The Monkey Orchid

monkey orchid 1Image: Columbus GV Team

These rare primate-esque flowers are formally known as Dracula simia. They  only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.

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Photography: Wildlife Crossings

Wildlife crossings are structures that allow animals to cross human-made barriers safely. They may include: underpass tunnels, viaducts, and overpasses (mainly for large or herd-type animals), fish ladders and green roofs (for butterflies and birds). Wildlife crossings are a practice in habitat conservation, allowing connections or re-connections between habitats, combating habitat fragmentation. They also assist in avoiding collisions between vehicles and animals, which in addition to killing or injuring wildlife may cause injury to humans and property damage.

Wildlife Overpass, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. (Image source)

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Hanging Temples in China

MianShan is a fantastic mountain in China noted for its natural scenery, and especially for its cultural and religious relics. Buddhist and Taoist temples are literally built on the cliff face with hundreds of hidden caves, dating back 2500 years. Mian Shan is about 200 km south of TaiYuan, the provincial capital of ShanXi. The most famous of all the Taoist temple is the DaLuo Gong.

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Where two rivers meet

The confluence of the rivers Czâlin (clean water) and Yangtze River (brown waters) in Chongqing, China.

In geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It refers either to the point where a tributary joins a larger river, called the main stem, or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name. The confluences in the photos below create dramatic visual contrasts.
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