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Jeff Horner

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April 22 will mark Earth Day worldwide, an event now in its 42nd year and observed in 175 countries. The original grass-roots environmental action helped spur the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in the United States. Gathered here are images of our planet's environment, efforts to utilize renewable alternative sources of energy, and the effects of different forms of pollution. -- Lane Turner and Leanne Burden Seidel (35 photos total)
A ladybug in flight spreads its wings as it flutters from grass blade to grass blade at Rooks Park in Walla Walla, Wash. on April 2, 2012. (Jeff Horner/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin/Associated Press)

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Seemingly strange weather patterns continue to break high and low temperature records. The same patterns spawned an early tornado season in the midwestern United States and brought late season snowstorms to the west. Record snow falls and frigid temperatures characterized a particularly difficult winter across Europe with many deaths attributed to the conditions. Signs of Spring for the Northern Hemisphere (which began officially with the Vernal Equinox - March 20 - when the hours of day are approximately equal to the hours of night) like trees blossoming and flowers blooming, the shedding of winter coats and the desire of anyone -who has spent an all too long winter season indoors - to venture outside to soak up the sun. -- Paula Nelson (45 photos total)
Cherry blossoms of the Japanese Yoshino variety bloom along the Tidal Basin, March 19, 2012, in Washington, DC, with the Jefferson Memorial to the rear. This season celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the gift of the cherry trees from Japan to Washington, DC. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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Autumn is a season of frosty mornings, festivals like Halloween and Mexico's Dia de los Muertos, and of course, spectacular foliage. Around the north, people have begun to see their breath form misty clouds in the chilly morning air, snows have fallen early, and preparation for winter is well under way. Collected here is a second group of images of this year's autumn from around the northern hemisphere -- the earlier entry can be seen here. [37 photos]

The last of the summer roses are dusted with a coating of frost as the first freezing temperatures descend on Britain, on November 7, 2011 in Knutsford, England. The roses are the last blooms to survive the Summer at Curbishleys specialist rose nursery in Cheshire. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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