The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years we will ever have. Will there be more years like this? Who knows! Let’s take a look at some of the photos that depict 2020, both good and bad:

A pexel photo by Anna Shvets
Photo by Julian Jagtenberg
Photo by Ivan Samkov
Photo by Anthony Shkraba
Photo by Julia Volk
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich
Inspirational photos, like this one is still on sale until January 6th, 2021. To order or see more, go to:
Parents got to spend more time with their children in 2020. Photo by Olya Kobruseva
Apartments or townhomes are the new place to live… Photo by rotekirsche 20
Communicating remotely became the new way to talk in 2020. Photo by cottonbro
Eating healthy is not a diet. Eating healthy is just healthy. Photo taken by Julia Volk
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Night photo at Halloween carnival
January 12: A resident of Talisay, Philippines, splashes water on an ash-covered vehicle after the eruption of the Taal volcano. The eruption spewed ash up to 9 miles in the air and forced large-scale evacuations. Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Lyu Jun, left, says goodbye to a loved one in Urumqi, China. He was part of a medical team leaving for Wuhan, China. Chine Nouvelle/Sipa/Shutterstock
A man in London waves a giant flag after Britain became the first country to ever leave the European Union. The historic departure known as “Brexit” came more than three tumultuous years after 51.89% of people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar voted to leave the EU. Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Hossam Nasser plays with his camel Anter in Aswan, Egypt. Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
A boy visits the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Stephen Voss
Elementary school children are spaced apart in Løgumkloster, Denmark. Emile Ducke/The New York Times/Redux
Tyler and Caryn Suiters embrace after being married in Arlington, Virginia. The Rev. Andrew Merrow and his wife, Cameron, were the only other attendees at the ceremony due to social-distancing guidelines. Win McNamee/Getty Images
People in Al Atarib, Syria, break fast together during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Their neighborhood had been destroyed during military operations. Anas Alkharboutli/Picture Alliance/Getty Images
A man chases away a swarm of desert locusts in Samburu County, Kenya. It was the worst invasion of desert locusts there in 70 years. It was also the worst locust invasion in the Horn of Africa in 25 years, said the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The invasion posed an unprecedented threat to food security in the region, where more than 19 million people in East Africa were already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, the agency said. Fredrik Lerneryd/Getty Images
A black bear takes a nap in a backyard kiddie pool in Fort Valley, Virginia. Courtesy Regina Keller

Hope you enjoyed these photos taken to remember 2020, whether good or bad. Let’s move on to 2021.

One more photo to remember 2020 by:

A house sits alone as the Lake Fire creeps its way down the hill toward Palmdale, California. Wildfires have ravaged many areas in the West this year, especially in California. More than 4 million acres have been burned across the state — the worst in California history. Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/Getty


This is my annual series of “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE”, and now it is issue #7. This is a collection of some of the best black and white photos found on the internet in the last few months, from some of the most talented photographers in the world. I said last year that the interest in black and white has been developing for some time now, and this year the photos collected are the most amazing photos I’ve had to date. Congratulations to the photographers who’s photo was chosen for this presentation.

As far as how I pick these photos, here is some of the criteria I look for:

  • The photo must have good contrast, and have excellent blacks and whites.
  • Would this photo look better in black and white, than in color.
  • For facial pictures or portraits, the exposure must be perfect. No washed out tones and the greys are very nice.
  • Some black and white photos tell a story, and it can be best told in black and white.

With that in mind, here is this years winning photos:

Here is an exceptional black and white photo, but, it’s color, but, it’s story is something you can’t pass up. I have never really had a photo, that is technically color, but, represents black and white so well. The meaning and thought to this photo is powerul. The photographer: Matheus Viana, who regularly posts his photos on, has some talent in his photography, and should be recognized.
Photographer Attila Hangyasi has come up with a wonderful portrait of this fine man. This black and white of this fine man struck me as one portrait that nailed it on exposure. The exposure is so right on. Plus, the pose is just so nice. I don’t usually pick a lot of portraits for this presentation, but, there is some real good ones this year. To see more of Atilla’s great photos, go to his FACEBOOK web page:
This photograph of this beautiful girl was also taken by Attila Hangyasi. I was curious if he was just lucky with one good photo of the older man, but, it appears he has black and white portraiture down to an art. Good exposure, nice grey tones. Certainly worth seeing two great photos from him. Go to: to see more of his work.
Photo by PAUL ANTHONY WILSON (c). Now I know elephants are grey in color, but, to get this photo of the two elephants together was a job in itself. I really like how detailed the elephants skin is. It just makes you want to reach out and pet them. The black background was what really set this photo off. It just made this a winning photo. Paul Anthony Wilson has mastered his photography skill and has his own website. You should see some more of his photos. Please go to: Great job Anthony!
Photo by Jim Miller (c). This photo is just amazing. Look at the rain in this photo. That is something that takes skill to create this type of photo. But, the composition is so good. Jim is a great photographer, and this is his second appearance in this series. He had another amazing photo in last years presentation. You can see his and other photos from other photographer by going to: Thanks Jim for always coming through.
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels Photos. This black and white photo was chosen because of the guitar being vintage, and then the photographer had the mindset to put it up against an old door and a very old looking floor. It just takes a current photo, and made it look old. Congratulations Jessica, this was well done.
Photo taken by Lanny Cottrell photography. This black and white photo, compared to the color version is about the same. That is what makes some winter photos do so well in black and white. Other than a slight tint to the wood, they are almost identical. The contrast between black and white is amazing for sure, and makes this winter photo look delightful.
Photo by Herman Van Bon (c). An animal done as a perfect portrait, I love the face on this sheep, and how it makes you just want to maybe keep your distance. The detail of the face, and then to vignette the photo, I think, makes it a real class photo. He lives in Napier, Western Cape, South Africa, and has developed an amazing talent in photography. He has his own website, and if you want to see more great photos, you really need to go to his website and check them out:
Photo by Steve Brown (c). This long exposure of the mountain stream is really nice in black and white. Normally, I wouldn’t pick this type of photo in black and white, but, this one was just nice. The blur of water in the stream, the leaves in the stream and along the banks of the stream, just seemed beautiful in black and white. Thanks Steve for sharing your talent.
Photo by Javant Kalkarni and was displayed on Pexels website. There is such a popularity of this type of photography. The simple photo with lots of background is really nice. This is the type of photography that is going on the walls now. This photo is way awesome because you can see the story behind a couple of men on a boat, whether they are fishing or not, it just seems to grab you, and draw your eyes to the main subject. It is done very well.
Photo by Jaoa Cabral from the Pexels web site. Fog and misty photos are really good in black and white. This just is one great example. The color seems to be taken away because the light is so subdued. And the subject in the photo is placed to tell as story. I have a feeling that wherever this is, it’s very typical of this weather.
This is another photo from Joao Cabral. Pexels is a great site to capture good, new young aspiring photographers. This photo is of fog again. I think maybe Joao is fascinated with these types of photos, because he is very good at them.
Photo by Kayln Kostov. The reason this photo was chosen, is because the exposure is real good with this, plus, the freckles on this person, in black and white are amazing. I think a portrait of a person with freckles is just amazing, and the person doesn’t need to be shy about having them either. Is there anyone who doesn’t like freckles? This is just a wonderful portrait.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels. This is a photo that works really good on black and white. The good contrast, the subject material, the expression on the person’s face all contribute to this wonderful photo. I don’t think I want to be kicked by him.
Photo by David Pearce (c). From looking over David’s Facebook website, it appears that this is a walk he takes often. And I can see why. This natural foggy scene, with those beautiful trees, are just spectacular in this kind of weather. The fog on this one photo is nice because it’s just thick enough to create a wonderful fade to white. A great capture of this weather. Thanks David.
Photo by Todd Trapani. I have seen photos of this site many times, but most people don’t take the time to get different angles of this monument. And I really just liked to see that a photographer was willing to beyond the norm, and get a photo of this monument from an angle that we don’t normally see. Now you can get an idea of just how rugged this area is, and besides it being a famous tourist site, makes this interesting photo.
Photo by Nika Akin from Pexels. We have all seen photos like this before from older photography. The exposure is spot on, because you have perfect blacks, and perfect highlights. This was done on purpose to lighten the image on the half of the face. Hardly any grey tones to this photo, but, this one works. It just makes the model more mysterious this way. This is a technique that only works when done this way. Very well done. And it’s good to see the talent put forward on this.

This concludes this year’s ART OF BLACK AND WHITE, VOLUME 7. Thanks to those who let me use their photos. You have amazing talent and perhaps we may use your photos again.


Photos of the week can be of a particular subject, or It can be photos of the season, And it can be photos from a photographer. In this case, I, personally have had a request to display my photos. I have been involved in photography for many years, and taught photography classes, been a judge of winning photos at a County Fair, and recently have created this wonderful website you are reading now. Many people don’t know the name behind 123PhotoGo, but, it’s me: Lanny Cottrell. And after all these years, it’s time for me to put up my own photography. I hope you like them.

I am not one who likes winter, but, I love the beauty of a winter day. Especially like this one with the fog in the background.
I really appreciate a good seagull to come and pose for this photo. Taken on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.
This is the beautiful cloud formations right after this valley seemed destroyed by East Canyon Winds. The wind roared through this valley at over 70 miles an hour. When things started to calm down, we got these beautiful cloud formations.
I always appreciate a good artist, whether they paint it themselves or take the photos. This wonderful Gentleman was painting a picture of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park. It was a good likeness of the place.
I have been experimenting with night photography with my Samsung Note 20Plus. It seems as this camera takes a picture at night time, the camera automatically brings up the exposure of the dark areas. This photo was taken at night time, and the only light on this photo is from the street lights.
About 20 years ago, when film was at it’s best, I took this photo with Kodachrome film. Found this beautiful rose outside, sprayed a little water on it to give it some texture, and the reproduction to digital was amazing. Film was a good thing in it’s day.
This photo, to me, is one of my best photos of the twilight colors mixed with sunset colors were available at the same time. The Great Salt Lake was a bit full this year, covering even some trees along the shoreline.
Another amazing winter photo of a big tree on a hill. Even a little fog adds to this photo.
I feed the birds around my house. One of the most colorful and unique birds is the “Blue Scrub Jay”. I can put peanuts in a shell, and they can come and even hang upside down to get these peanuts. They do not eat these peanuts immediately. They go and bury these peanuts for availability later on. The magpie birds don’t like to hang upside down on this, so, they don’t bother it much. It’s a feeder meant just for these birds.
A very recent photo of the docked sail ships that make their home at Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho. I had never seen this line-up of boats like this before, and it certainly was the perfect day to capture this unique photo.
“Old Ironsides”. One of the most famous of the steam trains still in existence. This close-up of this train, gives you a feeling of its massiveness.
One of my favorite photos! Why? Not only is it an amazing sunset photo, but, because one of my sons is in the picture.
Everyone has a fall photo that you love. I love this one. Captured in Parley’s Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City. I love it when the clouds add to the photo.
The beautiful Maddison River in Yellowstone National Park.
This sepia toned photo is perfect for this type of photo. An old Pioneer home, still standing, now used probably to store feed for cattle.
Night photography, with fog! The ultimate way to make it happen.
Winter is a tough season, but, it is a beautiful time of the year. The snowstorms can produce such beauty. It’s the only thing I look forward to in the winter.
Another winter scene, with a field in snow, leading into a foggy morning area.
At the top of Logan Canyon coming down onto Bear Lake, Utah. There is a big lake under those clouds, and we are above the clouds. This is when the water is warmer than the air. Temperature at this site was about 16 degrees F. Temperature under the fog: 36 degrees. Water temperature: 39 degrees. That is why the clouds like to hang out where it’s warm.
Waiting for a concert at the famous Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. All of a sudden, “golden Hour” made this beautiful building turn from it’s granite grey color to this golden yellow.
I don’t know if this is fair, but, who cares. These two beautiful bald eagles were posing for me at an zoo for injured animals. So, they couldn’t fly away, but, they sure posed good for me that day.
Everybody loves a good sunset. This photo taken right off my deck. But, the cloud formations was the key to take this photo.
Another photo in the Bear Lake area. The clouds on the mountains and the mix of blue sky was wonderful.
I have had a fascination with the “crooked” quakie aspen trees. I am no tree person, but, it would be interesting to know how it grew this way.
This was taken with slide film about 25 years ago. With the sky and the clouds the way they were, I just had to try a red filter to get this effect.
Now you can see Bear Lake out in the distance. The old range here in front of it, is highlighted by the dormant trees, leading lines take your eyes back to the lake.
Once in a while, during sunset, the clouds are lit up by the sun in a golden color, making the whole valley golden. You can see the mountains are golden, and of course, the clouds are just beautiful. A natural phenomenon here in this valley.
An old broken down shed in the foggy, snowy day.
It’s scary to get so close to a bee while it’s busy. But, in studying up the different macro lenses available, I found out that the telephoto macro lenses will produce the same magnification as the normal macro lens, only you don’t have to be so close to the subject.
Another photo taken at night, at the city park. I love what light and fog do together.

Thank you so much for viewing my photos. If you have any ideas, have any questions about my blog, or this website, feel free to comment below, or send your questions to me at:

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Winning Photos from new Photographers !

You know we usually put on the Photos of the week, images of flowers, mountains, etc. But there is a new wave of photographers out there that are taking some incredible photos as well. Definitely worthy to be photos of the week. But, there ideas and thoughts that go in to their photography seems exciting and different. And this is the place to show the great stuff they are doing. Let’s go!

Photo by Lanny Cottrell, this is a night photo, and the only light in this picture is from the street lights, or foliage lighting
Photo by Lanny Cottrell, photo taken at night time, in a parking lot. The spotlight was accentuated by the misty night air.

cottage in forest among trees in daytime
Photo by Marta Wave on
happy woman with flying hair on river coast
Photo by Tatiana Twinslol on
silhouette of person holding glass mason jar
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on
crop woman with translucent veil
Photo by Francesca Zama on
adventure beautiful boardwalk bridge
Photo by Pixabay on
cold dark eerie environment
Photo by Pixabay on
light landscape sky sunset
Photo by Pixabay on
mirror fragments on gray surface with the reflection of a person s arm
Photo by Thiago Matos on

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Storms, Earth in turmoil !

Our world has been totally plagued this year with major storms. No continent has gone untouched in some way. With all the photographers out there, photos of these storms, and their impact have reached the internet. And some of the storms are just beautiful, while some storms or disasters are gut wrenching.

Today, I am posting some of those amazing photos of storms, the beauty, the chaos, and the destruction. For those who go out and take photos of these storms, thank you so much. We will enjoy these for a long time.

lightning strikes
Photo by Frank Cone on
person standing using red umbrella
Photo by Aline Nadai on
photo of lightning
Photo by Philippe Donn on
eye of the storm image from outer space
Photo by Pixabay on
architecture buildings business city
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on
big waves under cloudy sky
person riding a bicycle during rainy day
Photo by Genaro Servín on
rain of snow in town painting
Photo by Lisa Fotios on
christmas christmas house cold fir
Photo by Jill Wellington on
man pouring water from dipper on blue and grey house
Photo by hitesh choudhary on
lightning and tornado hitting village
Photo by Ralph W. lambrecht on
body of water surrounded with grass
Photo by Harrison Haines on
trees and cars covered by snow
Photo by Pixabay on
stormy sea near rocks under dramatic sky in hurricane weather
Photo by stein egil liland on
wood water summer broken
Photo by Robin Ramos on
reflection of clouds on body of water
Photo by Johannes Plenio on
volcano erupting at night under starry sky
Photo by Clive Kim on
light sea landscape water
Photo by Elsa S on
small river in winter forest
Photo by Brady Knoll on
Photo by Lanny Cottrell
crashing waves
Photo by Ray Bilcliff on
erupting lava during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on
boy in brown t shirt and brown shorts standing on white wooden door
Earthquake Photo by cottonbro on
Photo by Lanny Cottrell
man on ski board on snow field
Photo by Paweł Fijałkowski on
photo of mountain under cloudy sky
Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev on
sea city landscape nature
Photo by Tom Fisk on


I am not one who likes winter. It’s cold, and it’s dangerous to get around sometimes (at least where I live). But, I love the beauty that a good winter storm will bring.

Using Pexels and other photographers photos, I have put together this amazing collection of winter photos. I hope you will enjoy them, and at least give you motivation to go out and try some of these photo shots.

calm sunny day in winter countryside
Photo by Alex Kozlov on
leafless tree under gray sky
Photo by Simon Matzinger on
green pine trees covered with fogs under white sky during daytime
Photo by Lum3n on
photo of deer on snow
Photo by Louis on
time lapse photography of curved road with vehicles passing
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on
photo of trees across mountains under cloudy sky
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on
brown wooden house and mountain reflecting on lake
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on
person standing in front of a train
Photo by Josh Hild on
beautiful beauty blond blur
Photo by Pixabay on
photo of snow covered trees
Photo by Jan Kopřiva on
Photo by Lanny Cottrell photography
Photo by Lanny Cottrell Photography
aerial photography of snow covered trees
Photo by Ruvim Miksanskiy on
snowy pathway surrounded by bare tree
Photo by on
bare tree on snow
Photo by Todd Trapani on
photo of siberian husky
Photo by Kateryna Babaieva on
Photo by Lanny Cottrell photography
two man hiking on snow mountain
Photo by Flo Maderebner on
mt fuji
Photo by Tomáš Malík on
person wearing gray and white socks near brown fireplace
Photo by Taryn Elliott on
body of water beside trees by snowfield near mountains
Photo by Pixabay on

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: More incredible photos from BING!

We all know that Bing is one of the bigger Search engines on your computer. Anyone can sign up for Bing as their search engine. But, one thing that is amazine about Bing, is that every day when you start up your computer, they have an amazing winning photo on your computer screen. And you can subscribe to a daily treat of these photos.

With that being said, here are some photos done lately from Bing:

These polar bears seem to be just as happy as we are to visit Torngat Mountains National Park today. Located in Canada at the tip of the Labrador Peninsula and bordering the Labrador Sea, the park is accessible only by boat, charter plane, or helicopter. The name “Torngat” comes from the Inuktitut word “Tongait,” meaning “place of spirits.” The Inuit have lived here for centuries and still fish and hunt across the wide tundra valleys where these polar bears roam. This time of year, polar bears are waiting for the sea ice to form so they can venture out onto the Labrador Sea to hunt for seals.
Framed here for the season by fall foliage, the Cambron Covered Bridge is located along a nature trail in Madison County, Alabama—not Iowa, which is the setting of the bestselling romance novel “The Bridges of Madison County.” It”s believed there were once about 14,000 covered bridges in the US, but fewer than 900 or so remain today, a quarter of which can be found in Pennsylvania. But Alabama has covered-bridge bragging rights, too. The state has 11 historic covered bridges. Built in 1974, the Cambron Covered Bridge doesn”t make the official “historic” list, but it does offer hikers a peaceful passageway with great views of Sky Lake.
Spying the crooked silhouette of Corfe Castle above the rolling, foggy hills of Dorset, England, you might not guess at the ruin”s former palatial beauty—you”ll more likely sense its long history of intrigue, and maybe feel a chill down your spine.
If you”re greeted by a friendly face and a warm “Welcome to Bents” as you stroll up to this old general store, you might be having a paranormal experience: It”s been 50 years since a living soul dwelt in this Saskatchewan ghost town.
After the nesting and breeding seasons of spring and summer have passed, starlings become highly social birds, often gathering in flocks that number in the thousands. These flocks sometimes take the form of a murmuration—when the birds form a group large and dense enough that they appear to move together as a single organism, even if the movements seem arbitrary. Though scientists still don”t quite understand how the individual starlings in a murmuration coordinate their tight, fluid formations, the behavior is thought to be a way to confuse predators.
If it appears to be slinking away from the camera, maybe this chameleon is all too aware of the way some of us humanfolk see reptiles: as frightening at best, disgusting at worst. We know you die-hard reptile lovers are out there too, but it”s undeniable that reptiles” reputation among people has suffered thanks to popular villainous depictions—from “Anaconda” and “Godzilla” to the serpent encountered by Adam and Eve. Even our everyday language throws shade on this vast class of critters: When”s the last time you called someone “reptile” and meant it nicely?
A photographer happened to catch these brown bear cubs in the act of stealing a boat. Patiently, he watched from afar, snapping photo after photo. Realizing what the cubs were doing, he knew he should document this event. Intent on getting the boat into the water, the cubs worked like they’d done this before. Lighting out onto the lake, the bears seemed to enjoy the ride.
We’re celebrating International Dark-Sky Week with an image from a corner of New Mexico that’s one of the best places to stargaze in the continental United States. Dark-Sky Week is observed during the first new moon of April, when stars shine more brightly because the moon isn’t visible. The event was created to bring attention to the harmful effects of artificial light on the natural world, and to remind us of the beauty of an unadulterated night sky. Light pollution not only impacts our ability to see the stars and to sleep soundly, but also creates challenges for many nocturnal species, migrating birds, and even baby sea turtles. So, turn out those lights, look up, and be amazed at the sky that your great-great-grandparents saw.
This mountain hare is starting the year off right. It”s used to cold weather and high altitudes—and, since it”s nocturnal, it”s perfectly comfortable sleeping through an afternoon snowstorm in northeast Scotland. On New Year”s Day, humans in the US are more likely to be found in their natural habitat, the couch, dozing off or perhaps watching one of the college football bowl games on TV. Some more ambitious folks might be getting a jump on their New Year”s resolutions and exercising. First Day Hikes are part of an initiative led by state parks, with hundreds of free guided hikes offered in all 50 states. That sounds great, but maybe a little later. Right now, we think the hare has the right idea.
A mother sperm whale surfaces in the North Atlantic as her young albino calf swims beside her. It”s an especially photogenic moment for these underwater powerhouses, which spend much of their time in the dim depths over 1,000 feet below the waves. You”re meeting them to commemorate the day in 1841 when a young Herman Melville set out from New Bedford, Massachusetts, on a whaling voyage to the South Pacific that would help inspire his masterwork “Moby-Dick.” Today at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Melville fans will begin a marathon public reading of the novel—an annual event that lasts a leviathan 25 hours.
Burrowing parrots, sometimes called burrowing parakeets, are native to the arid Monte Desert of western Argentina. The birds use their beaks and talons to hollow out nesting spaces in soft limestone cliffs found in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The parrots sometimes end up captured and sold as pets for the wild bird trade. While that”s not illegal—burrowing parrots aren”t endangered—the capture and sale of these birds and others is part of the focus of National Bird Day in the United States, which is observed on January 5. National Bird Day was created to educate the public about the value of wild birds remaining wild. While keeping a parrot as a pet may seem like fun, the organizers of National Bird Day claim the parrot is going to be healthier and happier in its natural habitat.
If you want to celebrate Take the Stairs Day in style, look no further than China”s Tianmen Mountain (literally Heaven”s Door). About 5,000 feet above sea level, the hole in the mountain is the highest naturally formed arch in the world. Originally a cave, it became an arch in 263 CE when the back side of the mountain collapsed, creating the dramatic opening we see today. You”ll have to climb 999 steps to make it to the top, but we promise the view is worth it.
If you want to celebrate Take the Stairs Day in style, look no further than China”s Tianmen Mountain (literally Heaven”s Door). About 5,000 feet above sea level, the hole in the mountain is the highest naturally formed arch in the world. Originally a cave, it became an arch in 263 CE when the back side of the mountain collapsed, creating the dramatic opening we see today. You”ll have to climb 999 steps to make it to the top, but we promise the view is worth it.
Welcome to the snowy Bavarian Alps, where the mountain called the Zugspitze (TSOOG-shpit-seh) casts a cold shadow over the Eibsee, a small and serene alpine lake. Situated on the border with Austria, the peak is Germany”s highest point at almost 10,000 feet above sea level, towering over the lakeside village of Grainau.
Today we”re featuring a picture-postcard view of Val Gardena, a valley nestled in the Dolomites in the South Tyrol region of Italy. This time of year, the remote area may be a bit busier than usual as skiers are drawn to its famous slopes. In summer, it”s known for other outdoor activities, such as rock climbing and hiking. Since the 17th century, the villagers have been famed for their wood carving. Artisans create everything from simple, utilitarian items, like bowls, to finely detailed figurines. One of the woodcarvers” biggest hits? A wooden peg doll that was popular across Europe and the US during the 19th century.
At a quick glance, you might mistake these dunes for massive snowdrifts. Although they do make for great sledding, the tiny crystals that form the dunes at White Sands National Park are not snow or ice but gypsum, a soft mineral often used to make plaster and chalk. The dune field became a national monument on this day in 1933 with a proclamation by President Herbert Hoover, which set aside nearly 150,000 acres for preservation. Recently, on December 20, 2019, President Trump signed legislation making it the 62nd designated national park in the National Park System.
January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Really. It was established by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator from North Carolina, to draw attention to the importance of these remarkably widespread creatures. Native to five continents and currently living on six (there”s no Antarctic squirrel), there are about 285 species of squirrels in the world, ranging from the tiny African pygmy squirrel to the Bhutan giant flying squirrel (when in Bhutan, be ready to duck).
This time of year, from late January to early March, babies arrive on the Serengeti. At the height of the wildebeest calving season, thousands of calves are born every day. Moments after birth, these youngsters can walk, and in just a few days, they”ll be able to run fast enough to keep up with the herd. That”s a good thing. Calving season isn”t just a draw for safari tourists wanting a front row seat at the start of the circle of life, but also for predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas on the hunt for easy prey.
This is the sun-soaked ice cap of Iceland”s Eyjafjallajökull. Remember the name? It”s that unpronounceable volcano that made you miss your connecting flight back in 2010. That eruption and the vast ash cloud it belched over the North Atlantic was the biggest disruption to air traffic since World War II. And this relatively small but volatile island may yet waylay the world again: Eyjafjallajökull is a lightweight among the 32 active volcanic systems dotting the Land of Fire and Ice—its much larger neighbor Katla has been closely monitored since the 2010 incident.
For India”s 70th Republic Day, we”re featuring an uncommon view of the Taj Mahal in Agra. It”s on this day that India celebrates its official beginning as an independent democratic republic after having endured nearly a century of British rule. Republic Day events include presentations of the Padma Awards (national service honors), a Republic Day parade in New Delhi, and other ceremonies.
Russia”s Lake Baikal is a record-holding wonder: It”s the world”s oldest (25 million years), deepest (over 5,000 feet in some parts), and largest freshwater lake (more than 20 percent of the Earth”s fresh surface water by volume). Baikal lies in the deepest continental rift on Earth, and because the rift is geologically active, the tectonic plates continue to move farther apart.

Hope you enjoyed this collection of photos. See you next week for more amazing photos!

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Photos of the Ocean !

Last week we had a great post of amazing photos of Rivers of the world. The response was tremendous. Now, to really add to even more beauty, this week’s Photos of the Week are all about the ocean. So many people in the world love photos taken of the ocean, ocean-side, etc. Here are today’s picks:

Photo by Fabian Wiktor on
cliffs in sea near coast at sunset
Photo by Sami Anas on
Photo by Lena Khrupina on
ocean water wave photo
Photo by Emiliano Arano on
light sea dawn landscape
Photo by Pixabay on
beach birds calm clouds
Photo by Pixabay on
frozen wave against sunlight
Photo by Hernan Pauccara on
abstract background beach color
Photo by Pixabay on
white and black moon with black skies and body of water photography during night time
beach bench boardwalk clouds
Photo by Pixabay on
shallow focus photo of pink and brown jellyfish
Photo by Pawel Kalisinski on
backlit balance beach cloud
Photo by Pixabay on
cottages in the middle of beach
Photo by Julius Silver on