Because night is still dark and cold

and day’s light has not quite


and rain beats down on old oak leaves,

and wind bends the fern’s fronds to the ground

and small birds peck to find tree seeds

not yet sprouted,

    Because the neat, slender blue-green leaves

emerge before the giving of the gift

and we anticipate

sun on gold bright petals –

   Daffodils are the preferred flower

of February Pisce

            by Karen Laslo, 2/20/17







Oroville Dam Spillway: Can It Be Fixed?

On Friday, February 10th, I went to photograph the damaged spillway at the Oroville Reservoir. Authorities had blocked the road, but I talked my way past the closure as a photojournalist.

Once on site, I managed to get these few shots from the top of the dam.  At the north end of the dam was the emergency headquarters. Workers in hardhats and worried faces were everywhere. I could see helicopters flying back and forth with long lines dangling from them. I was told the helicopters were hauling away the electric lines disconnected from the PG&E power plant at the base of the dam. Bulldozers were removing trees from in front of the emergency spillway and huge trucks with rocks and concrete lined up to dump their cargo – I don’t know where.

Finally, a guard noticed me and told me to leave immediately.

In Oroville, the pounding, muddy water was threatening the salmon at the Fish Hatchery. I was told efforts were being made to move the fish so they wouldn’t suffocate from the mud and debris in the water. I hope they were successful.

The dam spillway as seen from above the damage.

The dam spillway as seen from above the damage.


Water from the damaged Spillway is as high as the trees.

Water from the dam pounds over the damaged spillway as high as the trees.


Dam pumps on Jan. 13th, 2014.

Dam pumps exposed during the drought on January 13th, 2014.


Dam pumps on Feb. 10th, 2017.

Now water covers the dam pumps on Friday, February 10th, 2017.


Muddy Feather River, just east of the fish hatchery.

Below the dam in Oroville, the muddied Feather River, threatens the fish hatchery.


Feather River floods the parking lot east of the fish hatchery.

In Oroville, the Feather River floods the parking lot just east of the fish hatchery.