California Sun

Happy Sunday.

Here are a few stories you missed in the California Sun over the last week.

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Sun sampler


David Swanson/Reuters

Tiger Woods' rollover crash. The recall election. The Orange County oil spill. And fire, fire, fire.

In recent days, news publications have been rolling out their annual "Year in Photos" collections. California shows up most often amid fire, after a year in which extreme heat and drought fueled four of the 20 largest blazes in the state's history. The Atlantic included the image above, capturing a tender moment between a volunteer and a horse during the Windy Fire on Sept. 25. CNN | A.P. | Washington Post | The Atlantic


Piles of green waste were lined up at a new composting operation in Irvine last week.

Leonard Ortiz/O.C. Register via Getty Images

California is shifting to mandatory composting on Jan. 1. Under the new rules, residents will have to start tossing their banana peels, chicken bones, and leftover veggies in green waste bins rather than the trash. The effort is intended to keep landfills free of food waste that emits methane as it decays. The law will also require that grocery stores donate edible food to food banks if it would otherwise be thrown away. A.P. | O.C. Register


Max Whittaker

California has the highest rate of poverty in the U.S., a crisis visible on the city streets. But many more destitute people congregate in rural parts of the state, places where streetlights and clean water are scarce. For his series "In the Shadow of the Sun," the photographer Max Whittaker sought out the California that, he said, "most people don't care about."

Follow Whittaker on Instagram. 👉 @maxwhittaker


A pronghorn antelope in California.

Janet Delight

California is home to the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere.

The pronghorn antelope can't match a cheetah's top speed of roughly 70 mph. But it can get close — about 60 mph — and it can maintain blazing speeds over greater distances than a cheetah, cruising at 45 mph for half an hour or more. Historically, pronghorn numbered as many 500,000 across California. Today, fewer than 5,000 are concentrated in the state's northeast. Smaller herds roam the Carrizo Plain and the Bodie Hills. Blink and you might miss them. Fish & Wildlife

See pronghorn at full speed. 👉 YouTube (~3 mins)


U.S. Navy/National Archives

Exactly 80 years ago this week, America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor. More than 350 Japanese aircraft bombarded the Honolulu base in a surprise attack that killed more than 2,400 Americans, on what President Roosevelt declared "a date which will live in infamy.” The following afternoon, Congress declared war against Japan. Reuters compiled a gallery of 29 definitive images of the attack, including the damaged battleship USS California, above.


Daniel Mercadante

Visitors have described the walk to Cascades Falls, winding just a mile and a half from downtown Mill Valley, as a balm for the weary soul. That's what led the filmmaker Daniel Mercadante to feature the trail in his popular long-exposure photography series, Rainbow Road. He makes his trippy images by running across landscapes carrying a rig covered in rainbow-colored gels. He's made them all over the world, but the Cascade Falls shot is among his favorites, he said, "mostly because I love redwoods in a way that even I can’t comprehend."

Follow Mercadante on Instagram. 👉 @danielmercadante


One of the rescued mountain lions.

National Park Service

Four tiny mountain lion kittens were found under a picnic table outside a Thousand Oaks office building last week. Wildlife officials watched for their mother to return, possibly from a daylong hunt — but she never did. So biologists brought the kittens to a veterinary hospital. Two of them died overnight, but the others are now eating and gaining weight. Hemmed in by freeways, cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains are threatened by inbreeding and rodenticide poisoning. Ventura County Star | LAist


Thanks for reading!

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

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