ContentsPutah and Cache: Willow Slough and Creeks' Ends

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A Bright Feature in the Flood

Yolo Democrat, 1879

The story of the flood now as it is now being narrated is one of woe. It is a tale of devastated grain fields, vineyards and orchards; of drowning cattle and houseless settlers seeking refuge in the hills and shelter under the roofs of their more fortunate neighbors. This disastrous flood is, however, like a cloud with a silver lining . . . It has some bright features that will soon crop out much more conspicuously than they do now. Some of the lands now under water in the Sacramento valley have been producing wheat for the better portion of a score of years. The result is that the soil has been almost exhausted. Every year the quantity harvested per acre was decreasing. Such, especially, was the case in Yolo and Colusa counties. The present flood is now fertilizing these exhausted lands with the rich soils of the foothills. It is doing for them just what the Nile does every year for the wheat lands of Egypt. In Colusa county another process is observed. A rich sediment from a foot to eighteen inches in thickness is forming on that section of the country where the hard pan has heretofore been exposed. This will greatly increase the area of agricultural land in that county. Farming land, such as is being formed by the flood there, is regarded as the most fertile for wheat culture. Then, again, the flood means death to those destructive pests, the gopher and the ground squirrel. The farming lands of the great valley of California have been overrun for years by these pests. The problem of their extermination is one with which the farmer has unsuccessfully wrestled for years. . . . The flood, however, has solved the problem. Both pests have perished by countless numbers, and have been entombed in their own burrows. The future story of the results of the flood of 1878 will be that of abundant crops and a freedom from agricultural pests.

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