Northern California

I was fortunate to be able to visit with family in Northern California recently. I've been to central and southern parts of the state, but the northern part was an a wonderful adventure in new flora and scenery

You know you're not in Wisconsin any more when the palm trees start showing up...


And the prickly pear cacti are more than a foot high and bear huge fruit...

This looks like desert, and it is I suppose. Because of the drought, this part of the American River Parkway biking and walking  system, which is usually under water, is dry.  The river's levy is more than a mile away from the river's edge right now. 

And the next two photos are of Folsom Lake. This is usually a huge thriving lake with boaters and swimmers.  Now it looks like a big puddle. The water normally comes up to where you can see the earth tone change in the bottom third of the photo.

If we had had more time, I would have loved to go stomping around on the lake bed. The DNR out there has posted signs not to pick up artifacts from the old towns that were flooded when the dam was put in. The water is so low they are showing up again.

And this is a pic from the Oroville Dam about 1.5 hours north of Sacramento. It normally processes megatons of water and has a huge deep lake on one side. Not today it doesn't. Californians are praying for El Nino to make good on his wet winter promise to them. It's been a 5 year drought! 

This is North of Sacramento as well. It was taken from a moving car, but if you look closely on the left half of the photo you can see some awesome mountains called 'The Buttes'.

This is my quintessential Northern California photo...Sunshine   through the branches of a walnut tree along the parkway.

A a great visit and saw so much more but decided to live it instead of photograph it. We also went to Folsom Prison (where my family slowed the car down really slow and looked at me ominously), Old Sacramento, (the original old west frontier buildings from when the city was formed), the Sierra Mountains to the apple orchards, and through miles and miles of every fruit and nut tree you can imagine-even Kiwi which blew my mind.  It was beautiful as it was but hard to see so much splendor struggling for water just to survive. I'm keeping my eye on you, El Nino. You better keep your end of the deal!


Michelle said…
I 'knew' it was bad, but had no idea it was THAT bad! I'm a few hours north in NW Oregon and we're have a typically wet (thankfully) autumn after a record dry, hot year. I do hope things normalize, but have my doubts....
Renee Anne said…
Yeah, it really is that bad. People don't seem to understand if they're not living in it. We went to Lake Isabella, down in the southern Sierra Nevadas and it was extremely low and the mountains were brown. The mountains around here in San Francisco are brown as well, but you almost don't notice it because people keep insisting on watering their lawns. Most cities and counties around here have water restrictions for lawns but some people do it to the fullest extent possible. And while I hope for El Nino, I also hope not to deal with flooding as a result.

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