Photo of the Day: Best of February

Every day, we feature an image chosen from thousands around National Geographic. Here are some highlights from February.

The leaping springbok in the photo above makes me smile every time I see it. I particularly love knowing there is such a word as “pronking,” which is how this acrobatic behavior is more colorfully described. I hope this month’s round-up of highlights from February’s Photo of the Day brings a smile to your faces.

Ah, summer in the mountains! The magical light show put on by these fireflies in the woods of Tennessee to attract mates is an example of bioluminescence, a phenomenon explored in the March 2015 issue of National Geographic. In addition to more photographs of lightmaking creatures, there is a very cool video about the mysterious glowing mushrooms of the Amazon.

Your Shot photographer Ly Hoang Long sent in this photograph of a Vietnamese fisherman selling fish traps, known as do. After the harvest, according to Long, farmers in the village of Tat Vien in Vietnam’s Hung Yen Province spend their spare time knitting the beautifully shaped do from bamboo.

Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps is where, as a teen, Stefano Unterthiner first fell in love with wildlife and photography while hiking with his uncle. He returned recently to photograph the park for a story in the February 2015 issue of National Geographic, happening upon this ermine in its white winter coat.

Many times, photographs of Turkey’s Cappadocia region are instantly recognizable by the presence of at least one, if not an entire flotilla, of hot-air balloons. On such a ride himself, Your Shot photographer Francois Nadeau decided to focus on the patterns below him, capturing a view of this village seemingly carved out of the landscape. Nadeau’s shot was also picked for the Daily Dozen, a round-up of editors’ favorites taken by members of the Your Shot photo community.

Googling “paragliding denmark highland cattle” did not get me any closer to finding out whether this kind of thing happens often, but judging by the cow, the photographer is of more interest than the man floating by in the background. Lucky for us, we get the whole picture.

Photo editor Kurt Mutchler spied this photograph of a beaver on Montana’s Lake Elmo while curating the First Light assignment, during which the Your Shot community was invited to venture out at the crack of dawn, cameras in hand, to capture the fleeting rays of the first sun. Mutchler combed through the thousands of submissions to put together a 19-photo story.

“I’ve long had a romance with wildlife and admired the work done by Marlice van Vuuren and her husband at the N/a’an ku sê Foundation in Windhoek, Namibia, especially in the area of cheetah conservation,” writes Terry Allen, who shared this picture with our Your Shot community. “Marlice hand-raised an orphan cheetah as part of her conservation efforts and enjoys educating visitors by providing the opportunity to walk with her and her cheetah. At the end of a sunset walk, [they] were interacting at the top of a small rise. I took several shots to get just the right positioning of both heads, conveying the great trust between the two.”

*****

Alexa Keefe is the editor of Photo of the Day, a curated look at photography from around National Geographic. The full archive is accessible here.
See which pictures were featured in our last round-up, Photo of the Day: Best of January.

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