Howard Ranch walk - April 2020

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In mid-April, Rich & Linda and I met up at Rancho Seco Recreational Area, where there's a lake plus camping & a beach. We took a side road to the Howard Ranch Trailhead.

On this seven mile walk we had perfect weather & encountered a profuse show of wildflowers. 

There's also an amazing amount of open space scenery. To the east can be seen attractive oak-covered hills, the beginning of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  

It was overcast and bright, a flat-light day for photos, turning the color knob down.    

I had a Canon G16 point & shoot and a T6i DSLR with 55-250mm lens and a monopod.  A few long distance images below are a little out of focus, my apologies ! 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.       

Ranch Seco  nuclear power plant, see below   Howard Ranch trail wild rose
  Rancho Seco Lake-o R & L    
looking back from whence we came map w/ mile markers we finally found the bend < eastbound w/ hawkbit dandelion >
  L in good scenery looking toward the foothills big sky country  
cows by a lake Cottonwood tree cows made rude noises while we had lunch back to the future
  Elegans (Harvest) Brodiaea white Brodiaea lantern-like, before they open frying pan poppies, or Eschscholzia lobbii
Swan family   flat light Kia Kona EV &  old cooling towers  

The cooling towers & reactor building seen here were part of the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant, owned & operated by SMUD, the local power agency. (Sacramento Municipal Utility District). 

Rancho Seco began service in 1975, but due to continuous control system problems, the power plant had a terrible operational record, and a number of significant safety violations occurred, over a 14 year operating period. Negative publicity lead the residents of Sacramento County to vote by Referendum in June 1989 to shut the Plant down. Two weeks later, it was offline for good.  

Thirty years later, SMUD is viable, once again one of the lowest cost electrical utilities on the west coast, and, SMUD is way ahead on meeting future emission reduction goals. (This is from their website.)   

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