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

bobbycaputo:

The Color Palettes of Nature

Follow Natural Palettes on Tumblr

Instantly followed.

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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.

Learn more about Seneca’s history, from roughshod miners to “Woodstock West,” in our latest Column One feature from reporter Chris Megerian.

Photos: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

staceythinx:

Ten of the world’s most mind-blowing landscapes highlights some of the amazing places featured in Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World book.

A perfect way to start off your Friday.

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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.

See more of Brandt’s work over at Framework.

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.

Read more over at Framework

Photos: David Guttenfelder / Associated Press

cryptidsandoddities:

Clouds are weird yo.

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Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.

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.

You can see all of his photos over at Framework.

Photos: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Meet your three new favorite sea sponges.
Science reporter Deborah Netburn interviewed photographer Mauricio Handler, who got this shot during a diving trip in Curacao.
The “Cookie Monster of the sea,” who’s about three feet tall and squishy, may be our favorite undersea creature (well, creatures) since this piglet squid who was found a few years ago in California’s San Pedro Channel.

Meet your three new favorite sea sponges.

Science reporter Deborah Netburn interviewed photographer Mauricio Handler, who got this shot during a diving trip in Curacao.

The “Cookie Monster of the sea,” who’s about three feet tall and squishy, may be our favorite undersea creature (well, creatures) since this piglet squid who was found a few years ago in California’s San Pedro Channel.

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.

Read more of Bettina Boxall’s report here.

Photos: NASA / AFP/Getty Images, Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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

So see some more of the editor’s picks here, or, you can check out thumbnails of the more than 1,500 submissions here.

Photos: Ken Lee, Joselle Celine Gilvezan, Deanna Bowers, Lyndon W. Wong, Lynn Novatt, Michelle Nolan, Riley Hayes

audiovision:

Five hundred feet below a hairpin turn on the Mullholland Highway in the hills above Los Angeles, there’s a car graveyard.

Los Angeles photographer Jason Knight discovered the rusted hulks of cars that fell from the highway decades ago on the floor of Laurel Canyon and documented the remains.

Learn more about the fateful history of the cars on KPCC’s AudioVision.

Very cool!

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Photographer Luis Sinco’s outstanding outtakes

It’s time for another set of outtakes from our photo department, proving once again that even the shots that are often left behind are still worth a thousand words. This time, we present some photos from Luis Sinco, who you can follow on Twitter here.

For even more shots, and his reflections on each of them, head on over to Framework.

Photos: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times