Spring Flowers Around the World
- A woman carries a branch of peach blossom flowers for sale at a field in Hanoi, January 24. The peach blossom is believed to bring luck to families. (Kham/Reuters) #
- A boy runs amid field mustard, symbolic flowers to herald the start of spring, in full blossom at a park in Tokyo, Japan, March 19. (KIMIMASA MAYAMA/EPA) #
- Raindrops sit on crocus blossoms in a park in Munich, Germany, February 21. (SVEN HOPPE/EPA) #
- Almond tree blossoms on Ainos mountain on the island of Cephalonia, Greece, February 6. The blossom of almond trees is a sign of the arrival of spring. (ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU/EPA) #
- General view of several peach trees in blossom in the spot La Macetua, Murcia, eastern Spain, February 20. (MARCIAL GUILLEN/EPA) #
- People sit in front of blossoming crocuses in the Botanical Garden in Berlin, Germany, March 10. (Britta Pedersen/EPA) #
- Robins feed on staghorn sumac on a tree in North Adams, Massachusetts, March, 20. The sight of robins have often been linked to the beginning of spring. (Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle via Associated Press) #
- Japanese plum blossoms in full bloom in the city of Isumi, Chiba prefecture, Japan, March 4. The ripening of the fruit in June coincides with the rainy season in Japan, which is called ‘plum rains.’ (Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA) #
- A slackline walker enjoys the sunny and warm weather in a park at the river Rhine bank in Duesseldorf, Germany, March 20. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)#
The Ancient Art of Honey Hunting in Nepal
The Gurange tribes of Nepal have been collecting honey from Himalayan cliffs for centuries. The Gurung are master honey hunters, risking their lives collecting honeycomb using nothing more than handmade rope ladders and long sticks known as tangos.
Most of the honey bees’ nests are located on steep, inaccessible, southwest facing cliffs to avoid predators and for increased exposure to direct sunlight.
Aside from the dangers of falling, they are harvesting honey from the largest honey bees in the world. The Himalayan honey bee can grow up to 3 cm in length.
Before a hunt can commence, the honey hunters are required to perform a ceremony to placate the cliff gods. This involves sacrificing a sheep, offering flowers, fruits and rice, and praying to the cliff gods to ensure a safe hunt.
Photographer Andrew Newey spent two weeks living with the Gurung in central Nepal, documenting the risks and skill involved in this dying tradition.
This 3200 Year Old Tree is So Massive, It’s Never Been Captured in a Single Image…Until Now
It takes a special kind of tree to have a nickname like “The President”. The giant sequoia stands 247 feet tall and is an estimated 3,200 years old. The trunk measures 27 feet across and, between the base and the highest peak, there are an estimated two billion needles.
Until now, the tree had never been photographed in its entirety. A team of photographers from National Geographic worked with scientists from California’s Sequoia National Park to try to be the first.
It took an intricate set of pulleys and levers to scale the tree, which one scientist argues is the largest in the world (if you take into account width). After stitching together 126 separate photos, we are left with this mind-blowing portrait of “The President” captured in a single photo for the first time.
Incredible Beach Art
San Francisco native artist, Andres Amado, uses the beach as his canvas. Instead of a brush, he uses a rake to create his amazing designs in the sand. Andres creates artworks that are larger than 100,000 square feet. He spends countless hours on his pieces even though he knows that the tide will soon wash it away.
Top 10 Most Beautiful and Expensive Flowers in the World
- Lisianthus - also known as Eustoma grandiflorum, is an annually blooming flower. Lisianthus comes in a variety of colors including white, pale purple, lavender, and blue violet. Since most of these delicate flowers are shipped white and are very fragile, they earned the name “paper flowers” ($10-$35 per bundle).
- Lily of the Valley - beautiful but poisonous, these flowers (Convallaria majalis) are popular for their delicate, bell-shaped blooms. The flower, known in old Christianity as Our Lady’s Tears, only takes weeks before perishing with a short lifespan ($15-$50 per bundle).
- Hydrangea - known for its unique circular cluster of little flowers per stem and difficult cultivation. It comes in mostly white blooms, but some are noted for being blue, pink, light purple or violet. Hydrangeas can easily wilt and should be purchased on their day of use, most particularly weddings ($7 or more per stem).
- Gloriosa - native only to South Africa and Asia, this flower is highly expensive because of its rarity and exotic looks. The Gloriosa is known for its stunning beauty with varying colors from tip to center. They usually come in deep reds, oranges, yellows, and yellow-green ($6-$10 per flower).
- Tulip - single layer flowers with lush and deep colors. In the 17th century, these rare Dutch flowers had stronger colors than any other flower during that era and were incredibly expensive. Tulips were highly regarded as status symbols if they were in your garden ($5,700 in 17th century dollars).
- Saffron Crocus - this flower is more famous for being a spice with a huge demand than a bloom, but is still commonly sold as a flower. The price reflects the fact that it takes around 80,000 flowers to develop 500 grams of spice from the yellow stamen, all of which are hand-picked and dried ($1,200-$1,500 per pound).
- The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid - this flower sells at an extremely high price due to its rarity and beauty. This flower is found only in the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia. Their growth is extremely difficult and takes a long process as its bloom can take years before it appears ($6,000 per flower).
- Shenzhen Nongke Orchid - a flower that was completely made by the hands of man, it took researchers eight years to grow. It sells for a high price not only for its rarity but also for its appearance. It takes four to five years for the orchid to blossom and even has a delicate taste ($200,000 per flower).
- Juliet Rose - this flower made its debut in 2006 at the Chelsea Flower Show. It took David Austin 15 years to create this flower. Because of this, the Juliet Rose is also known as the £3 million rose.
- Kadupul Flower - this unique flower has no price tag, not only because its rare, but it is a flower so delicate that cannot be picked without causing damage to it. In addition, it dies before dawn. It only blossoms at night and emanates a calming, lovely fragrance. It will only last for hours after being picked and has never made it to the shops, not even online. It is the flower that cannot be bought (a truly priceless flower).
- Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina & Virginia
- Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania & New Jersey
- Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi & Tennessee
- Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), California
- The Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
- Utah Highway 128, Utah
- Beartooth Highway, Montana & Wyoming
- Great River Road, St. Louis, Missouri
- Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, Oregon
- Going-to-the-Sun Road, the only road that crosses Glacier National Park, Montana
(Source: The Huffington Post)