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Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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Artist's Description

The flock of Tri-coloured Blackbirds as rendered into a “painting” by Corel PaintShop Pro XI. Taken with my Nikon D80 on a tripod using the Nikkor 70-300mm lens at the Vic Fazio Wildlife Preserve. It’s located between Sacramento and Davis, CA.

Interesting things about this places:

It can flash-flood in less than 30 minutes so rangers scramble to get people and cars out in what took 45 minutes to get deep into it to hunt waterfowl.

The hunting area is limited and at the back but it’s still disconcerting to hear shotgun blasts while photographing some the ducks and geese that won’t come home for dinner that night.

The area is also a weer. There’s a long set massive old gates along Interstate 5 and the Garden Highway. If the Sacramento River is about to flood Sacramento, these gates are opened, effectively “breaking” the levee and allowing floodwater to drain into hundreds of acres of wetlands and a score of large farms of grain or rice. The handful of people who live and maintain the farms lose everything but equipment and their homes. Sometimes the equipment doesn’t ever make it out and still stands there rusting to this day. So, opening the weer gates is a big deal at both ends of the spectrum and only happens when things get dire upriver where the water is usually better controlled by dams making huge reservoirs.


One of the most controversial political topics in California revolves around a decision to build The Auburn Dam. The highest bridge in the state (the one used by AMGEN as part of the 2010 race and dozens of movies such as XXX 2 starring Ice Cube) was supposed over the biggest manmade lake in California. It was a project of unbelievable scope, displacing a town, blocking single routes to places, sending a more constant supply of water 900 miles to the southern part of the state (the “political clout” half with Orange County and Los Angeles) and stressing an earthquake fault discovered only well into the project. Political careers lived and died by candidates’ support of the dam.

The Auburn Dam was also seen as the biggest planning mistake in California’s history. Southern California is the hottest and driest place in the United States, including the famous Death Valley and Hollywood. It’s literally in permanent drought conditions. Sacramento already bleeds off a big portion of the American River using the Peripheral Canal for “watering” SoCal. But SoCal is out of natural options. They have the most polluted waterway in the United States in The New River This is an "accidental river caused by a overflow of multiple waterways in Mexico. It flows north into California but raw sewage is dumped in right over the border. That flows into an ancient seabed re-creating The Salton Sea. None of these are options for drinking water


So, here I sit in the wetter northern part of California and wonder when our drought is going to end while our Very Important People scheme in the dryer southern part of California. They will do anything for water from up here. There’s a $65,000,000 dollar house down there that needs the lawn watered, bird bathes filled, and toilet water for 12 1/2 baths.

If it wasn’t so bizarre to have an odd number of States in the United States, we in NorCal would have divorced from SoCal long ago. ‘Let them eat sand.’

This is another image of mine that sold. Wonders will never cease. :-D

Artwork Comments

  • Sam Neal
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
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