California Sun

Good morning.

This is a reminder that the Sun is off this week. Below are 11 popular posts from the last six months.

In case you missed it


Tim Wong posed with pipevine swallowtails.

A San Francisco man repopulated a rare butterfly species by planting its favorite flora in his backyard. "It's gorgeous," he said. "If most people saw it in S.F., they wouldn't think it’s a native butterfly." Journal of Alta California | Vox


After heavy rains, an ephemeral lake formed in Death Valley that stretched for about 10 miles. Photographer Elliot McGucken published a series of pictures. "It was breathtaking," he wrote. PetaPixel


California used to spot wildfires from lookout towers perched atop hills. Today, more 60 of the structures are available to rent across the West. Sunset | The Californist


Lula Mae Graves and Susie Keef Smith.

Warner Graves Collection

In 1926, Susie Keef Smith took a job as postmaster in the desert east of Palm Springs. Joined by her 21-year-old cousin from Tennessee, Lula Mae Graves, their photos offer an unparalleled portrait of California's desert outback. KCET


A Bay Area homeowner wanted to help a homeless couple he read about in the newspaper. So he invited them into his $4 million home. That's when the phone calls to the police started.


A raptor pursued starlings in the sky over Northern California.

Every so often, swarms of European starlings form synchronized blobs in the skies over California. When a hungry falcon joins the mix, one of the avian world's most heart-pounding aerial dramas plays out. California Sun


Field laborers of Japanese ancestry awaited instructions in the Bay Area in 1942.

Dorothea Lange

More than 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry were held at Manzanar internment camp during World War II. Here are two collections of photos from the time: one by Ansel Adams at Mashable, and another by Dorothea Lange at Anchor Editions. Mashable | Anchor Editions


Slomo has become something of an institution in Pacific Beach.

There's a former doctor who rollerblades up and down San Diego's Pacific Beach while moving his body in slow motion. He calls himself Slomo; locals call him a legend. Vimeo | N.Y. Times


A community lives on the bay by Sausalito: "Known as anchor-outs, they make their homes a quarter mile from the shore, on abandoned and unseaworthy vessels, doing their best, with little or no money, to survive." Harper's Magazine


Cayucos, a quintessential surf town, has been miraculously untrammeled by overdevelopment. A travel writer said it "just might be the best beach town in California." Mercury News


Loomis Dean/Time & Life Pictured/Getty Images

In the 1930s, word spread about a surfing paradise with some of the smoothest rides in California. Soon surfers hauling giant redwood planks formed a quirky community on the beach. Here's a great collection of photos capturing the freewheeling life of San Onofre's "beach bums." TIME


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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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