I recently came across a fabulous year end collection of nature photographs from the BBC (www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures) and thought I'd share a few of them with you. The explanation underneath each photo is taken verbatim from the site. Make sure to click on each photo so you can see the larger versions (where they are much more impressive).
Cold temperatures on Shodoshima Island, Japan, sometimes lead to monkey
balls, where a group of five or more snow monkeys huddle together to
keep warm. Thomas Kokta climbed a tree to get this image.
These snow geese almost seemed like ghosts in the pink early morning
light as they landed among Sandhill cranes in the Bosque del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, US. (Gordon Illg)
Stephen Belcher spent a week photographing golden snub-nosed monkeys in a
valley in the Zhouzhi Nature Reserve in the Qinling Mountains, China.
The monkeys have very thick fur, which they need to withstand the
freezing nights in winter. This image shows two males about to fight,
one already up on a rock, the other bounding in with a young male.
Andrea Marshall was snorkeling off the coast of Mozambique when she
came across hundreds of large jelly-fish. Many were covered with brittle
stars - opportunistic riders, taking advantage of this transport system
to disperse along the coast. Delicate lighting makes the jelly glow, so
the viewer can focus on the subtle colours and textures.
Sabella spallanzanii is a species of marine polychaete, also known as a
bristle worm. The worm secretes mucus that hardens to form a stiff,
sandy tube that protrudes from the sand. It has two layers of feeding
tentacles that can be retracted into the tube, and one of the layers
forms a distinct spiral. (Marco Gargiulo)
The bird's wing acts as a diffraction grating - a surface structure with
a repeating pattern of ridges or slits. The structure causes the
incoming light rays to spread out, bend and split into spectral colours,
producing this shimmering rainbow effect. (Victor Tyakht)
It was a crisp, clear day in January when Annie Katz saw this Colorado
red fox hunting in her neighbour's field in Aspen, Colorado, US. The
light was perfect, and she took the photo as the fox approached her,
looking right into the lens of her camera.
Reinhold Schrank was at Lake Kerkini, Greece, taking pictures of birds,
but the conditions were not ideal, so he looked for other options. He
saw this caterpillar on a flower and encouraged it on to a piece of
rolled dry straw. He had to work fast because the caterpillar was
The kingfisher frequented this natural pond every day, and Mario Cea
used a high shutter speed with artificial light to photograph it. He
used several units of flash for the kingfisher and a continuous light to
capture the wake as the bird dived down towards the water.
David Maitland photographed the crystallized chemical salicin, which
comes from willow tree bark. Salicin forms the basis of the analgesic
Aspirin - no doubt this is why some animals seek out willow bark to chew