nature

Breathtakingly Beautiful Closeup Photos of Butterfly Wings

The beauty of butterflies, the loveliest of all insects, has hardly gone unheralded — but this series of photos by Linden Gledhill is sure to make you even more appreciative of their aesthetic qualities. Using a macro lens to zoom in on tiny sections of their wings, Gledhill (who’s trained as a biochemist) reveals breathtaking multicolored fish-scale patterns that resemble lush fabrics and vibrant works of abstract art. Click through for a selection of images from the series (spotted via Colossal), and visit Gledhill’s Flickr page for many more butterfly-wing photos —  among other fascinating series. … Read More

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12 Design-Savvy Ways to Camp Indoors

Ah, the great outdoors. It can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated. There are bugs, bears, and masked serial killers to contend with. If camping sounds a bit too strenuous, and you prefer toasted marshmallows from artisan bakers in Brooklyn, here are a few ways to bring the outdoors inside to your humble, but stylish abode. … Read More

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10 Essential Animal Documentaries

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish is an eye-opening documentary about animals in captivity, with a special focus on the orca Tilikum, who is currently kept at SeaWorld Orlando. The controversial creature is connected to the deaths of three people, including trainer Dawn Brancheau. Blackfish calls into question the safety measures, conditions, and treatment of captive animals, and makes a strong case for the orcas’ intelligence, awareness, and emotion. As moviegoers always on the lookout for compelling animal documentaries that supersede the humdrum nature shows — Blackfish in particular unfolds like a thriller — we’ve rounded up a list of other essential documentaries that call to the wild. … Read More

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15 Beautiful Off-Grid Homes We’d Like to Live In

The idea of eschewing electricity, running water, and the white picket fence is a terrifying prospect for the average American. Based on the number of modern off-grid homes in remote locations that rely on the sun and wind for energy, others clearly disagree. Earlier this week, we were charmed by an efficient, beautiful home located in the middle of a cornfield. We feature it past the break, along with other sustainable houses far from the rat race. These stunning, alternative abodes make a strong argument for unplugging and creating a green oasis away from it all. … Read More

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Surreal Photos of Seniors Communing with Nature

Artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen have been collaborating on a multimedia project that started in Norway. Website iGNANT introduced us to Eyes as Big as Plates, a photo series featuring seniors (including a few 90-year old parachuters) immersed in the landscape as a play on characters from Norwegian folklore. Organic costumes and headdresses were created with scavenged materials — a poignant suggestion that each subject has embraced their eventual return to the earth. The project has since expanded to various cities, including New York, and the artists have developed a set of performances connected to the surreal personifications of nature. See more of Hjorth and Ikonen’s beautiful photos in our gallery. … Read More

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Beautiful Paper Sculptures Photographed in Forests

As completely stupid as it is to admit, it’s easy to forget that paper really does come from trees. Take Chicago artist Dan Bradica’s Constructions photo series, which intersperses enormous, bright paper sculptures with nature. From packaging trees together in a bright red wrapper to piling up cardboard boxes in an empty forest, the paper constructions are transformed into glaringly out-of-place strangers in their own place of origin. … Read More

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Beautiful, Intricate Cut Paper Artworks by Calvin Nicholls

Ontario-based artist Calvin Nicholls, whose work we recently spotted over at My Design Stories, has combined a lifelong interest in wildlife with an equally long love of art to create these gorgeous white-on-white paper sculptures depicting nature scenes and portraits of animals that bristle with depth. It’s amazing to us how real his animals feel, even with the barrier of a computer screen, without any attempt to colorize them. Click through to see a few of our favorites of Nicholls’s work, and then be sure to head on over to his website to see much more. … Read More

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Photos of Uneasy Meetings Between Man and Nature

New York City-based photographer Amy Stein creates “modern dioramas of our new natural history.” Her Domesticated series, which we first spotted on Faith is Torment, is set in the small Pennsylvania town of Matamoras. The area borders a scenic state forest. Each image is “constructed based on real stories from local newspapers and oral histories of intentional and random interactions between humans and animals.” The works show an uneasy meeting between man and nature, and explore humanity’s relationship with the “wild’ — the ways we attempt to dominate, domesticate, and connect with it. It’s a never-ending fascination that man has engaged for centuries, and nature has endured. Stein’s eco-tableaux powerfully confronts us with that anxiety and its strange beauty. See more of Domesticated in our gallery below. You can purchase a monograph of the work, which won the Best Book award at the 2008 New York Photo Festival, over here. Visit the artist’s photographs in person when Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination opens at the Glenbow Art Museum next year. … Read More

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Jaw-Dropping Photos Tracking a Massive Storm

Most people wouldn’t dare head directly into the eye of a jaw-dropping and destructive thunderstorm known as a supercell, but photographer Camille Seaman did. The artist is known for her stunning images of the polar regions, but her latest body of work found her on the High Plains. There, guided by professional meteorologists, she chased the winding updraft and mammoth clouds of an intense supercell. The contrast between the golden fields of wheat and swirling darkness hovering over the land is breathtaking. The artist was kind enough to share her beautiful photos with us, which we’ve featured past the break. Prepare to look up. … Read More

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Listen to Music “Played” by Very Unlikely Sources

Music, you might have been told, can come from anywhere — the sky! the trees! the rushing wind! Well, that’s definitely true, but in recent months we’ve been noticing a lot of more deliberate projects dedicated to tapping very unconventional sources for their musical potential. From the universe’s gamma rays to goldfish, from traffic patterns to brain waves, turns out almost anything in our world can create a beautiful symphony, if only we can figure out how best to listen. Click through to listen to the dulcet tones of music wrung from the weirdest of sources, and if you know of any we haven’t mentioned, add to our collection in the comments! … Read More

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