Winter can be as beautiful as it is frigid – the snow and ice that covers much of the hemisphere in the winter is a informativeness force like no other. We invite you to cuddle up with a cup of tea and your warmest blanket and enjoy some of the most beautiful winter photos out there.
In reality the change of the seasons from winter to summer is one of the best direct indications of the earth’s cosmic movement that we can personally experience. Winter occurs in the Northern hemisphere when the Earth’s northern axis tilts away from the sun. The minute change in distance from, and angle to the sun, creates the drop in general temperature that we experience in the winter. This angle is also the reason why it’s colder the farther up north you go. As the seasons change, you can imagine our beautiful planet slowly rocking back and forth on its axis.
Although some may hate the cold, don’t forget that the winter is a necessary part of our life cycles – these winter landscapes will soon be full of life. Most plants and animals have adapted to the change of seasons in one way or another, and the cold grip of winter allows plants and animals to hibernate or migrate. Some tree seeds, like acorns, will only germinate after they’ve spent the winter on the cold ground.
(via Bored Panda)
World’s Longest Wooden Sculpture
Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui recently unveiled this exceptionally large and intricately carved wooden sculpture that measures some 40 feet (12.286 meters) long, 10 feet (3.075 meters) high and almost 8 feet (2.401 meters) wide. Four years in the making, the tree carving is based on a famous painting called Along the River During the Qingming Festival, which is a historical holiday reserved to celebrate past ancestors that falls on the 104th day after the winter solstice. The Guinness World Records group arrived in November in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, where the piece is currently on display, to declare it “the world’s longest wooden sculpture”.
Puzzlewood Magical Forest — The Real Middle Earth
Puzzlewood is a unique and enchanting place, located in the beautiful and historic Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. There is more than a mile of meandering pathways through Puzzlewood and over 14 acres of ancient woodland. It has an atmosphere quite unlike any other wood. The magical forest is one of the most stunning in the world and it’s easy to see why it’s been used as a filming location for Merlin and Dr. Who. It is no wonder that JRR Tolkien is reputed to have taken his inspiration for the fabled forests of Middle Earth from Puzzlewood.
In Puzzlewood you will find strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees. The geological features here are known locally as scowles. The scowles originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in limestone many millions of years ago. Uplift and erosion caused the cave system to become exposed at the surface. This was then exploited by Iron Age settlers through to Roman times for the extraction of iron ore.
Evidence of Roman occupation of the area is supported by the discovery of a hoard of over 3,000 Roman coins from the 3rd Century which were found in the scowles of Puzzlewood. Once the Romans left, nature reclaimed the old workings with moss and trees, to create the unique landscape. The historical use soon became forgotten, and the folklore of “Puzzlewood” began.
In the early 1800s, a local landowner laid down a mile of pathways which meandered through the trees and gulleys to open up this ancient forest originally for the amusement of his friends and children. In the early 1900s, Puzzlewood opened to the public. Since then it is has remained essentially unchanged with the same stunning pathways and bridges as in earlier times, but with the addition of a variety of animals and visitor facilities.
Where the Leaves Go
Taming the Wild installation by design collective 3D Neighbours explores human intervention in the natural course of things, in this case, falling leaves. Displayed at this year’s Bagni di Lucca Art Festival in Tuscany, Italy.
In this interesting close-up by Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen, we see what remains of a leaf that was likely consumed by an insect and is now slowly decomposing. According to reddit’s resident biologist Unidan:
“The reason this skeletal like pattern remains in the leaves is due to higher concentrations of lignin (a strong carbon structural molecule that is what makes wood woody) in the tracheid xylem cells. The more easily decomposed cells will rot away (or be eaten away, as it is more nutritious and more easily digested by insects), leaving the tougher skeletal lignin frame”
Lighted Fairy Woodhouses
Boston-based freelance artist Daniel Barreto combined houses with trees in a series of lovely photo manipulations titled Woodhouses. Barreto photographed parts of houses around Boston, and superimposed them onto images of tree trunks that he had taken in New Hampshire. The charming Woodhouses were even animated for effect, and resemble fairy’s houses in an enchanted forest.
Amazing Leaf Art
Spanish-born artist Lorenzo Duran creates intricately beautiful carvings of animals, landscapes and other amazing images by delicately carving leaves of different shapes and sizes. The idea of creating leaf art came to him when he witnessed a caterpillar eating a leaf. To prevent damaging the leaves while completing his pieces, Duran uses a surgical scalpel to shape the image and a dental pointed devise to remove the unwanted cut pieces. You can find more of his work on his website.