Carol Warren
Putah Creek, Davis CA
2021

Story Info

Story & Experience

I love the peace of this place. I sat under a 150 year old coast live oak and watched a mother duck and her chicks swim up the creek. Squirrels and jays darted here and there, and capered and relaxed in the branches of the live oak and valley oaks gracing the sides of the creek. There is a lot of insect life to observe, which is unusual in these times, and bees buzzed through the plants on the banks. The deergrass moved gently in the wind, and I could almost see the smoke that would have drifted up from nearby camp fires years ago. When I can tune out the hum from the nearby highway, I can visualize what this beautiful place was like a hundred years ago, when the voices of different children rang in the air and acorns were being pounded for flour. The Spirit of the Patwin people continues to live by the creek – they are not gone.

Why this Place?

Putah Creek, Davis CA

This is the former site of an indigenous village. The creek was its lifeblood, but as the people were forced out, the creek was re-routed, re-banked, polluted, and wounded.

Act of Beauty

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I brought with me six small stones my granddaughter painted to be part of our gift to this place. I collected a few fallen flower petals and leaves, creating a design at the base of the live oak tree. I also brought a piece of bread for the “Earth Sandwich.” While I stood silently remembering the place that must have been, a red squirrel flashed through at high speed, snagging my piece of bread before I could remove it! That speedy gal certainly gained from the Exchange!

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