Invasion of the 17-year cicada brood
What’s red-eyed, over-sized, loud, horrifying and 17 years in the making? The soon-to-be-emerging cicada brood, described by one expert as a “huge tsunami.”
The bugs, which have been hibernating for nearly two decades before emerging, molting, mating and passing away in droves, are a swarming terror to some, and for others, they’re an under-appreciated delicacy.
But rest assured, West Coast readers, the imminent cicada invasion is entirely an East Coast problem.
And for anyone skeptical as to how creepy cicadas can be, click here at your own peril.
Photo: Chris Simon / University of Connecticut, Associated Press
Remembering the revolutionary Paolo Soleri
Paolo Soleri, an Italian architect whose most widely-known project was the ecologically-focused city of Arcosanti, passed away yesterday at the age of 93.
Arcosanti, built far out in the Arizona desert, was a counter-culture icon, and intended to meld architecture and ecology in a sustainable city for 5,000 individuals. The city, still under construction, will now serve as a living testament to Soleri’s vision.
Read our full obituary from architecture critic Christopher Hawthrone here, or check out an article on Arcosanti from way back in 1987.
Photos: Tom Tingle / Arizona Republic, Megan Kimble, Robin Rauzi / Los Angeles Times
The crisis facing California sea lions
State officials have declared an “unusual mortality event” for California sea lions, after an unusually high number of pups barely clinging to life have recently washed ashore.
For a sense of the sheer number of pups who have reportedly been found washed up:
In Los Angeles County, nearly 400 pups have been stranded since the beginning of the year. Last year, 36 were reported during that stretch.
As of March 24, officials said, 214 sea lions were reported stranded in San Diego County, 189 in Orange County, 108 in Santa Barbara County and 42 in Ventura County.
Read more from reporter Rick Rojas here.
Photos: Allen J. Schaben, Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
Springtime for Yosemite
Times photographer Mark Boster ventured out to the Yosemite Valley recently, documenting the blossoming of springtime amid the beautiful backdrop of mountains and waterfalls.
To look at all of Mark’s photos, head over to the Framework blog.
Photos: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
“Honeybees aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”
Wild bees may be just the solution that farmers are looking for as they struggle to come with the continued die-offs among domestic reserves.
In fact, farmers may have been completely wrong about bees for years. Said Rachael Winfree, a pollination ecologist at Rutgers University:
“At 90% of farms studied in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, native wild bees are fully pollinating the watermelon crop. But farmers don’t realize this. “They’re thinking they need them but they don’t.”
Read more about the possible bee fix, and why honeybees may be totally overrated, here.
Photo: Rufus Isaacs
Dry enough for you?
More than two-thirds of the U.S. is experiencing abnormally dry, if not outright drought conditions, with the situation becoming increasingly dire for western states. And the implications aren’t limited to an uptick in air conditioning.
From the National Drought Early Warning Outlook:
The 2012-2013 drought has serious implications for agriculture, navigation, recreation and municipal water supplies, costing the nation at least $35 billion in economic losses.
Photo: Greg Lindstrom / Longmont Times-Call
Fine art photographer Mitch Dobrowner: These photos may not be the most recent on Tumblr, but the moment they were rediscovered on our Framework blog, we knew we had to share them.
All of the photos above are from Dobrowner, who specializes in capturing the beauty of nature at its most intense moments.
“Landscapes are living ecosystems and environments. They have existed well before, and will hopefully be here way beyond the time we are here. When taking photographs, time and space seem hard for me to measure. Whenever I shoot a ‘quality’ image, I know it. At those moments things are quiet, seem simple again – and I obtain a respect and reverence for the world that is hard to communicate through words. For me these moments happen when the exterior environment and my interior world combine.”
“At Leo Politi Elementary, workers ripped out concrete and planted native flora. The plants attracted insects, which attracted birds, which attracted students, who, fascinated by the nature unfolding before them, learned so much that their science test scores rose sixfold.”
What a great story to wake up to! Read the rest, here.
Seriously, this was our favorite story yesterday.
test reblogged from climateadaptation
Beware of the poisonous poodle-dog bush, officials warn. The lavender-flowered plant thrives in areas scorched by wildfire, such as parts of the Angeles National Forest. Skin contact can cause rashes, blisters, swelling and general irritation.
Photo: Those who have tangled with the purple-flowered plant called poodle-dog bush say it’s like handling poison oak. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
Photo: Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times
Black Mountain is one of the few homes of the wild Carpenteria flower. Thanks to people who have loved it for decades, it will remain there.
Photo: The rare wild Carpenteria californica blooms at the Mary Elizabeth Miller Preserve near Prather. View more photos of wildflowers at the preserve on Framework. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
This photo caption has been corrected.
Each spring thousands of Angelenos leave the city in search of the wildflower displays of Anza Borrego, Death Valley and the Antelope Valley. But wildflowers permeate our urban landscape as well — popping up along freeways and in abandoned lots and sidewalk cracks — providing car commuters and pavement pushers a colorful reminder of spring.
Photo: California poppies next to a pedestrian bridge in Ballona Creek just west of Overland Avenue in Culver City. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh / Los Angeles Times
For the record, 11 a.m. April 19: A previous caption for this photo incorrectly identified the scene as being in Playa del Rey.