania are playing and chasing each other. While doing this, they"re also developing the skills they"ll need to protect themselves and hunt for food. Cheetahs are born with all their spots, but at birth those spots are closer together, giving the cubs a darker appearance that helps them hide from predators. They also have a strip of long fur down the center of their backs called a mantle that helps them blend into the grass. June is an optimal month for wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area since it"s the start of the dry season. In addition to cheetahs, visitors can spot lions, hyenas, leopards, jackals, and other animals.
May 25, 2020
Here we mark the price of freedom
Today the United States marks Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those members of the US armed forces who have died while serving their country. While it was celebrated independently by various towns across the country in the aftermath of the Civil War, Union General John A. Logan was the first to call for a national day of remembrance on May 30, 1868. Originally called Decoration Day, it was a day set aside for the public to offer prayers and honors for those lost to battle and to decorate their graves with flags and flowers. On the first national Decoration Day, over 5,000 widows, orphans, and other mourners attended a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, and placed flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers interred there. Originally only a commemoration of those soldiers killed in the Civil War, by the end of WWI it had come to be a holiday honoring all American war casualties from the Revolutionary War onward.
May 24, 2020
Let s get lost
Beannachtaí ó Greenan Maze in Ireland! (That first part is "Greetings from" in traditional Irish.) This family farm in Greenan, a small village in the countryside of County Wicklow, has a hedge maze and a meditative labyrinth path, both in the "celtic maze" style. Celtic mazes are a common artistic motif in artifacts from ancient Celtic settlements. Historians suggest the Celtic maze was linked to spiritual practices, often associated with the journey of the dead into the afterlife. And in modern life, they can be an inspiration for creative hedge mazes. Are you rethinking your backyard landscaping, or is that just us?
May 23, 2020
Bask in the glow—It s World Turtle Day
For the last 20 years, on May 23, turtle lovers everywhere have emerged to honor these shelled reptiles that have roamed the Earth for more than 200 million years. The over 350 known species of turtles alive today are found on every continent, except Antarctica. But despite their wide distribution, most turtles are endangered due to loss of habitat, illegal wildlife trade, and hunting and fishing. World Turtle Day aims to change that by raising awareness about their plight and encouraging conservation efforts. So today, we invite you to stick your neck out for turtles.
May 22, 2020
The scene of a literary crime
Remarkable enough in itself, this 800-foot mountain waterfall is also the site of one of fiction"s most enduring showdowns between good and evil. Just outside Meiringen, Switzerland, the Reichenbach Falls are the backdrop for "The Final Problem"—the 1893 Sherlock Holmes story where, on a precipice near the falls (which in the 19th century gushed with far more power than our recent image shows), the genius detective enters a death duel with the criminal Professor Moriarty. In the end, both men plummet to their presumed doom.
May 21, 2020
A visionary artist paints his own garden view
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day today, consider this uncommon painting. If you"re seeing brightly colored flowers against a multihued backdrop, you"re experiencing something the painter of today"s Bing homepage image hasn"t fully seen since he was a young boy, before a brain tumor damaged his optic nerve. Today, Jeff Hanson is a successful artist who only vaguely sees shapes and colors. Although legally blind, he"s developed a unique tactile process that helps him feel his compositions by first plastering the canvas with a thick plastic goop. Once that hardens, he uses the plastic ridges to navigate a piece, lending the composition form so he can add his signature vibrant color. He playfully calls each painting "a sight for sore eyes" and sells his art to appreciators like Warren Buffett, Elton John, and other collectors. Yet, one of the most creative aspects of Hanson"s life is the way he"s had to develop assistive methods to paint.
May 20, 2020
It s World Bee Day
Today we"ve buzzed to Provence, France, to enjoy this scenic view brought to you by bees. These hard-working insects are key pollinators of flowers, like the sunflowers and lavender seen growing here. That’s why beekeepers have strategically placed these hives near the flower crops. Bees are also critical for the pollination of fruits and vegetables—about a third of the food we eat is a result of honeybee pollination. In the US, honeybees, whether tended by beekeepers or living in the wild, pollinate about $20 billion worth of crops every year. That"s a lot of gold—and doesn"t even include their delicious honey. So today on World Bee Day, we invite you to stop and smell the flowers and give a nod to the bees that help color our world.
May 19, 2020
Roaring Fork may seem like a misnomer for this mountain stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During dry spells, it"s a gentle brook. But Roaring Fork descends 2,500 feet over just 2 miles—a steep drop down Mount Le Conte. When heavy rains swell the stream, Roaring Fork transforms into a whitewater rush, with the sound of the surging water echoing off the sandstone walls of the mountain.
May 18, 2020
Desert rose of Qatar
International Museum Day brings us to Qatar, a small but wealthy nation on the Arabian Peninsula, surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf and bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south. In the capital city of Doha you"ll find its national museum, shown here, which opened in March 2019. This elaborate building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, who sourced his inspiration from the desert rose crystal. Look closely and amid the futuristic interlocking disks of the new museum you"ll see the early 20th-century Old Amiri Palace, once home of the Emir of Qatar, surrounded by a courtyard of palm trees.
May 17, 2020
My my, it s Syttende Mai
Home to only about 500 folks, the far-flung village of Henningsvær, Norway, is recognized for its historic charm and as part of the Lofoten Archipelago"s important cod fishery. And thanks to the recent boom in drone photography, the Arctic hamlet with the unlikely soccer field has come to be regarded among the most scenic on Earth. The Henningsvær Idrettslag Stadion (in our photo"s lower center) lies at Henningsvær"s southern tip, on flat ground hewn out of the rocky outcrop. Look closely at the hills around the stadium and you"ll see wooden racks for drying cod—a reminder that even though there"s space for fun on these tiny islets, the business of fishing is still very much a key part of life here.
May 16, 2020
Let s run em up!
Since most large social gatherings have been postponed or canceled, we"re bringing the Armed Forces Day air show to you, courtesy of the US Air Force"s demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds. In recent weeks, the Thunderbirds have joined with the Navy"s Blue Angels air squadron to conduct formation flights over several American cities as a salute to essential workers and health care personnel on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two services are flying over some cities together and others separately. In a press release, Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, the Thunderbird commander and lead pilot, said, "We are honored to fly over these cities in a display of national unity and support for the men and women keeping our communities safe."
May 15, 2020
The last thing seen by Wile E. Coyote
We"d say, "Don"t look down," but that"d kind of be missing the point: Verticality is what put Toroweap Overlook on the map. Situated on the Grand Canyon"s elevated North Rim, it offers an unmatched view down a sheer 3,000-foot drop straight to the Colorado riverbed.
May 14, 2020
Green fields of grain
We"re looking down on the lush fields of the Sidemen Valley, sitting in the shadow of Bali"s tallest mountain, Mount Agung. In May, this Indonesian province marks the end of the harvest season of a key staple—rice. Towns and villages are decorated with colorful flags, and farmers erect shrines to Dewi Sri, the rice goddess. Small handmade straw dolls depicting the goddess are left here and there in further tribute. Before "social distancing" entered the global vocabulary, people came together to share traditional food and indulge in fun and games, like water buffalo races through the streets. This year, to be sure, the celebrations will be more subdued, more private, though the gratitude for a bountiful harvest, we suspect, will be just as deeply felt.
May 13, 2020
Of moose and Maine
As spring unfolds in Maine, the backwoods teem with life small and large. We"d say this water lily-munching moose belongs in the second category. Moose are the bulkiest members of the deer family, trouncing their relatives in size: Bulls can weigh in at well over 1,500 pounds. And while this hulking hoofer"s velvety antlers are still sprouting, they may soon span more than 6 feet.
May 12, 2020
Nursing the world to health
Today we"re celebrating some of the heroes among us on International Nurses Day. May 12, 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the "Lady with the Lamp" credited with reinventing and modernizing the profession of nursing. Born into a wealthy English family living in Italy, she spurned the traditional Victorian roles of wife and hostess to embark on a career in nursing and social reform. After training as a nurse in Germany and serving as one in London, her friend and confidant, War Secretary Sidney Herbert, sent Nightingale and a staff of 38 women she had trained as nurses to help care for the wounded of the Crimean War.
May 11, 2020
A tree amid the Tetons
This limber pine standing alone in the sagebrush flats has a name—Old Patriarch. A favorite subject of nature photographers in Wyoming"s Grand Teton National Park, Old Patriarch is thought to be more than a thousand years old. The Cathedral Group of the Teton Mountains forms a breathtaking backdrop, bursting up from the valley floor below and stretching dramatically to the soaring peaks. The national park spreads out below the spires for 310,000 acres, featuring extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain. Sounds like the Old Patriarch has found quite a home for himself.
May 10, 2020
Happy Mother s Day
Zebras can walk within 20 minutes of being born, but they still need help from mom. On Mother"s Day, we"re looking at a Burchell"s zebra mother and foal. For the first two days after the foal is born, the mother will keep it close by and limit contact with other zebras, so the foal gets to know her by sight, smell, and sound. Over the next year, the foal will follow its mother, learning what to eat, where to migrate in the dry and rainy seasons, and how to avoid predators. Those might not be the exact skills your mom taught you, but she surely played a part in your survival and growth—so be sure to wish her a happy Mother"s Day today.
May 9, 2020
Here’s looking at you, teachers
We think the wise, scholarly owl makes a fine mascot for Teacher Appreciation Week, which wraps up today in the US. The annual celebration honors educators who dedicate their lives to developing the minds of young and old, sparking curiosity and encouraging us to explore and think about the world around us. The celebration has a special significance this year, as teachers facing widespread school closures have quickly adapted their teaching methods, including the extensive implementation of remote learning. We"re eternally grateful for their efforts, including the support they"ve given the parents who are stepping up at home.
May 8, 2020
Victory in Europe, 75 years ago
On May 8, 1945, thousands of people poured into the streets of Paris to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe. This photo of the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées was taken from atop the appropriately named Arc de Triomphe, looking east toward the distant Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. Victory in Europe (VE-Day) had come at last.
May 7, 2020
Where the wildflowers grow
In honor of National Wildflower Week, we"re looking at a splash of blooming bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas. If you notice bluebonnets and other blooms while traveling down Texas highways, thank the state"s Department of Transportation, which sows tens of thousands of pounds of wildflower seeds along roadways each year.
May 6, 2020
The (Inca) empire strikes back
It"s the 1530s. Spanish conquistadors are cementing their hold over the lands of the Inca Empire, including the massive 12th-century stone fortress in today"s image: Sacsayhuamán, in the old Inca capital of Cusco. The Spanish hold prisoner a man named Manco Inca, the puppet leader they"ve installed over the Incans. But in April 1536, he escapes.
May 5, 2020
A courtyard scene from Spain
For centuries people have lavishly decorated the courtyards of Córdoba, in southern Spain"s Andalusia region. Here in the San Basilio neighborhood of the city’s old town, the densely packed whitewashed houses look out onto courtyards and patios embellished by hanging flowerpots and trailing plants. The sculpture on today’s homepage, by artist José Manuel Belmonte, pays homage to the caretakers who pass along the tradition.
May 4, 2020
It s Star Wars Day
Does this place look familiar? If you"re a "Star Wars" fan you might recognize it as the planet of Crait, featured in "The Last Jedi." In reality it"s Salar de Uyuni, the world"s largest salt flat, found in southwest Bolivia. This otherworldly landscape is near the crest of the Andes, about 12,000 feet above sea level. The salt flat was formed when prehistoric lakes dried up over centuries, leaving behind a salt crust several feet deep. After a rare rainfall, a thin layer of perfectly still water will transform the salt flat into a giant mirror 80 miles across.
May 3, 2020
World Laughter Day—it s a hoot
We could all use a little laughter right now, and this snowy owl seems to have the right idea. Or maybe she knows it"s World Laughter Day, which has been celebrated every first Sunday in May since 1998. Started in India by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide laughter yoga movement, World Laughter Day aims to raise awareness about laughter and its healing benefits. It"s not about watching or reading something funny—though there"s nothing wrong with that—it"s about improving your mood and well-being by laughing spontaneously. However you choose to do it, take inspiration from the owl and laugh today.
May 2, 2020
Morocco in bloom
Millions of roses are harvested in May and June each year in the Dades Valley of Morocco, known as the Valley of Roses. (It"s also called the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, for the many traditional fortresses found here.) The Asif M"Goun River flows from high in the Atlas Mountains, bringing water to the lush valleys below.