On Monday I had the opportunity to go flying with our friend B. who is visiting from Australia. I had flown with him several times before, and I was only too happy to do it again. The world is so different from the air—what looks familiar on the ground sometimes isn’t all that easy to identify from above.
We flew from University Airport here in Davis up to Willows, about 60 miles north, had breakfast at the airport diner (yes, there is such a thing even in Willows, population 6,000), and then flew back. It wasn’t a long flight, but I was mentally exhausted—in a good way—when we landed because I had done so much looking and photographing.
The Sacramento Valley is a major rice-growing region. The rice fields still have lots of water in them so the reflections of the sun were phenomenal. Just as impressive was seeing the geometry of fields and orchards, and the juxtaposition between irrigated areas—green and lush—and non-irrigated land—brown and parched.
Just before landing in Davis, we made two passes over our neighborhood so I could take pictures of our house. Coincidentally, my wife and daughters were in the front yard as we flew over, and they actually heard and saw our plane. In one of my photos, the three of them are visible when you magnify it enough!
While this post has absolutely nothing to do with gardening, I hope you’ll still come along on this visual journey. It’ll give you a better idea of the part of California that I call home.
|Our Cessna 172|
|Interstate 80, looking west towards the Bay Area|
|Rice fields off Interstate 5 north of Woodland|
|Check out the patterns of the levees|
|More rice fields|
|Intriguing looking bodies of water—no idea what they are!|
|Rice fields (top) and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (bottom)|
|Man-made landscape vs. natural|
|In some photos, the rice fields looked like they had received a dusting of snow|
|Sutter Buttes, the world’s smallest mountain range|
|Orchard and tilled field|
|Giant orchard and fields|
|I love this photo—wonder what is at the end of this road?|
|Edge of a circular field—check out the saw-blade edge!|
|Row of oleander bushes separating the north- and southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Willows|
|Road intersecting with an irrigation canal|
|Orchard and rice fields|
|Crazy pattern quilt|
|Amazing contrast between irrigated parcel and the parched landscape around it |
|Our neck of the woods (our house marked in yellow)|
|Another view of our house|
|Close-up of our house. |
You can see how small our lot actually is.
|Landing at University Airport|