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Stories from the valley

The Sacramento Valley – My Sense of Place

Contributed by Steve Beckley

The Valley has a strong “Sense of Place” for me as I was born and have lived here most of my life.   My first car ride after I was born in Colusa was on State Route 45 to home in Grimes; a road I still travel frequently.  I am sure that is when I first saw the Sutter Buttes. It is a privilege to show the readers of Sacramento Valley Water this wonderful place I call home. 

As I travel the roads of the valley, I am constantly amazed by the number of waterfowl, birds, and wildlife that live here or visit in the winter, thanks to habitat created by rice and other growers. 

Festivals and parades are commonplace throughout the year and I got to photograph quite a few including:  Sutter Buttes Days, Capay Almond Festival, Colusa Fly In, Marysville Bok Kai Festival, Woodland Tomato Festival, Butte County Fair, Marysville Peach Festival, Marysville Roundup Parade. Winters Salmon Festival, Zamora Sheep Dog Trials, Arbuckle Pumpkin Festival and many more including local Christmas parades and festivals. 

Farmers’ Markets feature the bounty produced by our valley’s farmers and the markets in Davis, Woodland, Colusa, Arbuckle and Chico are regular stops on my travels. I also have the privilege to take you along in my search for the perfect pumpkin.  I also let you know my favorite spots to shop and have a meal.

Probably my most memorable moment of this year’s adventure was a trip up to Paradise, which was devastated by fire last year to visit Jim and Laurie of Noble Orchards, who I have previously blogged about and photographed.  Their apple orchard had survived the fire, but their farm buildings did not. When I arrived they were allowing the community to pick apples in their orchard and just asking for donations. Their mood was upbeat and outlook positive.  They were definitely “Paradise Strong”.

Thanks so much for allowing me to show you my home and hope you will ride along with me next year as I chase the light and visit with the people and places that make the valley such a special place.