California’s calamitous drought drags on
It’s dry in California - historically dry. Water is in short supply, the air is noticeably without moisture, farms are parched and just look at the photo above of the state’s dwindling snow cover. It pretty much speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, various interests are turning to the political realm to try and ensure they get theirs when it comes to H2O.
And the drought has been particularly harsh on agriculture:
Ranchers have begun liquidating herds. Growers are considering tearing out thirsty tree crops such as nut orchards and citrus groves. And tens of thousands of additional acres of prime California soil could go unplanted if farmers don’t get enough water to irrigate them.
Read more on the drought’s effect on California here.
Photos: David McNew / Getty Images, Frederic J. Brown / Associated Press, NOAA, Randall Benton / Los Angeles Times
The dusty decimation of California’s drought
California’s longstanding drought has escalated in recent months, with 62.7% of the state now in what the Department of Agriculture deems “extreme” conditions.
But in few places is it as easily visualized as in the area surrounding the vanishing Cachuma Lake, which has become one of the most prominent victims of the lack of rain.
In years past, the spot where Bozarth was standing was under 30, 40, even 50 feet of water. It wasn’t all that long ago that Cachuma “spilled” — filled to the brim, to the point where millions of gallons of clean, fresh water was released through the dam’s gates and cast into the sea, a display of surplus that is laughable today.
That was only three years ago. Now, said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy public works director, “it’s just empty.”
Photos: Brian van der Brug, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee / Los Angeles Times
The Griffith Observatory at night, with the street lights of the Los Angeles basin burning bright in the background, 1940.
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For sale: A forgotten, dilapidated California ghost town
In 1851, gold was discovered in a remote part of California, and that find birthed Seneca, a mining town that now has no miners, no residents and little besides rusted motor homes and a bar.
Now, the land and everything on it, as broken-down and busted as it may be (save for the alluring Gin Mill bar), is up for sale on Craigslist for $225,000.
Photos: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Scenes near the L.A. aqueduct during its 100th anniversary
See more stunning photos over at Framework, and read up on the intricate history of the L.A. aqueduct in our new special feature.
Photos: Brian Van Der Brug / Los Angeles Times
'A last testament' to Africa's wildlife
Times photographer Barbara Davidson sat down recently with renowned photographer Nick Brandt, whose current focus is on the dwindling wildlife of Africa.
Brandt said of his focused choice of subjects:
There is something profoundly iconic, mythological even, about the animals and landscapes of East Africa. There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about those vast green rolling plains under the huge skies.
It just affects me, as I think it almost inevitably does many people, in a very fundamental, possibly primordial way.
Photos: Nick Brandt
Climbing Mount Fuji
Long admired for its beauty, and well-traveled by those looking for a gorgeous view or a climbing challenge, Mount Fuji faces a new challenge: Being named a world heritage site.
Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan’s most iconic landmark, is a group activity: Seldom is it climbed in solitude. The recent recognition of the 12,388-foot peak as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has many here worried that it will draw still more people, adding to the wear and tear on the environment from the more than 300,000 who already climb the mountain each year.
Photos: David Guttenfelder / Associated Press
Clouds are weird yo.
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A look inside a quiet, empty Yosemite National Park
Times photographer Genaro Molina rushed to Yosemite during the 48-hour window provided to visitors to vacate the park after the government shut down earlier this week, taking a number of photos and running into just a few people in the vacated park.
Photos: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
October 1, 1890: Yosemite Established as National Park
On this day in 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a bill into law creating Yosemite National Park. The mountainous region spanning 1,169 square miles of public land in the California Sierra Nevada preserves wilderness, wildlife, and public trust.
Tour all of America’s national parks by visiting Ken Burns’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea collections.
Photo: Yosemite National Park, California. Photographer: William Henry Jackson, Copyright 1898 (Library of Congress).
Just don’t try to visit today, since Yosemite is one of the many National Parks closed during the government shutdown.
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Rim fire’s legacy burnt into landscape for decades to come
The Rim fire, which is still burning as its secured its legacy as California’s third-largest wildfire in history, so far has burned across nearly 402 square miles. Though the worst of the blaze is over, and officials expect it to be fully extinguished by October, the region’s recovery has barely begun:
Burned chaparral and oak will quickly resprout. But where large patches of trees were killed, ecologists say it could take 30 to 50 years for the forest to reestablish itself in the shrub fields that are the first to grow. If there are more fires in the meantime, the land could permanently convert to chaparral.
Photos: NASA / AFP/Getty Images, Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
Photographer Zack Seckler turns everyday life into something quite unexpected
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The best of our reader’s summer vacations
We asked, and you answered: Our yearly look at the best photography from your summer breaks has resulted in a crazy amount of stunning shots (and plenty of vacation envy). The photos above are just a tiny sample of the favorites picked out from the submissions
Photos: Ken Lee, Joselle Celine Gilvezan, Deanna Bowers, Lyndon W. Wong, Lynn Novatt, Michelle Nolan, Riley Hayes