Around the web this week: Feb. 21

laptop and newspapers

From wildflowers in Death Valley to bald eagles in Washington, D.C., here’s a recap of news from around the web this week:

Death Valley blooms

Death Valley, also known as the hottest place on earth, has been quite a sight recently. The Washington Post shares that after record rainfall (one-and-a-half inches) in October, wildflowers are blooming across the desert. One of Death Valley National Park’s park rangers believes that there may be a “super bloom” this year.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

The Des Moines Register reports that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death could affect agriculture cases, including one involving the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Environmental Protection Agency that deals with cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In the past, Scalia had made decisions in favor of farmers, like ruling against the expansion of the Clean Water Act.


A news story began circulating last weekend that purported a link between microcephaly cases and a larvicide used in Brazil. And somehow, according to Fortune, Monsanto’s name was brought into the reports, even though the company does not make the larvicide.

Brazil’s health ministry said that there isn’t a scientific basis for the connection between the larvicide and microcephaly, unlike the connection between mosquito-borne Zika virus and microcephaly.

Bald eagles

At the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., bald eagles are pretty special. Last year, the pair — Mr. President and First Lady — were the first to nest at the Arboretum since 1947, and they returned this year, says USDA Agricultural Research Service.

You can watch live video of the eagles here. So far, they have laid two eggs that are expected to hatch as soon as March.

You can watch live video of the bald eagles’ nest in Hanover, Pennsylvania, from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Dwarf goat

We’re suckers for baby animals.

A dwarf Nigerian goat was born at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo Feb. 16. The female kid, Chewbacca, weighed four pounds. You can view photos and read more about Chewbacca on the zoo’s website.

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