Rural Yolo County has a Bermuda Triangle of roads east of Winters. Where Highway 128 ends after its intersection with I-505, what road continues? Is it Grant Avenue? Is it Russell Boulevard? Covell Boulevard? County Road 31?
To identify the most commonly traveled route to Davis, the S-curve that takes one from Russell Boulevard to County Road 31 is dubbed County Route E6.
In the middle of this confusion, perilously close to oncoming traffic, stands a lone juniper tree. Like the eerily unreliable cell reception in this area, the tree’s existence has no explanation.
But, it sort-of looks like a Christmas tree.
Although it doesn’t boast the majesty of the more conventional Douglas fir, some concerned resident or residents decorate the tree around the holiday season every year. This year, it is even complete with solar-powered lights.
Both the decorating of the tree and its origins remain a mystery.
“We are not sure if it was a seedling, or if someone transplanted it. And the same goes for decorations — we do not decorate it… it just appears decorated every year,” said Chris Turkovich, whose family farms the tree’s home.
After a few weeks of questioning townsfolk and broadcasting the quandary on Facebook, the best answers provided were baseless accusations among friends.
Whoever put the tree there, and whoever decorates it may have sworn themselves to secrecy, to preserve some small piece of December magic.
In 2017, one can learn how quantum mechanics works from the Internet, find their friends with an iPhone and learn the name of the song playing on the radio with an app, but someone is still getting away with decorating a tree on a crowded county route on the sly. Maybe the decorator is afraid there is be a county ordinance against decorating roadside topiary.
That might be the most positive take-away. No one is trying to gain any recognition or make any money or elevate their social status. The simple knowledge that anyone driving on whatever-road-that-is-between-Winters-and-Davis gets a small kick and some free Christmas cheer is enough.
Passersby now have a reason to slow down to the 55 mph speed limit and let some positive spirit hitchhike into the stress of the holiday season.