May 24th, 2010

There is a lot of grandeur in California’s nature. Mountains, oceans, cliffs, etc., and over the years I’ve tried to send you to some grand places. This month, though, I want to tell you about someplace that is not grand or majestically beautiful, but quaint and lovely. It’s called Putah Creek. It’s near, but not in, Napa Valley. It feeds into, but is not, Lake Berryessa. When I was there I sat on top of a big rock, of which there are quite a few to chose from, and watched otters. I had never seen an otter before, so for me this was an activity I was prepared to give lots of time to. The otters, it seemed, were also curious about me and so we sat and watched each other. The sky, the rocks and the water were gray and everything else was green. Except for me and the otters, and we were keeping an eye on each other.

Later a man showed up with his son and his dog, to do some fishing. As if it were 1950.

I could imagine there being more people there on a sunny day. There were chalk marks on some of the rocks, so I think people come to climb them. Maybe people swim in the creek and maybe this makes the otters hang out someplace else. But this is what’s nice about Putah Creek. It’s not a place to go witness magnificence and feel small, it’s a delicate little environment where you are just as important as the otters. I liked it there. Maybe you will too.

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