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Scenes of the California Delta

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Entering Ryde,
California Delta
Abandoned Mansion,
California Delta


Pier in Morning Fog,
California Delta
Green Drawbridge,
California Delta


Farm Water Tower,
California Delta
Abandoned Store,
California Delta
Abandoned Water Tower,
California Delta
Abandoned Boat,
California Delta
Riverbank House with Reeds,
California Delta


Artist's Notes

The California Delta is an area between the Bay Area and Sacramento, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meander before finally emptying into San Francisco Bay.  I was first introduced to it when I was a reporter in Sacramento.  I was immediately intrigued.

The Delta feels more like it ought to be in Mississippi than in California.  It's a whole world unto itself--insulated, idiosyncratic, apparently forgotten by time.

You know you’re in a different kind of place just from the road signs, identifying weirs and berms and sloughs and so many other things most people have never heard of that it all begins to seem like a made-up language. 

It's an area of odd juxtapositions and some surprises.  You can be rowing a small boat through a break in the reeds, and suddenly find yourself in a broad channel confronting a giant ocean-going freighter. 

It’s also a waterskier’s paradise—in the middle of serious agriculture. 

It’s a place of idyllic family vacations drifting aboard houseboats…and of old-fashioned houses of ill repute servicing wayward state legislators. 

Its slow pace and crankiness are oddly agreeable.  

There’s something hypnotic about the rich earth and verdant fields and orchards, and the light glancing off all that water. 

The Delta is also fragile.  It's seen its share of floods over the years:  I remember after the Isleton floods of the early 1970s touring a pear orchard in a rowboat.  As its levees age and its islands sink progressively lower, the California Delta is increasingly at risk for the sort of catastrophic event that occurred in New Orleans.

Even the measures being discussed to protect the state water supply from this sort of failure could divert so much water into concrete channels and so forth that the area would never be the same.

Suburban sprawl is also beginning to encroach.

I'm glad I've had a chance to depict the Delta and its uniqueness before it's lost forever.