Photo of the Day: Best of May

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

Birds, beasts, and a magical moment or two—all scenes that came across the Photo of the Day transom in May. With the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest in full swing and the ongoing contributions to our Your Shot photo community, there were many compelling images to choose from. Here are a selection of my favorites. Enjoy!

Every spring, melting snow creates a dreamscape in Tragöss, Austria. Green Lake, which for most of the year is no more than six feet deep, expands with the inflow of snowmelt, swallowing part of the park that surrounds it: trees, hiking trails, benches, bridges, and all. The lake’s depth reaches some 30 feet and provides a unique experience for divers—for a few weeks at least.

Mohn Khorshid captured this shot of a short-eared owl in a Kuwait natural reserve, “in stretching and relaxing mode.”

“Here is a farm in Beyşehir, Turkey,” Your Shot photographer Seyit Konyali writes. “Shortly after the birth of lambs, shepherd İsmail [stays with them while they are] running around. He is wearing a poncho made of their mothers’ wool. This makes the lambs feel closer to the shepherd while their mothers are out feeding.”

“This land symbolizes the rhythm of the people, as it was formed through generations of farmers shaping it with irrigation,” says John Qu, a member of our Your Shot community. “It is a rare phenomenon of man-made beauty disguised as a natural occurrence.”
Qu captured the photo of the Yuanyang rice terraces while traveling in China’s Yunnan Province. “I’ve traveled to this place multiple times, purposely in the winter, when the rice terraces are flooded. I’ve gone through the entire area and observed that the light at sunset, with the reflection and high angle, would make the terraces look more like a piece of abstract art, yet with real trees and huts. The shot was taken from a mountain above. I waited a few days for the perfect moment.”

A cooperative bird finds and eats insects from a buffalo’s face in a grooming ritual that pays off for both of them.

“Warm inland. Cold at sea. So fog rolls in,” writes Your Shot member Cedric Delves, who captured this image in Folkestone, along the English Channel coast. “Cricket is prone to any and all even faintly adverse weather conditions (presumably why we English play it outdoors). Anyway, it fails to stop play this day. That said, she looked ready to quit, asking her brother over and over whether it was time to go and look for an ice cream!”

“With my police escort I had arrived at my lodgings at dusk, perched on the edge of a massive escarpment in Yemen’s Wadi Doan,” says Your Shot contributor Paul Nevin. “In the fading light and on the valley floor, I could see this fortresslike village. Having imagined how it might present under a rising sun, I was up at first light. Below me, shepherds and their goats made the only sounds. The sun rose, bathing the escarpment in golden light. It seemed like an eternity before it finally gilded the top of the village—magic.”

Alexa Keefe is the editor of Photo of the Day, a curated look at photography around National Geographic. The full archive is accessible here.
Editor’s Note: The buffalo in this post was originally misidentified as a water buffalo. It is a Cape buffalo. This post has been updated to fix the error.

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