“The Hopi people trace their history in Arizona to more than 2,000 years, but their history as a people goes back many more thousands of years. According to their legends, the Hopi migrated north to Arizona from the south, up from what is now South America, Central America and Mexico.
The tribe’s teachings relate stories of a great flood and other events dating to ancient times, marking the Hopi as one of the oldest living cultures in documented history. A deeply religious people, they live by the ethic of peace and goodwill.
The Hopi Reservation, in northeastern Arizona, occupies part of Navajo and Coconino counties and encompasses approximately 1,542,306 acres. Having inhabited this high and dry area since the 12th century, the Hopi have developed a unique agriculture practice, “dry farming.” Instead of plowing their fields, Hopi traditional farmers place “wind breakers” in the fields at selected intervals to retain soil, snow and moisture. They also have perfected special techniques to plant seeds in arid fields. As a result, they succeed in raising corn, beans, squash, melons and other crops in a landscape that appears inhospitable to farming.
Throughout the Hopi reservation, every village is an autonomous government. However the Hopi Tribal Council makes law for the tribe and sets policy to oversee tribal business.”
Polemonium reptans is a perennial herbaceous plant native to eastern North America. Common names include spreading Jacob’s ladder, creeping Jacob’s ladder, false Jacob’s ladder, abscess root, american Greek valerian, blue bells, stairway to heaven, and sweatroot. Jacob’s ladder grows 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, with pinnate leaves up to 20 centimetres (8 in) long with 5-13 leaflets. The leaves and flower stems grow from a vertical crown with abundant fibrous roots.The flowers are produced in panicles on weak stems from mid to late spring. They are 1.3 cm (-1-2 in) long and have five light blue-violet petals that are fused at the base, enclosed by a tubular calyx with five pointed lobes. The pollen is white. The stigma extends beyond the anthers, making self-pollination difficult, so insects must cross-pollinate for the plants to produce seed. Pollinated flowers develop into an oval pod with three chambers, 6 mm (-1-2 in) long, which is enclosed by the green calyx. The plant spreads by reseeding itself.
Manhattanhenge, also called the Manhattan Solstice, is a rare and beautiful event during which the setting sun or the rising sun is aligned with the east-west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City. The term Manhattanhenge is a reference to Stonehenge, which was constructed so that the rising sun is perfectly framed by its stone slabs during the summer solstice.
When to visit: The sunsets and sunrises each align twice a year, on dates evenly spaced around the summer solstice and winter solstice. The sunset alignment occurs around May 28 and around July 13. The sunrise alignment occurs around December 5 and around January 8.
Red Beach, located in Panjin, China, is famous for its landscape featuring the red Suaeda salsa plant. It is based in the biggest wetland and reed marsh in the world and hosts the most complete ecosystem that can be found, including over 260 kinds of birds and 399 kinds of wild animals.
When to visit: The best time of year is to go in Autumn when the colours are in full effect, from mid-September to mid-October.
The Niagara Falls, which straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the American state of New York, have an added dimension of beauty in winter when sub-zero temperatures transform the falls into a frozen landscape unlike any other. The buildup of ice it gives the illusion that Niagara Falls has stopped moving and actually frozen over, while the ice-cold winds of winter spray the nearby ornamental walls, lamp posts, trees and buildings creating lovely frozen ice sculptures.
When to visit: The free Winter Festival of Lights takes place from early November to the end of January. It boasts over two million lights and over 125 animated light displays along the Niagara Parkway, so it’s an ideal time to visit.
The surreal Wisteria blooms can be found in Kawachi Fuji Gardens, located in Kitakyushu, Japan, and features 150 Wisteria plants, along with 20 different species. People often describe walking under the blanket of blooming Wisterias – the flower Buddhists use to symbolise prayer – as a very tranquil experience.
When to visit: The best visiting time is late April to mid-May when the wisteria flowers are in full bloom. A lively annual “Wisteria Festival”, also known as “Fuji Matsuri“, is hosted in the gardens during this time.
Every year, for just a couple of weeks, thousands of fireflies light up the night in a fascinating and beautiful mating ritual where male fireflies compete for the attention of females after the sun goes down in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the United States. The synchronous fireflies are aptly named because they flash together for 5 to 10 seconds before descending the forest into pitch darkness for 5 seconds while waiting to see if a female has responded.
When to visit: The mating season lasts for approximately two weeks each year, most likely to occur between the third week of May and the third week in June.
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during summer in places south of the Antarctic Circle and north of the Arctic Circle – including Northern Norway. Because the earth is rotating at a tilted axis relative to the sun, for several weeks, the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle. Many sights and activities in Norway are open at night during these weeks, so you can go midnight golfing, cycling, river paddling, or sea kayaking at midnight.
When to visit: Svalbard is the place in Norway where the midnight sun occurs for the longest period – from 20 April to 22 August.