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Stories from the valley

An Unforgettable Year

Contributed by Steve Beckley

I’m privileged to be part of a great team that photograph and blog about the Sacramento Valley and the people that make it a special place. I enjoy showing the followers of Sacramento Valley my home.

Last year started wet, and I spent a few weeks traveling the roads and the levees photographing high water. Being a native of Grimes, which is on the Sacramento River, this brought back memories of times when river was high. The flood control system worked as it was designed, but unfortunately the town of Maxwell flooded. A special moment for me was to be at Kim’s Café in Maxwell as Kim Troughton reopened the business, with financial help from the community, after being flooded. It is still a regular stop for me to visit with the locals.

I had the opportunity to meet and document the activities of so many great people in the Valley. These included: Ben and Denise Carter of Colusa’s Benden Farms; Mary Fahey and Steve Vanderpan of Wise Acre Farms; Farmers and the California Waterfowl Association crew that rescue baby duck eggs; cheese makers in Orland, wine makers with ties to the Sutter Buttes: the Lacque Family at the Orland Livestock Commission Yard, and farmers that sell at the valley’s farmers market. Of course, just having the opportunity to stop and visit with the farmers produce our food is a highlight of my day.

We have some great fairs and festivals in the area and it was fun to attend and record the activities of many including: Maxwell Rodeo, Cache Creek Lavender Festival, Oroville Salmon Festival, Woodland’s Honey Festival, Silver Dollar Fair, Butte County Fair, Winters’ Salmon Festival and many more. I also enjoyed attending Farm to Fork Dinners in Colusa and Oroville. A very special assignment was the photographing the Sikh Parade Festival in Yuba City, it is a wonderful event and the people are so welcoming. I always appreciate the opportunity to travel and photograph the area’s back roads and visit small towns such as Richvale and Biggs.

I relished the many special moments to document but the sunrises, sunsets and sunflowers in our valley, which all can be spectacular. The Sutter Buttes are always high on my list to photograph and write about. Harvest season is definitely one of my favorite times in the area; so many great crops are grown here.

Thanks for letting me show you my favorite places in the valley and the people that make it a special place. I hope you will continue to follow the team as we bring you the people, sights and events of the Sacramento Valley in 2018.