February 2019

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From the Archives

Robert Benedetti

Mount Diablo and the Delta as Place, part 1 of 5

The Native American and Spanish Views It has been estimated that the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta region has been continuously inhabited between 10,000 to 13,000 years. (1) The language groups that lived there (the Miwok, the Yokut, and the Ohlone) settled along the rivers and managed abundant flora and fauna.

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Paula Sheil

First Cormorants

Black arrows of winter come in pairs, building a sooty patch in theturning basin. I anchor out on the Delta, the sky the color of gauze bandages. Kingfishers drill the flat water, the last wasp hangs heavy, stupefied inthe chill of autumn. The air, golden in days’ last light, catches

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Rich Turner

Short Takes

Sky Light, circa 1976 Some things are just worth being late for. I was working for the Record newspaper in Stockton in the winter of 1976 and on my way to Vallejo to cover a high school championship basketball game to which a local team had advanced. As newspaper assignments

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Howard Lachtman

The Further Adventures of the Delta Detective Part 2

What do an ancient Roman philosopher, a brash and flamboyant singing cowboy and a San Francisco financial hustler have in common?  Nothing. Unless they happen to cross the path of the Delta Detective.  Which they do in the detective’s new adventure, “The Getaway”  Our favorite sleuth is back in business

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Alex Breitler

Her View from the Bridge

I’m not just sharing something I really love, but also bringing people closer to nature in a way that makes them look at what’s going on around them a little differently. It slows life down for them, I think. Demi Stewart Demi Stewart stood in the snow at Yosemite Valley

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Rich Turner

For the Love of Ships

Turning Basin, Port of Stockton Imagine you are 23 years old and you want to travel Europe for a while just to see what you can see. You discover the unusual, adventurous and affordable way to get there is by sea embarking for Finland at the Port of Stockton. Somewhere

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George Turner

Short Takes

SOMETIMES WE JUST DON’T When it comes to wildlife photography, there is a lot of sitting and waiting. One afternoon, I sat in a patch of tules with the sun at my back, on the edge of a Northern California rice paddy. With my Nikon, a  sandwich, and a ton

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Howard Lachtman

The Further Adventures of the Delta Detective

What do an ancient Roman philosopher, a brash and flamboyant singing cowboy and a San Francisco financial hustler have in common?  Nothing. Unless they happen to cross the path of the Delta Detective.  Which they do in the detective’s new adventure, “The Getaway”  Our favorite sleuth is back in business

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Cyndy Green

Frozen Bun Run

Videographer and storyteller, Cyndy Green, gives us a glimpse of the event that has become a Delta tradition. The 39th annual “Frozen Bun Run” was held at Bethel Island in the heart of the California Delta on New Year’s Day as the enthusiastic – but chilly – crowd of an

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Rich Turner

Short Takes

On Serendipity Yellow-eyed Cat, February 1986 This is a case of following one of my self-imposed rules. A rule that has been so good for me that I had it pasted to the top of my monitor for many years. HONOR SERENDIPITY. While out enjoying the quietude that was the

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Adrian Mendoza

Water Wars Continue

Hog Slough The California Delta is the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of this hemisphere and the source of freshwater for over 23 million Californians. It’s also the battleground for California’s continuing water wars. Mark Twain once famously quipped, “In the West, whisky’s for drinkin’ and water’s for fightin’

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Michael Fitzgerald

Skiing the Friendly Skies

It’s probably impossible to identify the craziest thing ever done on the Delta, but “Ni” Orsi, Jr. has a contender: his father water skied behind an airplane. “Totally illegal,” said Orsi The year – he’s not sure – was between 1944 and ’46. The place was the turning basin, the

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Peter Ottesen

The Final Hunt is Only the Start

Night Flight, Hog Slough – photograph by Rich Turner What we encountered was not a material world but a natural world that, from my thinking, deepens the voyage of life itself. After firing what would be my final shot at ducks and geese in 2018, I found the battery was

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Rich Turner

The Night Shift

Fruit of the vine. Yum. I’m guilty of not really paying attention to what it takes to get a bottle of wine to my table. So I asked a prominent California Delta wine grape grower and vintner if I could tag along while they labored to bring in their crush-ready crop of pinot noir grapes. For several fall harvest seasons I’ve been wanting to chase the odd looking machines that trundle up and down rows of wine grapes in the California Delta starting in early evening. The Clarksburg area, just south of Sacramento, has a state-wide reputation, and beyond, for the quality and variety of grapes and wines produced there. It’s a part of the Delta that I wander from time to time and when I see these unusual machines on rolling stilts at dusk, headlights blazing, I’ve made mental notes to ask permission to ride along. Unfortunately mental notes aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. But this season I say to myself, if not now when?

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Alex Breitler

Fire on the Water

San Francisco’s morning fog is lifting as the Delta Dragons do warm-up exercises prior to running 300 meter sprint practices on Lake Merced. Whether they thought about it or not, the 20 paddlers who squeezed into a slender boat on a foggy San Francisco morning were linking themselves to a

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