Even with most parks and botanical gardens closed to prevent crowds from gathering during the coronavirus pandemic, nature is thriving. As spring comes into full force across the Northern Hemisphere, flowers are blooming and baby animals are being born. And just because you can’t—and shouldn’t—travel to these places right now, you can still use these photos to take a brief glimpse at spring from the safety of your home. As for next year? The flowers will bloom again.
In a normal year, around 100,000 tourists come to observe the bluebells bloom in the Hallerbos forest, about 10 miles south of Brussels. However, the lack of tourists is good news for the flowers themselves. Whenever bluebells get trampled by crowds, many of them don’t bloom the following year. With the fragile flowers intact this year, there is a better chance to see them again next year.
New York City
Typically, New York’s cherry blossom bloom draws massive crowds to Central Park as the city celebrates the end of winter. But on April 11, 2020, flower petals fell on empty pathways in the park with the city under strict shelter-in-place orders.
Despite cherry blossom festivals being canceled in Tokyo this year, the city’s trees are still blooming including this one, captured on April 3, 2020, along the Sumida River near the Tokyo Skytree.
Super bloom or not, California poppies are still making a show at the state’s famed Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in the town of Lancaster north of Los Angeles. The Reserve is currently closed until further notice, but you can enjoy live views of the flowers through the park’s official PoppyCam Live Feed.
Hudson Valley, New York
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jay Britton (@britton_jay) on Apr 17, 2020 at 5:41am PDT
Wildlife has been filmed thriving as human life remains confined to the indoors. One of the cutest examples is this litter of fox cubs and their mother, who were filmed about in New York’s Hudson River Valley in mid-April.
Renovation work has come to a halt on Notre Dame Cathedral due to France’s confinement orders, which are in place through May 11, 2020. On April 1, cherry blossoms still bloomed near the damaged landmark.
Seoul, South Korea
After South Korea managed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, signs of life returning to normal started to reappear as people wearing masks enjoyed the red azaleas blooming in Seoul’s Boramae Park on April 15, 2020.
Located about 30 minutes from Amsterdam, the Dutch town of Lisse is famous for its tulip fields, like the one photographed here in April 2020. Even though it’s closed to the public, you can still enjoy the town’s Keukenhof gardens (and its 7 million bulbs) virtually on a 360-degree tour of the park.
Spring in the Netherlands isn’t just about tulips—it’s also about baby farm animals being born. Here, a sheep and her lamp explore a meadow near the Dutch village of Schoorl on April 4, 2020.
Built in 1880 for the 50th anniversary of Belgium’s independence, the Cinquantenaire monument in Brussels is surrounded by flower beds that spring to life each year. On April 7, 2020, pink and white hyacinths, red and yellow tulips, and daffodils were captured at peak bloom.
D.C.-based photographer Nicole Glass captured tulips blooming on April 2, 2020, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America in the capital’s Brookland neighborhood.
Huai’an City, China
More than 400 miles away from China’s coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan, farmers in Huai’an City cut a portrait of horses into a colorful field of rapeseed on April 5, 2020.
Even with many flower markets shuttered, farmers in western Germany continued to harvest tulips as they bloom on April 17, 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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