The Dragon’s Blood Trees of Socotra Island.

Dragon’s Blood trees, known locally as Dam al-Akhawain, or blood of the two brothers, on Socotra island.
Prized for its red medicinal sap, the Dragon’s Blood is the most striking of 900 plant species on the Socotra islands in the Arabian Sea, 380 km (238 miles) south of mainland Yemen.
Image Credit: Photograph by Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi / Reuters
Source: A Walk in the Woods: A Photo Appreciation of Trees – The Atlantic

Stars Shine over Night of Embers.

88fc9a7f-f27e-414e-a4ae-84a77921ea64-2060x1370by Jo Blason
Stars shine over a landscape of embers burning in the wake of the North Fire, which has burned across 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land.
Image Credit: Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images
See more Images via The weekend in pictures | News | The Guardian.

Venice Minus the Water.

venice-low-tide-62For the second year in a row, low tides in Venice have sunk to such record levels that it has left the city almost entirely without water.
Visitors who came to the city expecting to ride gondolas through the city’s famous blue-green canals have found their plans foiled, as without water many of the city’s primary transport have been left grounded on the canals’ muddy beds.
The exceptionally low water levels have been caused by abnormal tides this year, combined with drastically reduced rainfall across northeastern Italy. Although low tides are common around this time of the year, this year the water levels have gone down some 70 cm below average.
The phenomenon is surprising given that Venice is slowly sinking and floods are a more common feature of the city today than low tides.
The low water levels have exposed the city’s filth. Years of poor maintenance on the city’s waterways is showing through the buildup of large banks of mud and silt around the canals’ edges, drastically reducing the canals’ depth and increasing the likelihood of propellers snagging on floating junk.
The lower than normal water levels have also exposed the crumbling brickwork at the base of historic buildings.Venetian authorities have always shown a lackadaisical attitude when it came to canal maintenance.

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Dredging of the canals first started in recent times in the late 1990s, after almost half-a-century of neglect.
The city also lacks a modern sewage system.
Historically, all waste produced by humans have been dumped into the canals although larger buildings are required to carry some kind of sewage treatment before dumping the filthy stuff into the canals.
Some palazzos have their own septic tanks but there is always a certain amount of leakage, lending Venice its characteristic and at times overpowering stench.
Read on via Venice Minus Water | Amusing Planet

Pine Trees in Wolcheon, South Korea.

Kenna’s 2007 photo of a group of pine trees in Wolcheon, South Korea was used in an environmental campaign, leading to the protection of the trees (Credit: Michael Kenna)
Some landscape photographers now keep their locations secret.
Many, like Kenna, also donate prints and help raise funds for conservation projects, disaster relief and other charities.
Landscape photos not only capture the beauty of the natural world, but can also help protect it.
Kenna cites one example where his photo of a group of pine trees in Wolcheon, South Korea was used, without his knowledge, by environmental groups to successfully campaign for an industrial development to be built in a different location.
“The trees remain where they are, protected and now quite famous.”
Source: BBC – Culture – The photos that change lives

Beached Boat on Lake Urmia is an image of Environmental disaster.

The Iranian photographer Saeed Mohammadzadeh has been named Ciwem’s environmental photographer of the year.
His haunting image of a beached boat on the solidified salty remains of Urmia Lake, illustrates how climate change, water mismanagement and drought have decimated the landscape.
This stunning image shows a ship sitting in salt in the Urmia Lake in Iran.
Climate change is intensifying the droughts that speed up evaporation in the country.
The lake is also suffering from illegal wells and a proliferation of dams and irrigation projects, causing it to shrink.
Noxious, salt-tinged dust storms inflame the eyes, skin, and lungs of residents in surrounding areas.
The drying up of the river is also destroying local habitats.
With extreme salinity levels of 340g per litre, the lake is more than eight times saltier than ocean water
Image Credit: Photograph by Saeed Mohammadzadeh/Ciwem environmental photographer of the year 2018
Source: Ciwem environmental photographer of the year 2018 winners – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

‘The Watchman’ by Douglas Croft

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “The Watchman” by Douglas Croft. Location: Zion National Park, Utah.
“It looked as though sunset was going to be washed out by clouds, but then the sun sank below the overcast and still above the horizon,” says Croft.
“The face of The Watchman was lit for a few short minutes, and we were certainly glad we stuck around for it!”
Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests.
Source: Photo Of The Day By Douglas Croft – Outdoor Photographer

Danish Lighthouse will disappear by 2023.

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Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, Northern Jutland, Denmark.
This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968.
With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea.
Image Credit: Photograph by Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime
Source: Abandoned places: the worlds we’ve left behind – in pictures | Travel | The Guardian

La Tuna Canyon Fire, Los Angeles.

California, United States.
The La Tuna Canyon fire, one of the largest wildfires ever in the history of the  City of Los Angeles’ history.
Image Credit: Photograph by Kyle Grillot/Reuters.
Source: A two-headed turtle and Andrew Flintoff as Elvis: today’s unmissable photos | World news | The Guardian

American Dust Bowl – 1930s.

dust-bowl-1The American Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a decade.
Its primary area of impact was on the southern Plains. The northern Plains were not so badly affected, but nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and agricultural decline were no strangers to the north.
In fact the agricultural devastation helped to lengthen the Depression whose effects were felt worldwide. The movement of people on the Plains was also profound.
As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath”:
“And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand.
They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless – restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do – to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut – anything, any burden to bear, for food. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land.”

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Poor agricultural practices and years of sustained drought caused the Dust Bowl.
Plains grasslands had been deeply plowed and planted to wheat.
During the years when there was adequate rainfall, the land produced bountiful crops. But as the droughts of the early 1930s deepened, the farmers kept plowing and planting and nothing would grow.
The ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. The Plains winds whipped across the fields raising billowing clouds of dust to the skies.
The skies could darken for days, and even the most well sealed homes could have a thick layer of dust on furniture. In some places the dust would drift like snow, covering farmsteads.
Read more via About The Dust Bowl.

‘Drought in Gunnedah.’

Australian Farmer Ash Whitney stands in the middle of a dried-up dam in a drought-effected paddock on his property located west of the town of Gunnedah.
‘I have been here all my life, and this drought is feeling like it will be around a while,’ said Whitney.
Image Credit: Photograph by David Gray/Reuters
Source: The 20 photographs of the week | Art and design | The Guardian