Every year tourists flock to Japan to capture the annual blooming of cherry blossoms, an event so thoroughly documented you can find online calendars that estimate the precise moment to visit each city around the country to catch the trees in full bloom. For Tokyo the optimal time must have been this morning when photographer Noisy Paradise snapped this breathtaking shot just at dawn over the Meguro River. Photo courtesy the photographer.
Using the flower petals of carnations, daisies, mums and other wildflowers Arizona-based artist Kathy Klein (previously) creates temporary mandalas in outdoor locations near her home. She calls the pieces danmalas (‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit), and each piece is photographed and then left to be discovered by others. If you’re desperate for any hint of spring in your space, Klein now offers prints and has a 2014 calendar of her best works.
Scientific illustrator and artist Noel Badges Pugh has an incredible knack for drawing flora and fauna. He recently illustrated an entire field guide about bees and keeps a regular Tumblr, Art in Progress & Completion, where he posts these tantalizing drawings of buds and blooms. Maybe it’s because this is the coldest winter in 30 years, but I’m spending the rest of my day looking at these. (via Gaks)
In an unparalleled feat of natural selection the Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) from Southeast Asia has evolved to look almost exactly like an orchid flower in order to lure unsuspecting prey. If looking like a plant isn’t impressive enough the clever insect also changes color from pink to brown according to its environment. (via Boing Boing)
The life of a flower usually ends in slow, inglorious decay as petals wilt and succombs to the cycle of life, but these flowers shot by German photographer Martin Klimas go out with a bang. You might recognize Klimas’ work from his wildly popular series of shattered ceramic figures photographed at high speed as they hit the ground. For his exploding flower photographs the artist first soaked them in liquid nitrogen to ensure the petals were brittle as eggshells and then blasted them from behind with an air gun resulting in dazzling bursts of color.
You can see more from this series over at Feature Shoot, and Klimas also opens a show called Sonic at Foley Gallery in New York starting September 18, 2013. If you liked this be sure to check out the work of Jon Shireman. (via My Modern Met)
It’s the biggest time of year for the small town of Zundert in the Netherlands. Twenty gigantic floats were paraded through the city as part of Corso Zundert (previously), an annual flower parade that sees teams of designers and artisans compete to build the most original sculpture covered almost completely with dahlia flowers.
Several floats appearing in Corso Zundert this year contained moving parts, including the winner, Crazy Gold, that had some 53 moving components. You can see a ranking of this years competitors over on Croso Zundert, videos on YouTube, and many more photos courtesy Omroep Brabant.
Built in 1608, the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte is a 142-step staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily made from thousands of ceramic tiles, one design per step, as a fitting tribute to a city known for its design and production of ceramics and terra-cotta sculptures. For centuries the stairs have been used as a backdrop for various festivals for which images of patron saints and other local themes are illustrated using thousands of flowers or candles. You can learn more about the La Scala Flower Festival over on My Modern Met, or the light festival called the Scala Illuminata. Photos by Andrea Annaloro. (via My Modern Met)
Known for her numerous art projects where images are created using numerous objects, artist Red Hong Yi has begun a new series of birds made with flower petals and leaves. You might remember the project from earlier this spring where she played with her food. Many more birds are forthcoming and you can follow along via Instagram. (via designboom)