In this week’s news roundup, we delve into a trio of captivating stories that span the realms of natural phenomena and social progress in Utah and Nevada. We begin by exploring the mystifying “watermelon snow” phenomenon gracing Utah’s mountains, a spectacle as intriguing as beautiful. We then shift our focus to Elko, Nevada, where residents grapple with an unyielding invasion of blood-red Mormon crickets. Lastly, we spotlight a beacon of hope amidst struggle as we examine how Utah nonprofits are enhancing a transformative housing program for parents battling addiction.
The Watermelon Snow Phenomenon in Utah
Utah’s mountains currently showcase a fascinating natural spectacle called “watermelon snow.” This phenomenon, marked by a red and pinkish hue on the snow, results from green algae bloom, specifically Chlamydomonas nivalis, that thrives in cold, snowy environments. The algae’s reproductive stage triggers a secondary pigment that darkens its cells, giving the snow its unique color. Despite the unusual appearance, no human health concerns are associated with watermelon snow. This phenomenon is more visible this year due to the record snowfall in the region. Read more
Elko’s Battle: The Persistent Invasion of Mormon Crickets
Elko, Nevada, is under siege by an invasion of blood-red Mormon crickets. These insects, some larger than a thumb, have wreaked havoc in the small town known for its gold mining. The crickets, which are cannibalistic, have blanketed highways, adhered to tires and shoes, and left a stench akin to burning flesh. Despite concerted efforts to eradicate them, the crickets persistently return. This phenomenon is not new, with records of infestations dating back to the 1930s. Read more
Utah Nonprofits Enhance Housing Program for Parents Struggling with Addiction
The Family Support Center’s LifeStart Village, a transitional housing program for single parents with children in Salt Lake County, has partnered with Homeaid Utah to enhance its services. The program offers parent education and financial direction to help those recovering from addiction achieve self-sufficiency. Homeaid Utah, a provider of housing and resources for people at risk of homelessness, recently assisted with renovating and remodeling several units in the village. This partnership will allow more families to benefit from the program. Read more