A perfect Sunday…

walnut grove

Up before dawn, we picked up Peet’s coffee and a bag of Noah’s bagels and hit the road. Exploring north for a photo project, following instinct and a hunch. Dense fog along the Sacramento River, farmlands and orchards. Winter’s chill giving way to sun in the afternoon. Knights Landing, Colusa, Robbins, Rumsey, Guinda—towns with quiet Sunday mornings.

Mary’s chapel and cemetery

Homesteader cemeteries—babies dead before they could walk, sons lost in the two world wars, wives gone in childbirth. A few headstones of those who lived long enough to witness horse-drawn wagons give way to Fords, to hold grandchildren on their knees and pass along a farmer’s hunch of what to expect come spring.

Farmhouse in foreclosure

A sprawling farmhouse off a levee road, fallow fields to the north and hundreds of rose bushes carefully planted to the south. Nobody left to roll marbles across the warped wood floors. A foreclosure sign tacked to a Mediterranean blue front door. Orange trees lining the drive dropping fruit to rot and mold on the damp ground. The stories these walls must hold, lives begun and ended, hopes and dreams born and dashed.

Old barn in foreclosure

Old bridge over floodplain at base of Sutter Buttes

Past walnut orchards, old bridges and fields. Geese honking through the fog, egrets perched on the levee’s edge. Putah creek, Cache Creek, Sacramento river, the base of Sutter Buttes, the ridges of the coastal range. Driving till dusk, our eyes full of this land of plenty.

Tacos from Roberta’s Taqueria in Colusa–YUMM!!

Oaks framing Sutter Buttes

dormant orchard

Old truck in Rumsey, CA

Cache creek from old Rumsey bridge

Three billy goats gruff


About TJ

adventurer, writer, photographer
This entry was posted in postaweek2011, travels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A perfect Sunday…

  1. Pingback: The Perfect Sunday « Top Left Hand Page

  2. Wow–I’m so glad to know of your site! These photos, and the text, are wonderful. I especially like the one of the dormant orchard. I feel like I just had a mini, visual vacation in the middle of the day, thanks to these gorgeous images.


  3. rachelfiske says:

    following aidan at ivy leage insecurities’ prompting today, i clicked through to your blog. i’m so glad i did.

    “…pass along a farmer’s hunch of what to expect come spring.” that’s just lovely, i think. born and raised in the country, i could smell the air and hear the creaking of time-worn floorboards.

    i’m off to read more and i’ll definitely be back.


    • TJ says:

      I feel like sending Aidan cookies! I’ve been introduced to a few lovely blogs today thanks to her post and it feels like meeting some new friends that you really resonate with. Thanks for your kind input and I’ve truly enjoyed perusing your site. Can’t say that I’ve gotten enough work done today, but I feel blessed 🙂


    • TJ says:

      BTW, you mention you are at school in CA–anywhere near Davis?


  4. Gorgeous photos. Gorgeous words. The first shot of the oak is haunting and divine. I am so happy to be here reading and glimpsing. I look forward to more.


  5. My favorite, or a favorite it the truck. No the peek out that barn window, no the truck. Well.


  6. Love this! Beautiful photos, beautiful words. I’m from Sacramento and went to college at UC Davis. Though I lived in the area for years, I have now experienced this in a new and lovely way. Thank you!


    • TJ says:

      Small world isn’t it?! I grew up in Sac and went to UC Davis–now work there. I’m working on a photo project on areas nearby that I hope will help people see their “backyard” in a new light, so it was great to hear your experience.


  7. Howdy. I hope you check this website. I’m a Davis-raised playwright attending the University of Texas at Austin. I’m working on a play titled OR, “the one with the dogs,” which is set in a house outside of a dead walnut orchard. http://www.utexas.edu/finearts/events/details/5250 . With your permission, I’d love to use a piece of the “dormant orchard” image in an advertisement for a reading. (I can be reached at briandanieloglesby@gmail.com)


  8. Charming story. Thanks for sharing it.


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