Bats Await in the Yolo Bypass

Recently a group met in West Sacramento to discuss the Yolo Bypass. An interloper joined the meeting and caused a brief distraction. Jacob Katz caught this Mexican free-tailed bat  in his hat and introduced us before releasing outside.

TThese delicate creatures are an important member of our ecosystem in the Yolo Bypass. Learn more and support the Yolo Basin Foundation in their 25th year of educational programming.

These delicate creatures are an important member of our ecosystem in the Yolo Bypass. Learn more and support the Yolo Basin Foundation in their 25th year of educational programming.

Robin Kulakow from the Yolo Basin Foundation was unflapped. Her organization sponsors educational programs and bat walks in the Yolo Bypass. If you are interested in a bat talk and walk, check out their events at

Sacramento Beer Week Kicks Off

Sacramento Beer Week 2015The 4th annual celebration of local craft beers begins today with a Local Brewers’ Showcase at the California Auto Museum. Taste beer from over 30 different brewers for $40 (advance tickets; $45 at the door).

There are events through Beer Week until the final Beer Fest on March 8. (Tickets are sold out except general admission $40). For all of the featured events, check out the calendar of events.

You must be 21 or older to participate. Use good sense and plan ahead for your rides home or plan your hotel stay. And… have fun!

AMGEN Tour of California Races in the Delta

The announced 2015 route of AMGEN Tour of California includes the Delta, and on the very first day–Stage One, Sunday May 10. The bike racers will depart from Sacramento, ride 124 miles along the Sacramento River to Rio Vista and back for a likely sprint finish in Sacramento.

AMGEN Tour of California

Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky won the time trial in Folsom in 2014

The State Capitol will once again provide a dramatic backdrop to the race. Adding the route through the Delta will add some visual excitement and a good excuse to visit your favorite Delta community with a picnic and a bottle of wine and watch the peloton.

Waiting for the peloton on City of Sacramento curb.

Waiting for the peloton on City of Sacramento curb.

Stage Two on May 11 starts in Nevada City and ends in Lodi, California. Lodi is on the edge of the Delta and offers plenty of wine tasting and a celebratory finish. The song lyrics “stuck in Lodi” will not be running through these cyclists minds as they will be once again sprinting for the finish.

Self Portraits at Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College

There is a gem of a gallery at Sacramento City College, the Kondos Gallery. Each month artists Suzanne Adan and Michael Stevens put together a different and interesting show with local professional artists. In October the theme was masks, and from November 6 through 26 it is Self Portraits.

Jim Adan's self portrait; Mr. Driftwood! at Kondos Gallery

Jim Adan’s self portrait; Mr. Driftwood!

This month’s show includes self portraits from Gregory Kondos, Jack Ogden, Michael Stevens, Tony Natsoulas, and Julia Couzens. The gallery has odd hours: Monday through Thursday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Sign up for the announcements with stevens@scc.losrios,edu to attend the openings on a Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The gallery is located in the art department of the Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Boulevard in Sacramento. There is street parking 27th and 10th near a coffee shop and sandwich place. And a short walk to the gallery.

Sandhill Cranes Return to Central Valley

Sandhill Crane Conference

Sandhill Crane Conference

The greater and lesser Sandhill Cranes are flying into the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys for the winter. To kick off the birdwatching season for cranes, the Sandhill Crane Festival is November 7-9 in Lodi. There are numerous birdwatching excursions as part of the conference.

The Sandhill Cranes are going to be in NorCal through February and you can plan your own independent birdwatching trip.

Here are a couple of opportunities in the Delta you may want to pursue:

Cal Fish and Wildlife Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours of Woodbridge Ecological Preserve

Cosumnes River Preserve viewing sites (map) includes Staten Island

These birds are really cool and you can see them from the road with just your eyes or a regular pair of binoculars. The best time is at sunset when they fly back to their nesting areas.

Breakfast at the Black Bear Diner

Mini Volcano with all bacon at Davis Black Bear Diner

Mini Volcano with all bacon at Davis Black Bear Diner

I was looking for a classic breakfast—you know, the hearty kind farmers might eat. More eggs, bacon and potatoes, not so much fancy omelets and frou-frou French toast. I drove to Woodland last weekend and enjoyed the Savory Café, yet that is a ways to drive for breakfast. This Sunday in church I remembered the Black Bear Diner. It is a technically a chain with locations in eight states. In the Delta you can find a hearty breakfast at Black Bear Diner in Tracy, Oakley, Suisun City and Davis.

The coffee is good and Doreen was a friendly, efficient waitress. The restaurant was full of families eating before or after a soccer game. I ate at the counter rather than wait 20 minutes for a table. I went for a smaller version of the classic breakfast and it was delicious.

It’s Time for a Peach Shake at Whitey’s

I say, I say, I do believe the peach is the best fruit of summer. Blackberries give them some competition. Peaches are just so juicy, naturally sweet, and delicious eaten fresh, in pie or cobbler, or in shakes. 

Peach shake at Whitey's

Px stands for Peach Shake, which stands for yum!

This brings us to the West Sacramento institution of Whitey’s drive-in on Jefferson Boulevard. Right now they are serving up peach shakes. Four dollars and eighty-six cents for a large that easily becomes supper on a hot Sacramento Valley evening. After a stressful day of work that ended with a tense meeting in Clarksburg, there is nothing like a peach shake from Whitey’s to make a gal feel better.

Emotional eating? You bet!