Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Feb 19, 2018
Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC
Presidents" Day seems an apt time to showcase this perspective of the Jefferson Memorial, reflected in the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Construction on this memorial to our third president began in 1938, but it didn’t come without controversy. In an event dubbed the Cherry Tree Rebellion, some 50 women chained themselves to a Japanese cherry tree to protest the removal of trees that would be lost to make way for the monument. The cherry trees had been a gift from the city of Tokyo in 1912. Ultimately, the protest didn’t delay the project, some trees were lost but others were planted, and the memorial was complete in 1943.
Feb 18, 2018
Great horned owl near Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida
No, those aren’t really horns on the great horned owl, shown here blending in nicely with its surroundings in central Florida. The distinctive tufts of feathers on top of its head are known as ‘plumicorns.’ They have nothing to do with hearing—instead, they’re thought to be used to show expression and for camouflage. Feel free to impress your friends with this bit of trivia during the Great Backyard Bird Count, a four-day event in February that invites participants to help monitor bird populations.
Feb 17, 2018
Infant Sumatran orangutan, Indonesia
February 17 is known as Random Acts of Kindness Day, and if you’re inspired by this event, our orangutan pictured here could use a helping hand. All three species of orangutans are critically endangered and are found only in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. They face many challenges, including habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade. Nonprofits like the World Wildlife Fund are working to protect habitat for orangutans and many other species in Southeast Asia.
Feb 16, 2018
Dragon dance performed in Chenzhou, Hunan Province, China
This bird’s-eye view of a traditional Chinese dragon dance shows how teams of performers use poles to manipulate the long figure of a dragon, weaving its body in different positions in time with music and loud drumming. Dragons are associated with good luck in China, and dragon dance performances like this are common during Lunar (aka Chinese) New Year festivities, which begin on the first day of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, or February 16 this year. This will be the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese zodiac.
Feb 15, 2018
The Feathers at Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, Washington
This time-lapse photo shows a hiker’s light marking the trail up to The Feathers, a rock formation near the small town of Vantage, Washington. The Feathers rock formation is popular with rock climbers, with routes featuring equally colorful names such as ‘Updrafts to Heaven’ and ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends.’ Nearby is Gingko Petrified Forest State Park, where trees that are millions of years old have gradually turned to stone.
Feb 14, 2018
Aerial view of a heart-shaped field in Trittau, Germany
Happy Valentine’s Day—perhaps unintentionally—from the pastoral fields of Trittau. The small town is less than an hour’s drive east from the industrial port city of Hamburg. An aerial photograph of farm fields here revealed this spot plowed in the shape of a heart. How are you celebrating, or perhaps avoiding, today’s holiday?
Feb 13, 2018
Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana
To celebrate Mardi Gras today, we venture into Preservation Hall, the legendary performance space in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. The former art gallery at 726 St. Peter Street isn’t the oldest music venue in New Orleans, but it’s one of the most important. Since it opened in 1961, Preservation Hall has become a premier showcase for traditional New Orleans jazz and a performing space for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which plays here most nights when it"s not on the road.
Feb 12, 2018
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Join us in celebrating Black History Month here at the Contemplative Court fountain of the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum, the National Museum of African History and Culture in Washington, DC. Even before Black History Month was established in the United States, the second week of February was important to black communities who celebrated the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb 14).
Feb 11, 2018
Te Rewa Rewa Bridge near New Plymouth, New Zealand
This pedestrian and cycle bridge lets residents and visitors in the North Island city of New Plymouth cross the Waiwhakaiho River while marveling at the span’s artistic design. Said to resemble both a breaking wave and a whale skeleton, the bridge is meant to invoke the sacred relationship of the indigenous Māori people with the land, sea, and wind. On one side is an old Māori burial ground, so great care was taken in the design and structure of the bridge—an attempt to interfere as little as possible with the Māori site. From the view in this photo, Mount Taranaki lurks in the background.
Feb 10, 2018
Bonifacio on the island of Corsica, France
South of mainland France and west of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea is the French island of Corsica, famous for food, wine, and scenic coastlines. Visitors here can visit the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte, whose family lived in the town of Ajaccio. In the commune of Bonifacio, shown here, the limestone cliffs hosted the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, where brave competitors from around the world jumped from cliffside platforms up to 92 feet above the water’s surface.
Feb 9, 2018
Speed skaters in the Gangneung Oval, Pyeongchang, South Korea
The Gangneung Oval in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is where all the speed-skating action of the 2018 Winter Games will happen. Long-track skaters wear spandex suits to help reduce friction and maybe skate just a bit faster as a result. But the short-track skaters at the games wear Kevlar suits to protect against cuts from other skaters’ blades. Those tight turns can result in collisions, so the cut-proof suits are true lifesavers.
Feb 8, 2018
The Cordillera de la Sal in the Cordillera Domeyko Range of Chile
This subrange of the Andes runs north-south, parallel with the Chilean coast. Pictured here is Cordillera de la Sal ("Salt Range’). If you’re traveling in the region, be sure to pack lots of water. This is the Atacama Desert, a region so dry and at such a high elevation, that NASA has used it to simulate Mars.
Feb 7, 2018
The Kelpies statues in Falkirk, Scotland
The world’s largest equine sculptures, The Kelpies were built in 2013 in Falkirk, Scotland, as a tribute to the country’s horse-powered industrial heritage. Designed by sculptor Andy Scott, each steel statue is 100 feet tall and weighs more than 330 tons. They’re named for the kelpie spirits of Scottish folklore—shape-shifting water creatures said to favor the shape of a horse, but also thought to take human form.
Feb 6, 2018
Maritime forest on Cumberland Island, Georgia
Georgia’s largest barrier island is as rich in history as it is in nature. Here you’ll find miles of unspoiled beaches, maritime forests, and the remnants of early island inhabitants such as missionaries and cotton farmers. Only ruins remain at the site of Dungeness, a mansion built by industrialist Thomas M. Carnegie, brother of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, in the 1880s. But in its prime, the ornate 59-room residence served as a home for Carnegie’s family and their guests. These days, the island’s band of wild horses enjoys grazing at the site.
Feb 5, 2018
Iceberg off the coast of Antarctica
There’s more than meets the eye in this image of an iceberg floating off the coast of Antarctica. That’s because about 90 percent of every iceberg exists beneath the surface of the water—and it can be hard to gauge its shape from the surface. The largest recorded iceberg, known as B-15, had a surface area larger than the island of Jamaica (just imagine what that baby looked like under water!). On the other end of the spectrum, hunks of ice smaller than 16 feet across are known as ‘bergy bits’ and ‘growlers.’
Feb 4, 2018
Male kori bustard, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
If you were to assemble a football team on the southern African savannah, chances are you’d want the kori bustard on your team. This husky bird is one of the heaviest animals capable of flight and is the largest flying bird native to Africa. Males can weigh up to 40 pounds. Given the heavy load, the kori bustard prefers to travel by foot, and is known to be slow and careful as it forages for food. This bird is so large, in fact, that smaller birds are known to perch on its back and catch a free ride.
Feb 3, 2018
Rooftops in the walled city of Urbino, Italy
When most people think of Italian Renaissance cities, the walled city of Urbino probably doesn’t come to mind. That’s a shame, as this destination in central Italy was named a World Heritage Site for its rich Renaissance legacy. The city saw its peak in the 15th century, under the rule of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, who was nicknamed the ‘Light of Italy.’ His former palace is now home to a remarkable collection of Renaissance art, including works by Raphael, who was born here in 1483.
Feb 2, 2018
Alpine marmots at Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
Are these two alpine marmots waiting to hear news of spring from their distant American relative, the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil? Truth be told, here in the snowy Eastern Alps of Austria, most marmots will likely sleep through Groundhog Day, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada each year on February 2. Alpine marmots hibernate for up to nine months a year in underground burrows, relying on fat reserves to stay alive. During this time, their heart rate lowers to 5 beats per minute and they breathe just 1 to 3 times per minute. Sleep well, little friends.
Feb 1, 2018
Stuben am Arlberg, Austria
The ski resort town of Stuben am Arlberg may closely resemble what you imagine when reading the phrase ‘historic Alpine village.’ Tucked in near the Alberg mountain pass, tiny Stuben is a must for ski fanatics, who can set off on a run right from their doorstep. It’s also the birthplace of the ‘father of modern skiing,’ Hannes Schneider, whose instructional methods revolutionized the sport.
Jan 31, 2018
Sunbeams across Tartu County, Estonia
Tucked between Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipsi, Tartu County, sometimes called Tartumaa, is mostly forests and wetlands with some farmland. But away from the woods and wetlands, the city of Tartu is a bustling university town with a reputation as an intellectual haven.
Jan 30, 2018
Watson Lake in Granite Dells, Arizona
The cliffs in the Granite Dells of central Arizona are popular with rock climbers. Watson Lake—a reservoir created when a dam was built on Granite Creek—is a draw for fishing enthusiasts and attracts many visitors with canoes, kayaks, and other water craft. If you want to blend in with the locals, take Peavine Trail from Prescott into the Granite Dells.
Jan 29, 2018
Vacuum Chamber 5 at Glenn Research Center
The various vacuum chambers at NASA Glenn Research Center are used to simulate the atmosphere-free vacuum of space, and how that affects various materials, constructions, and rocket propulsion. Vacuum Chamber 5 (VF-5) is one of dozens at the research center, each used for specific testing projects. The center is named for John Glenn, the senator and former astronaut who was the first American to orbit the Earth.
Jan 22, 2018
Bird’s-eye view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
This aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge would have been familiar to many of the brave men who helped construct the landmark in the late 1930s. Bridge construction took just over four years and strong wind gusts sometimes created perilous conditions. To safeguard the workers, a safety net was installed. It saved the lives of some 19 men who fell from the bridge and became known as members of the ‘Half Way to Hell Club.’
Jan 23, 2018
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil
White sand dunes dotted with brilliant blue lagoons stretch as far as you can see here at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, not far from the Amazon Basin in northeast Brazil. During the rainy season, valleys between these dunes fill with water, creating a temporary water world. The lagoons are occupied by resilient species like the wolf fish, which goes dormant in the mud when the water dries up.
Jan 24, 2018
Santo Antão Island in the Republic of Cabo Verde
The village of Fontainhas is perched on the hillside here on Santo Antão Island, one of the most mountainous islands in the Republic of Cabo Verde. The country consists of a series of volcanic islands located about 350 miles off the western coast of Africa. Portuguese explorers colonized the islands in the 15th century and Portugal remained in control until 1975, when the country gained independence. These days, it’s known as one of the most stable democracies in Africa.