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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Sled dogs, falcons and bats, oh my



KPCC producer Mary Plummer tries out urban mushing. Here she is with siberian huskies Obi (left) and Leica (right).
KPCC producer Mary Plummer tries out urban mushing. Here she is with siberian huskies Obi (left) and Leica (right).
Al Kamalizad

I'm tired of writing the word "drought" all the time. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a good synonym for it, so I'm going to have to make one up. If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments. In the meantime, today's attempt: parchnemesis.

Tuesday's news roundup shows how the parchnemesis is hurting our animals. And cocktails.

But first...

Rice!

Bright yellow flowers top the giant mustard weed straddling the edges of the creeks and drains that surround McClellan’s farm, and the ground is muddy enough to coat the shoes of those who walk through. 

On a normal year, though, the mud would be ankle-deep. (Sacramento Bee)

Three critter impacts:

But in the past three years, the worsening drought has meant less and less snow on the peaks of the Eastern Sierras, leaving Ouimet and his dogs and three other mushers out of work. The last sled-dog tour for Ouimet and his crew was in March 2013. In January 2014, the peak of the drought, the well at his kennel went dry, forcing him to drive into town twice a week to fill 33-gallon water containers so the dogs would have enough to drink. (New York Times)

And finally...