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The Most Beautiful Garden in the World Has No Visitors for the First Time in Over 70 Years

Every year, a hard-working crew makes sure the garden looks perfect, including this year!

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Beautiful Garden
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(TMU) — The Netherlands, a small piece of Europe on the north-western coast, is known for its flat landscape, canals, windmills, tulips, and bicycles. It’s also the birthplace of famous artists like Rembrandt van Meer and Vincent van Gogh.

Tulips are not native to the Netherlands but were imported from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the sixteenth century. The tulip became popular when Carolus Clusius wrote his first book about tulips in 1592, so popular in fact that Clusius’ garden was regularly raided and bulbs stolen. Their popularity eventually reached fever pitch and caused the first known economic bubble, known as ‘’Tulip Mania.’’ Some bulbs reached such extremely high prices that the market collapsed in 1637.

It’s in the details with these small patches of different coloured hyacinth flowers carefully places on the grass between the trees.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Keukenhof estate, which dates back to the 15th century, was a source of fruit and vegetables for the Teylingen Castle kitchen during the years 1401 through 1436. Part of the estate had a major overhaul after WWII when a group of bulb growers and exporters, in an effort to revitalize the market, were able to use the estate in 1949 to exhibit their spring-flowering bulbs. Keukenhof opened its gates to the public in the spring of 1950 with over 236,000 visitors that first year.

Sadly, this year’s 71st exhibition named ‘A World of Colours’ marks the first time since its opening that the park will not be open to visitors due to the worldwide pandemic.

My favourite area with part of the big pool on the right. Lines and shapes of tulips all pointing towards the middle.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Born and bred Dutchman, Albert Dros, a landscape photographer who loves the spring flowers of his country and photographs them often to share with the world, had wanted to photograph Keukenhof’s spring garden for a very long time. However, with millions of visitors each spring, conditions were not ideal for how he wanted to capture the gardens on film. This year, with Keukenhof’s spring garden in full bloom with no visitors to enjoy the spectacle, he realized this might be the only opportunity ever to make his dream photoshoot at Keukenhof a reality.

I really couldn’t get enough of these patches of different kind of flowers with different colours along the paths and the trees everywhere in the park.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

He said: ‘’I’ve been photographing the tulips since forever, mostly in the countryside. I photographed them from all angles you can possibly imagine, but there was one thing that I still wanted to capture one time in my life: Keukenhof without any other people. This seemed impossible, until this year’s April 2020. With the COVID-19 virus keeping everyone at home and tourists away, I knew this was my only chance of making this happen. I contacted Keukenhof explaining what I had in mind and they were so kind to let me photograph the garden for a day.’’

A sunny April had made the flowers bloom early and although photographing in strong sunlight was a challenge, Dros’s photographs definitely show that he overcame that problem and it seems, made the most of having the park to himself, strolling down the pathways with birdsong in his ears, the smell of the flowers in the air and absorbing the amazing visual rainbow of flowers every step of the way.

‘’This photo series is an initiative from myself in collaboration with Keukenhof. We aim to show the beauty of the park through these images. Too bad there’s no smell involved,’’ Dros concluded.

For more of Albert Dros’ work, check out: albertdros.com | Instagram | Facebook | flickr.com

With no people around these zig zag paths become visible showing the attention to detail in the lay out of the garden.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

 

The empty square in front of the famous Keukenhof windmill looks so serene.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

The Red & Yellow carpet of tulips as seen from a drone perspective from about 10 meters up.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

In Keukenhof you can find a bunch of classic Dutch bridges. This is one of them right at the entrance, surrounded by a sea of colourful tulips.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Portrait oriented image of the empty square in front of the famous windmill. The miller was so kind to put the windmill in the correct position for the photograph.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Low angle perspective of a rare species of tulips that I had not seen before.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

The world famous ‘Blue River.’ A road of blue grape hyacinths zigzagging through the trees.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Did I mention attention to detail? From the ground I didn’t even see this, but when I flew my drone a few meters up it appeared that these were planted in the shape of a tulip flower!

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Seas of tulips around my favourite area of the park: The pool with the fountain in the middle.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Lines and lines of tulips, hyacinths and narcissus flowers in between the trees.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

I love to photograph dreamy portraits of flowers, and the Keukenhof is perfect for that with its many different kinds of flowers.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

My favourite places in the Keukenhof are the pools. Seeing the water reflecting the trees and flowers gives such a calm…

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

In some parts of the park you can find endless seas of different coloured tulips that together make a beautiful abstract color palette.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

The little paths make harmony with the trees and different flowers all around them.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

An image of the white bridge near the entrance of the park showing the scale of a hill with thousands of tulips that can be seen in front of it.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

A low angle perspective in the part of the park that I’d like to call ‘cherry blossom garden’ where you can find dozens of cherry blossoms combined with tulips. Did I mention the smell!?

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

A high key portrait of the Fritillaria Imperialis flower. One of my favourite flowers of the park.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Zig zag lines of flowers, water and paths almost looks like these scenes are dancing.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Attention to great detail of lines and shapes in which the flowers are planted is signature design of The Keukenhof. I…

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Dare to be different. A white tulip with a red leaf standing out in the lot, with a viewpoint on the tulip fields in the background.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

A portrait image of a grape hyacinth.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Real summer vibes with green trees, blue sky, and circular shapes of tulips. It’s only spring, but this image already reminds me of summer.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

I love how you can see these lines and shapes of tulips in the park.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Sun peaking through the trees in the afternoon, with the lines and paths of flowers making harmony with each other.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

One of my favourite little scenes in the park: A Japanese cherry blossom tree with a beautiful shape with a path through flowers leading up to it. It looks like a scene out of a fairytale.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

See through along the walking bridges in the park with cherry blossoms on top.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

Water reflecting the beauty of the trees and flowers.

Posted by Albert Dros Photography on Monday, April 27, 2020

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Scientists Thrilled by Discovery of Rare, Mammoth 400-Year-Old Coral

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A massive 400-year-old hard coral discovered on the Great Barrier Reef has scientists expressing their sense of surprise and excitement.

Named Muga dambhi by the Manbarra people, the Indigenous group who have traditionally taken care of the land, the “exceptionally large” brown and cream-colored coral is located off the coast of Goolboodi or Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

It is believed that the coral was spawned some 421 to 438 years ago, meaning that its age predates the arrival of Captain James Cook and the advent of colonization in Australia, notes the Guardian.

The spectacular coral is about 35 feet wide and over 17 feet high, and is double the size of the nearest coral.

Scientists and members of the community participating in a marine science course discovered the specimen earlier this year.

While not the largest coral in the world, the huge find is of major significance to the local ecosystem, according to Adam Smith, an adjunct professor at James Cook University who wrote the field note on the find.

“It’s like a block of apartments,” Smith said. “It attracts other species. There’s other corals, there’s fish, there’s other animals around that use it for shelter or for feeding, so it’s pretty important for them.”

“It’s a bit like finding a giant redwood tree in the middle of a botanic gardens,” he added.

It is likely that the coral hasn’t been discovered for such a long time due to its location in a relatively remote and unvisited portion of a Marine National Park zone that enjoys a high degree of protection.

“Over the last 20 or 30 years, no one has noticed, or observed, or thought it newsworthy enough to share photos, or document, or do research on this giant coral,” Smith said.

The coral is in remarkable condition, with over 70 percent of its surface covered in live coral, coral rock and microalgae. No disease, bleaching or recently deceased coral has been recorded on the specimen.

“The cumulative impact of almost 100 bleaching events and up to 80 major cyclones over a period of four centuries, plus declining nearshore water quality contextualise the high resilience of this Porites coral,” the field note added.

The specific coral has been given the name Muga dhambi, meaning big coral, out of respect for the Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture of the Manbarra Traditional Owners.

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Greenland Ice Washed Away as Summit Sees Rain for First Time in Recorded History

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For the first time in recorded history, torrential downpours of rain have struck Greenland’s icy summit nearly two miles above sea level.

Greenland, an environmentally sensitive island, is typically known for its majestic ice sheet and snowy climate, but this is fast changing due to a massive melt taking place this summer.

However, the typical snowfall has been replaced in recent years not simply by a few showers, but by heavy rainfall. The torrential downpour last week was so huge, in fact, that it washed away a terrifying amount of ice across some 337,000 square miles of the ice shelf’s surface, reports Earther.

Temperatures at the ice shelf had simultaneously warmed to a significant degree, with the summit reaching 33 degrees Fahrenheit – within a degree above freezing and the third time that the shelf has surpassed freezing temperatures this decade.

The fact that rain is falling on ice rather than snow is also significant because it is melting ice across much of southern Greenland, which already saw huge melting events last month, while hastening rising sea levels that threaten to submerge whole coastal cities and communities.

To make matters worse, any new ice formed by the freezing rainwater will not last long. The ice shelf currently existing on Greenland was formed by the compression of snow over innumerable years, which shines bright white and reflects sunlight away rather than absorbing it, as ice from frozen rain does.

The huge scale of the melt and accompanying rainfall illustrate the growing peril of rapidly warming climate conditions across the globe.

“This event by itself does not have a huge impact, but it’s indicative of the increasing extent, duration, and intensity of melting on Greenland,” wrote Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. “Like the heat wave in the [U.S. Pacific] northwest, it’s something that’s hard to imagine without the influence of global climate change.”

“Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing,” Scambos told the Washington Post. “We now see three melting events in a decade in Greenland — and before 1990, that happened about once every 150 years. And now rainfall: in an area where rain never fell.”

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South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash

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What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?

It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.

The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.

The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.

Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.

Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.

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