Quiet crossroads

Our friend Garland lives in the Sacramento Valley in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

He says that in his tiny burg “the bull semen cooperative is the busiest place in town, and that should tell you a lot about where we live.”

“Even though itʼs just a sleepy ole farming town, most of us here still like it, even though itʼs only a little crossroads and getting littler.

“Like most places, itʼs probably the people here that make us stick around.

“Seems like thereʼs always something interesting to do. They had an old-tractor show the next town over and a lot of us went to gawk. There was a big blow-up house with a bouncy floor for the kids, and even a few of the adults snuck in.

“Most of us grew up country, so weʼre all right with mostly having rice and bean fields and cattle ranches where we live. A lot of the small farms have been gobbled up by the big operations, but that seems to be happening all over.

Migrating birds

Many thousands of migrating birds in late autumn head for California’s rice lands.

“When we get really bored we go watch the big semis drive under the rice-drier chutes, where they get filled up in about five minutes. A lot of that rice goes to Asia, and Iʼm glad we still have something to sell overseas.

“In fall, after the rice has been harvested and heavy rains fill up the fields, a whole lot of migrating birds come south to spend the season.

Birds in rice field

“It really is pretty out there on a sunny day, seeing the geese, swans, ducks, wintering shorebirds and others. A lot of city folks come out then with their fancy cameras and 2-foot-long telephoto lenses, so weʼre not the only ones who think itʼs a special sight.”

Guess Garland and his family aren’t ready to head for the big city just yet.