Is nature natural or just outside? Are objects of nature found inside a building still considered nature? Jake always makes me think!
The nature we have here in the California Central Valley is anything but natural in most places.
The 600-mile long California Central Valley has been plowed and remodeled to grow every crop imaginable.
One of many valley crops, peach trees, deposed native oaks found in the Kaweah River Delta over one hundred fifty years ago. For more agricultural facts click here.
Between the Kaweah River Delta and Sierra Nevada mountains, alfalfa replaced nature’s native grasses.
Cows in the foothills still eat grass until it dries, but the variety differs from what grew here in the 1850s when Thomas Henry Davis brought some of the first cows from Mexico to Antelope Valley, near current-day Woodlake, CA.
Evergreen orange trees first populated the Woodlake area in 1878, watered in part by the Watchumna Ditch, built in 1872. Canals and ditches still carry life-giving water to arid fields.
Last year the trees received enough water to stay healthy. This year farmers uprooted thousands of dead orange trees.
Since this area thrives because of irrigation, when water reserves and underground water tables drop, farmers rely on water transported from Northern California. The Kaweah River constrained by the Terminus Dam receded this year to expose a bridge built in 1938, foundations of homes, and wells.
Man-made changes have obviously mixed with nature to create California’s Central Valley “nature.” President Obama arrives tomorrow in Fresno to assess the drought’s damage to the Central Valley’s agricultural nature.
For more facts about Tulare County click here.
For more interpretations on Nature, click here.