A Quick Opinion: What a great time to live in Winters

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charley Wallace
Publisher Emeritus

There is always the question of what to do with visiting relatives? With a five year old to watch, we took him to the park, a couple of times. Lukas was off and running, along with dozens of other kids playing on all of the different “toys” at the park. From slides to swings, there were kids everywhere. The place was packed, but not to the point where there was a big wait at the zip line.

The kids were nice to each other, waiting their turn and helping the younger children. Made me smile. We weren’t the only ones watching grandchildren or trying to entertain visiting friends and relatives. “Where are you from” brought answers from across the country.

We also took a walk along the creek. This is one of the hidden treasurers in Winters. You can look for turtles, hawks and owls. I have yet to see fish in the creek, but the kids fishing told me they had plenty of bits, but had not caught anything. I didn’t tell them that there is no fishing in the creek during the annual salmon run.

There are signs along the creek about staying out of the water to protect the salmon, but there has been a huge fish die off this year. No one knows why but there is a lack of oxygen in the water at the mouth of Putah Creek. This is the first time this has happened since they started keeping track of water quality in the bypass 20 years ago. Even the carp are dying.

So far this year, about 90 salmon made it to the mouth of Putah Creek, only five made it into the creek, the rest died. It isn’t a disaster, yet, but it is close. Hopefully someone at the Water Resource Board will make an effort to find out what happened before the final salmon try to spawn in late December.

I didn’t try to explain this to Lukas, but it would have been great to show him salmon swimming upstream in Putah Creek. Maybe next year?

Our tree lighting ceremony is this Friday and starts with a hot cocoa crawl at 4 p.m. Check in at the Farmer’s Closet, 9 Main St. The merchants are also planning an Elf Hunt and music that afternoon, too. The tree lighting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Tractor Parade, which has become the biggest event in Winters, is Saturday, Dec. 4. The tractors will line up on Main Street, starting their walk at Haven Street. This is where the lack of street lighting is a plus, as the tractors look better in the dark. The parade ends at Elliot Street or Rotary Park. There isn’t a bad viewing spot along the route.

There is limited parking so it is better if you walk to downtown. There is paid parking (a community fundraiser) at Mariani Nut Company parking lots and shuttle service from the PG&E gas facility on Grant Avenue.

Enjoy life’s little pleasures and have a good week.

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