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July 7, 2010

Summer is here

With the summer solstice now two weeks gone, the northern hemisphere is heating up. High temperatures in some places have made working difficult and have taxed power grids as usage of electricity neared record levels in the U.S. This past weekend, the United States celebrated its 234th birthday on July 4th, with fireworks, parades and many other outdoor activities. Collected here today are a handful of recent photographs of people (and animals) either trying to beat the heat, or just enjoying a sunny summer's day. (40 photos total)

A girl runs through water spraying from an open fire hydrant to keep cool in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York Monday July 5, 2010. Temperatures soared toward 100 degrees or more Tuesday along much of the East Coast after an extended Fourth of July weekend when temperatures inched into at least the 90s from Maine to Texas (Reuters/Eric Thayer)

People raise their hands meditating during the summer solstice shortly after 04:52 am at the Stonehenge monument, England, early Monday, June 21, 2010. Druids, pagans and partygoers crammed into the mystic stone circle to cheer, bang drums and shake tambourines in an effort to greet the sun on the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice. Stonehenge, on the Salisbury Plain about 140 km (90 mi) southwest of London, was built over three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

A visitor to Kitsilano Beach reads a book while taking in the summer sun in Vancouver, British Columbia July 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Andy Clark) #

An unidentified woman cools off under water sprayed from a fire engine on Independence Day in Philadelphia, Sunday, July 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) #

A woman holds her surfboard as the E line of the subway passes by the West 4th street station in New York, June 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton) #

A volunteer scoops up an armful of yellow rubber ducks during the 3rd Annual Great Red, White & Blue Duck Race on Sunday, July 4, 2010 at the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center in The Woodlands, Texas. Over 8,000 rubber ducks made their way down the aquatic center's "lazy river." The event benefits the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance organization which helps residents of Montgomery County, Texas who are experiencing an unexpected financial need or crisis. (AP Photo/The Courier, Eric S. Swist) #

Pia enjoys the fresh water as she jumps into a little lake in Unken in the Austrian province of Salzburg, Saturday, July 3, 2010. (AP Photo/ Kerstin Joensson) #

Hunter Linderman, 8, of Queen Creek, Arizona dives into a pit of mud as he runs through an obstacle course of water and mud at the 35th annual Mighty Mud Mania Saturday, June 19, 2010, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) #

People cool off in a pool that floats in the river Spree on a hot summer day in Berlin, July 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter) #

Brenda McMillian from Port Orange, Florida, cools off in a water mister at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2010. The East Coast broiled under an unforgiving sun Tuesday as the temperature soared above 100 degrees in several cities, utility companies cranked out power to cool the sweating masses and the unlucky sought any oasis they could find. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

People cool off themselves in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where the temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 20, 2010. (AP Photo/K M Chaudhry) #

Tar balls can be seen in the water as Mike Dangerfield takes advantage of the heavy surf to catch a few waves in Destin, Florida on Monday, June 28, 2010. Due to the oil spill, tourism on the Gulf coast is way off, with some hotels and condominium owners saying their business is down by 50 percent. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) #

An Asian elephant sprays water as it cools off at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

"Rain Dance" participants of all ages dance under water sprinklers to cool off in the heat at the Karnavati Club in Ahmedabad, India on June 13, 2010. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Passersby walk toward a full-scale balloon replica of the Statue of Liberty head shortly after its inflation in Seattle's Gas Works Park Friday, July 2, 2010. The 30-foot replica remained atop the hill at the park through the annual Independence Day celebrations on July 4. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #

Fireworks explode over Lake Michigan Sunday, July 4, 2010 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato) #

Fireworks cascade through the sky above the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, July 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) #

Sue and Roger Main watch fireworks together in Fenton, Michigan on July 3, 2010. (AP Photo/The Flint Journal, John Ehlke) #

Eager bathers wait to go back into the Reilly Memorial Recreation Center pool at Chestnut Hill Reservation on July 6, 2010 while a water check was being performed. (Essdras M Suarez/Boston Globe staff) #

People cool off from the heat of the day under water sprayed from a fire engine on Independence Day in Philadelphia, Sunday, July 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) #

A man floats in the sea to cool off on a hot summer day in Civitavecchia, Italy on July 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito) #

People cool off by splashing each other with water near an opened hydrant on July 6, 2010 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Ramin Talaie/Getty Images) #

Hot dogs are displayed on stage at the 2010 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at the original Nathan's Famous in Coney Island on July 4, 2010 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joey Chestnut won this year's event, eating 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes, while his biggest rival Takeru Kobayashi didn't compete due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating. Later, Kobayashi was arrested for attempting to hop a barricade and get on the stage after the event. #

In this photo taken on Monday evening, June 21, 2010, Alaska Goldpanners pitcher Ryan Cabral delivers a pitch against the Heroes of the Diamond in the 105th Annual Midnight Sun Baseball Classic at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. The one-of-a-kind game starts at 10:30 p.m. on the summer solstice and is played entirely with out artificial lighting. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, John Wagner) #

A bee searches for nectar in a pink coneflower at Miss Nellie's Pretty Place in Cameron Park in Waco, Texas on June 7, 2010. (AP Photo/ Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson) #

A child gets some relief from the heat by playing in a gigantic lake of mud at the annual Mud Day event July 6, 2010 in Westland, Michigan. The lake was created by mixing approximately 20,000 gallons of water with 200 tons of topsoil. The event, which is sponsored by the Wayne County Parks Department, draws about 1,000 children each year. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) #

Residents crowd in a swimming pool to escape the summer heat during a hot weather spell in Daying county of Suining, Sichuan province July 4, 2010. China was experiencing temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in at least 13 provinces and regions, according to the National Meteorological Center on Sunday. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Jordanian boys cool off under a fountain during an unseasonal heat wave in downtown Amman, Jordan on June 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji) #

Cows graze on a snow covered pasture at Tschuggen above Davos, Switzerland on Sunday, June 20, 2010. One day before the astronomical beginning of summer the snow line in Switzerland dropped down to 1,500 meters. (AP Photo/Keystone/Arno Balzarini) #

A wakeboarder performs at the water ski and wakeboard center in Dresden, Germany on July 3, 2010. (Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images) #

Chinese men jump into the Han River during a hot summer day in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Friday, July 2, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Men use a fire hydrant to stay cool on one of the hottest days of the year in Brooklyn, New York on July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) #

A guest swims in the infinity pool of the Skypark that tops the Marina Bay Sands hotel towers in Singapore June 24, 2010. The Sands Skypark, which recently opened to the public, features a 150-meter infinity pool overlooking Singapore's city skyline and Marina Bay, a public observation deck and a restaurant run by a celebrity chef. (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash) #

A boy cools off in a fountain at Parque das Nacoes place during a hot sunny day in downtown Lisbon on July 6, 2010. (PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A bull swims next to a reveler after jumping into the sea during the "Bous a la Mar" festival in the eastern Spanish coastal town of Denia July 5, 2010. During this festival revellers emerging from protective barriers provoke bulls to chase them until they both fall into the sea. The bulls are then rescued by small boats who tow them to safety. (REUTERS/Heino Kalis) #

With two empty Adirondack chairs next to a fire pit, a rainbow stretches across the sky at Adams Pond in East Derry, New Hampshire on July 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) #

A man jumps into the Black Sea in Sochi, Russia on July 6, 2010 to cool off from the hot temperatures. (MIKHAIL MORDASOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Youngsters enjoy a swing ride in an Athens amusement park at sunset in Greece on July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis) #

A grizzly bear shakes itself as it comes out of the water at Madrid's zoo on July 7, 2010 on a hot summer day. (Dani Pozo/AFP/Getty Images) #

A child jumps from the top of a boat at a popular location called Shell Island in Panama City, Florida on July 3rd, 2010. (© Jonathon Burns) #

 
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