The eastern United States is well known for its widespread show of vibrant foliage each autumn. But western states grow more than just evergreen pines and palms; they also display some spectacular fall color.
Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions.
In a May morning, a gray-haired woman counts the opened blooms on the bud clusters of a lilac branch that is just starting to release its sweet fragrance. She then goes into her house to access an Internet site, where she logs today as the "first bloom" date of her lilac plant.