Beauty Is in Little Things Around Us

This very ordinary photo captures everything but an ordinary moment for me. The very moment and the feeling I vividly remember.

After three and a half years of work, focused on one big project, one big goal. After three intense weeks of constant writing and editing, day and night, that passed in a blink of an eye. After 24 sleepless hours of formatting, correcting, printing and binding, when everything possible went wrong the last minute. I made it. The night was warm and sticky for March, and nightingales sang as I biked from my office at 5 am through a cozy, sleepy suburb of Berlin. I caught an hour of sleep before going to the University office (which only opens two hours a day, two days a week by the way, and yes, of course this was the last possible day for this task). And I submitted my PhD thesis. No missing pages, messy ink, tilted print; no crashes of the public transportation systems, no flat bike tires, no misplaced documents or irregularly filled forms. I really made it.

Boy, it was a weird feeling. It’s not every day one gets to pass such a milestone. But it was such an ordinary thing, bringing few papers to some office and leaving without them. No trumpets to acknowledge the achievement.

More things needed to be done, but what felt as the weight of the world, was suddenly lifted off my shoulders. I walked through the Botanical Garden, another place where I worked, as I phoned with my parents. When I was done, I looked around. Sun was behind the clouds, there was a light chilly breeze. And rain drops were hanging from the pine needles like little pearls. They made me smile.

Pine Needles Pearls
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I realized I couldn’t remember how was the weather like for last couple of weeks; I just didn’t notice it. Focused on one thing and fully submerged in my thoughts, I’ve been walking past these little wonders, missing on nice things that are around every day.

Sometimes we forget to notice beautiful moments while chasing our dreams. And sometimes it takes just one of those moments to get reminded of it. Beauty is in little things around us, every day. Let’s keep our minds and eyes open and allow them to make us smile.

 

For more beautiful moments check out the Gallery.

Urban Beauty

Glimpses of beauty can truly be found in our surroundings every day. All you need is your mental presence to notice them, a moment to appreciate them, and a heart to enjoy.

Urban Nature

Nature is not always within the reach for people who live in the cities, but it is often just a short walk away.

Many species find remarkable ways of adapting and flourishing in urban settings. New research suggests that cities drive the evolution of species that live within them and may even spawn new ones.

Plants

Estimates are that up to half of a million plant species exist in the world today, only half of which have been identified and described. The only taxonomic groups thought to be substantially more diverse than land plants are fungi (1.5–5 million) and beetles (1.5 million).

The diversity of plant life is driven by adaptive changes that allow species to thrive in many different environments of the world. Plants have developed adaptations for different soil types, methods of pollination, daylight hours, temperature, altitude etc. All wild plant species are part of natural ecosystems which provide important services for humans.

Forests

World’s forests are home to almost half of all the plant, animal and microbial species in the world.

Beneath the surface of the forest floor, tree roots are closely bounded with huge networks of fungi that allow them to better uptake nutrients and water. Underground networks also provide fascinating ways for trees to communicate with each other.

Mountains

Around 80% of the planet’s fresh water originates in the mountains, and flows downwards to form major rivers.

Mountains are very rich in biodiversity, and inhabited by numerous species that are unique for certain parts of the world. Ecologically, mountains act as isolated islands in the landscape, separated from each other by lowland regions, whose drastically different ecological conditions prevent high-altitude species from spreading.

Sky and Clouds

Colors we see are associated with different wavelengths of visible light – a small fraction of the spectrum of sun’s wavelengths. There is some beautiful physics behind the amazing sky colors we get to see at dawn and sunset, and clouds often add to the dramatic experience.

Seas and Oceans

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface and account for more than 96% of all water on Earth. This is where life has began, where it has been evolving for over 3.5 billion years, and where some of the most amazing living beings that challenge biological classification and our perception of life can be found.

Rivers and Streams

Freshwater ecosystems – rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands – cover less than 1% of Earth’s surface, yet they host extremely high biodiversity – almost 6% of all known species in the world.

One remarkable feature of waters is that they connect into an aquatic network – from springs and mountain streams over creeks, rivers, lakes and groundwaters to wetlands, estuaries, seas and oceans. Along the way, environmental, hydrological and landscape gradients shape diverse biological communities characteristic for each part.