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Stories from the valley

Four things to see in the Sacramento Valley NOW!

Contributed by Tim Johnson

Driving puts you in contact with the world beyond the four corners of your life. A drive up the Sacramento Valley in late summer and early fall will connect you to things you probably never considered.

Harvest – from pears in Sacramento to rice in Colusa and nuts nearly everywhere it’s harvest! No need to wait for pumpkins or dried corn stalks (we have those too), harvest is in full swing in the Valley and it’s BIG.

Leo LaGrande on his rice farm in Williams CA


Right now rice, almonds, walnuts, sunflowers, plums, tomatoes, apples, corn, safflower, garlic and wine grapes are all being picked. How cool is that! All told, the Valley boasts two million acres of farms.

Snow Geese in flight


Birds – as soon as the grain comes off the field the water birds pile in! Already, geese and shorebirds are circling winter-flooded rice fields to eat the leftover grain, weed seeds and insects.

Fall Walnut Orchard

Best fall colors – in the next month or so one of the best displays of fall colors comes to our region in the areas peach trees. Almost defying description, the long thin leaves vibrate yellow, salmon and traffic cone orange. Following this show walnut orchards will pop with yellow leaves, dark trunks and carpeted floors. Add the native sycamores, black willows and apples and it is spectacular.

fish hatchery in Oroville CA


Salmon – nowhere else can you stop and see so many enormous fish. The only place in the U.S. with four runs of salmon, a trip to Oroville, Coleman or the Nimbus hatchery is a must stop for kids, grandparents and anyone out for a Saturday outing.

Now get out there and see what is going on right outside your door!