With Fungi, the Australian photographer Steve Axford opens the doors to the fascinating world of fungi and mushrooms, capturing the diversity, bright colors and amazing shapes of these organisms.
But do not be deceived, behind these beautiful creations often hide poisonous and deadly mushrooms…
After five years, 10,000 plants uprooted and replanted, 15,000 panes of glass replaced, 69,000 sections of metal, stone and timber repaired or replaced, enough scaffolding to stretch the length of the M25, and £41m spent, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world is ready to open its doors again.
The Temperate House in Kew Gardens is once again, as Sir David Attenborough describes it, ‘a breathtakingly beautiful space’
The glasshouse was closed for the works, with a tent structure large enough to cover three Boeing 747 planes enclosing the building in south-west London.
The vast project required 112 miles of scaffolding, 5,280 litres of paint and more than 400 people working on it, with the lengthy process of replanting starting in September.
The Temperate House is the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world still standing.
Paintings of flora and fauna inspired by botanical illustrations and the plants she encounters while on daily walks through neighborhoods.
The use of multiple, semi-transparent layers creates the illusion of depth that invites the viewer to explore the imaginary environment.
I strive to create a place of magical realism in my landscapes, balancing magical elements with real world rendering of flora and fauna found in our natural world.
I gain inspiration from plant study, whether that be from my daily walks in my neighborhood, the study of botanical illustrations, or memories of plants and their life cycles.
As the dawn light bathed the desert, Photographer Jack Dykinga trained his lens on the distant Sand Tank Mountains.
The saguaro cactus had fallen victim to frost damage, allowing Jack to climb inside its contorted and drooping limbs.
He has spent a lifetime photographing frost-damaged cacti. ‘This is probably my best effort,’ he says.
Towering over the Sonoran Desert, these cacti have a plethora of amazing adaptions that enable them to survive long droughts.
The roots absorb precious rainfall, while the surface pleats expand like accordions as the cactus swells.
It is this adaptation that makes the cacti susceptible to frost, as the water in the saturated limbs can freeze.
As part of a reference photoshoot for an illustration project by Warsaw-based creative studio Ars Thanea, a bouquet of roses was set on fire and photographed as they smoldered in the dark.
The glow of the dying embers is strangely evocative, it would be amazing to see an entire series of different flowers photographed like this.
You can see the final illustration and how they caught the images over on Behance. (via Boing Boing)
Western underground orchid
(Rhizanthella gardneri) (Credit: Andrew Brown)
This unusual orchid spends its entire life underground. It even flowers underground, in late May and early June, producing more than a hundred cream to reddish flowers, and a strong fragrance.
It only lives in the Broom bush shrubland in western Australia. It lacks chlorophyll so cannot draw energy from sunlight like most plants.
Instead it takes nutrients from the roots of broom bush, by parasitizing the fungi associated with it.
There are thought to be fewer than 50 plants. The species has not been assessed by the IUCN, but Western Australia classes it as critically endangered.
(Mammillaria herrerae) (Credit: Petar43 / Wikimedia, CC by SA 4.0)
Found only in the mountains of Queretaro in Mexico, the golf ball is a small white-ish cactus that looks, you’ve guessed it, like a golf ball.
Its beautiful pink flowers have made it popular among horticulturists, so many wild cacti are illegally collected.
As a result, the population has dropped more than 95% over the last 20 years.