Swabbies on the Sacramento River

While Swabbies is technically not in the “Delta” it is on the Sacramento River just north of the Sacramento International Airport.

Taco Tuesday is a yummy deal!

Taco Tuesday is a yummy deal!

It is the perfect spot to begin a “Pirate Pub Trawl”. Start at noon and have the delicious tacos. Or go on Taco Tuesday for 2 chubby tacos for $5.99. The atmosphere is pirate casual and there is outdoor seating. My companions had the chicken wings and some chips and salsa and some french fries. The portions were generous and everything was tasty.

Kings Arena Transforming Sacramento Downtown

Turner Construction is on schedule for completing the new Kings Arena.

Turner Construction is on schedule for completing the new Kings Arena.

I had the opportunity to tour the new Kings arena under construction. I have to confess I am not generally a fan of new sporting venues, especially when they are subsidized with public funds. I came away very impressed with the design and construction of the arena and how it is oriented to the other buildings on K Street.

The arena will still be sized for our market–one of the smaller arenas in the NBA with 17,500 seats. Two-thirds of those seats will be between the concourse and the floor. There will be a new level of lofts that provide premium seating, but half the size of a full suite. Then the suites will be above the lofts and finally the final one-third of seats. These nosebleed seats still feel close to the floor. The concourse is wider too so perhaps there will not be the kind of traffic jams like I have experienced at Women of Faith when it has taken hours to depart at the end of the evening from Sleep Train Arena.

In my lifetime there have been various attempts to revitalize this stretch of K Street. It appears that this time the investment in the Golden One Center is transforming the entire neighborhood. It is even renamed: “Downtown Commons” or “DoCo” for short.

Wild Rice a Boon to Wildlife in Yolo Bypass

Wild rice harvestI had the good luck to tour the Yolo Bypass one morning when the farmer who has the lease on the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area was harvesting the wild rice. It is fascinating to watch as the fields are kept wet and a special harvester picks up the rice to lop off the heads.

It leaves in its wake a field with insects and crayfish exposed. The ibis and egrets enjoy a feast.

ibis and egretsThe Yolo Bypass is in the Pacific Flyway. In a few months ducks, and geese and other waterfowl will return to the 16,800 acres of the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area to feed and breed over winter. The wildlife area is a short distance from Davis and West Sacramento, and yet when I stood there with the Causeway within site, it felt like miles away from civilization.

The Wildlife Area offers designed wetlands with plants that provide food for waterfowl. Another section is leased to farmers who raise rice–both white and wild–that provides an income to the Wildlife Area and leaves behind a lot of rice grains for the birds.

Giant Garter Snake habitat could be quite extensive with good management practice like only mowing half the ditch.

Giant Garter Snake habitat could be quite extensive with good management practice like only mowing half the ditch.

Rice farmers also provide other habitat benefits. Some stage the draining of their fields to provide shorebird habitat. Others mow just one side of the ditch to benefit giant garter snakes.

The Yolo Basin Foundation provides tours of the Wildlife Area to over 4,000 school children a year and special events, such as bat tours and bird watching walks. You can also access the Wildlife Area during daylight hours. Start at Parking Lot A at the exit closest to the Causeway and drive up and over the levee. No dogs or bicycles allowed.

Chalk It Up! over Labor Day Weekend in Midtown

Midtown art festival is a Sacramento tradition.

Every Labor Day weekend artists gather to create temporary sidewalk beauty.

Proceed to the John C. Fremont Park at 15th and Q and 16th and P Streets in Sacramento to admire the temporary masterpieces in Chalk It Up! art festival.  There are food trucks and craftspeople completing the festival.

artists at work at Chalk It Up!

Artists sometimes were inspired by issues.

artists at work

Some artists are sponsored by businesses.

Do not tread on the art!

Lots of spectators walked carefully around the park to admire the work in progress.