😏 Happy Friday! We can smell the weekend already.

Today's weather: Partly sunny with a high of 84.

  • Saturday looks cloudy, and then rain returns Sunday.

πŸŽ‚ Happy early birthday to our Axios New Orleans member J.G. SeΓ‘n Ryan II!

🎧 Sounds like: Juvenile joining Jon Batiste at Coachella.

Situational awareness: BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded 14 years ago today in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Go deeper to learn how cleanup workers are doing now.

Today's newsletter is 865 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: πŸ› Give a wide berth

Clockwise starting at the top left: The puss moth caterpillar's sting can send you to urgent care. The IO moth caterpillar usually comes out in the fall. The saddleback caterpillar has distinctive coloring. The buckmoth caterpillar is spiky and comes out in the spring. Photos: Zack Lemann, Audubon Insectarium

Be on high alert, y'all. Buckmoth caterpillars are falling from live oak trees.

Why it matters: Their stings are incredibly painful.

The big picture: Four venomous caterpillars are common in New Orleans metro, says Zack Lemann, the curator of animal collections at Audubon Insectarium.

  • The caterpillar forms of the buckmoth, puss moth, IO moth and saddleback have venomous spines and hairs that cause pain when touched.
  • The puss moth caterpillar, also called an asp, is the most venomous of the bunch.

Between the lines: New Orleans has other stinging caterpillars, but they aren't as common, Lemann says.

Yes, but: The fir or live oak Tussock moth caterpillar isn't venomous, Lemann says, even if it is spiky.

  • It can cause an allergic reaction for some people, though.

State of play: Buckmoth caterpillars are the most common venomous critter this time of year in New Orleans, Lemann said, based on personal observations.

  • Buckmoth caterpillars make their homes in live oak trees and are often found on the ground under them.
  • They are normally out from March to May and then go below ground in June, he said.

Threat alert: Watch where you sit and wear gloves in the garden, Lemann said.

Meanwhile, dogs sometimes step on buckmoths and get stung, but it isn't common, Lemann said, based on his surveys of vets in the city.

What's next: Lemann is concerned last year's drought may have hurt or killed some of this generation of moths and butterflies.

  • He's in the process of doing field observations, he tells Axios.

2. 🎨 Renderings: Studio at Children's Hospital

Seacrest Studios will be part of Walker's Imaginarium, a new facility at Children's Hospital New Orleans. Image: Courtesy of Children's Hospital New Orleans

Children's Hospital New Orleans will break ground this year on a "wonderland" for its patients that will include an entertainment studio from the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

Why it matters: An extended hospital stay is hard on anyone, but children who have access to safe ways to be creative and play often have better health outcomes, says Rene Guilbeau, the director of child life and creative therapies at Children's Hospital New Orleans.

Zoom in: Only 14 of the nation's 220 children's hospitals have one of Seacrest's studios, said hospital CEO and president Lucio A. Fragoso in a press conference yesterday.

  • The studio will be part of Walker's Imaginarium, "a first-of-its kind child enrichment center," Fragoso said, dedicated to offering kids a therapeutic space to have fun while receiving care.
  • At 15,000 square feet, it'll include a mini-golf course shaped like Louisiana, a Jazz Fest stage to host musicians, a Mardi Gras float where kids can toss beads and a staircase made of sequins.

What he said: "New Orleans is one of the best culture and music cities in the country, and I cannot think of a better place to bring joy to patients through our foundation," Seacrest said in a press release.

What's next: Children's Hospital will break ground on Walker's Imaginarium later this year with plans to open in 2026.

See more renderings

3. Fully Dressed: "Top Chef" cuts New Orleans chef

Chef Charly Pierre owns Fritai, a Haitian street food restaurant in the Treme. He competed on this season of Bravo's "Top Chef." Photo: David Moir/Bravo

πŸ”ͺ Chef Charly Pierre of Fritai won a challenge on this week's episode of "Top Chef" but was ultimately eliminated from the Bravo series. (People)

πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈ LSU hopes to bring home its first NCAA Gymnastics Championship win Saturday. (How to watch)

πŸ’° Entergy New Orleans and City Council reached a settlement worth $252 million to end allegations that the utility mismanaged the Grand Gulf nuclear plant. (Press release)

πŸ€ Hailey Van Lith is transferring to TCU after just one season at LSU. (The Athletic)

🦴 Thousands of archeologists are in town for their annual conference. (WDSU)

πŸ“† Need something to do? We've got a turtle parade, ChazFest, the Bucktown Seafood Festival and more this weekend. (Schedule)

4. πŸ€ Last chance for the Pels

Is that Zion Williamson, or is that every single Pels fan right now? Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Pelicans host the Sacramento Kings tonight in a last-ditch effort at making the NBA playoffs.

Why it matters: It's win or go home.

State of play: The winner will move on as the No. 8 seed and face the top-seed Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

But it didn't have to be this way. The Pelicans could have clinched a guaranteed spot in the playoffs in their final game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost 124-108.

  • A couple days later they faced the Lakers again for a shot at the seventh spot in the play-in tournament. They lost that game β€” and star Zion Williamson, who injured his hamstring.

How to watch: Tipoff is at 8:30pm on TNT.

Why there's still hope for the Pels

5. 🍴 Your fav French Quarter restaurants

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Hey, it's Chelsea. I shared a dozen of my favorite French Quarter restaurants with y'all last week, and asked you to let me know what I got wrong.

Why it matters: You sure did!

Zoom in: A few readers offered restaurants they thought we should have included on the list.

  • G.W. Fins, which reader Stephen K. says "might be the best restaurant in the country."
  • Galatoire's. Ellie R. suggests you "go any day and make sure you dress nice."
  • Irene's. Leonard tells us the food is "always on point, and the service and vibe are out of this world."

Any others? Hit reply and let us know!

πŸ’šπŸ§‘ Chelsea is begging someone to convince her not to buy something from the Ben Franklin x Jean Therapy collaboration.

πŸ› Carlie got stung by an IO caterpillar while weeding a few years ago. The spines went through her gloves. Ahhhh!

Tell Zion Williamson to subscribe.

Thanks to our editor Fadel Allassan and copy editor Carlin Becker.