Personal Stuff

Author Steven T. Callan and his wife, Kathy

Thank You

Author Steven T. Callan and his wife, Kathy

Hi, Everyone,

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for supporting my writing adventure. Kathy and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with so many of you during our book tours throughout Northern and Central California. Thanks to you, Badges, Bears, and Eagles and The Game Warden’s Son have done extremely well. It’s because of your support, kind words, and encouragement that I’m now working on Book Number 3.

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by Steven T. Callan.

An Island of Our Own

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by Steven T. Callan.

Our front yard in early spring, showing just a few of the 200 blue oaks on the island. Photo by author.

Over the years, Kathy and I have often dreamed of escaping today’s fast-paced, hectic world and moving to an island of our own—an island of trees, flowers, and abundant wildlife, where we could experience the joys of nature without leaving the confines of our own property. Realizing that buying an island wasn’t a realistic option, we decided to do the next best thing and create one on our three-acre patch of oak woodland in the foothills of Northern California.

Orland Free Library Welcomes Award-Winning Orland Author Steven T. Callan

Going Home

Orland Free Library Welcomes Hometown Author Steven T. Callan

I’ve often said that the reason I enjoyed the old Andy Griffith Show so much was because I practically grew up there. Growing up in Orland was as close to living in Mayberry as you could get without being a member of the cast.

My family moved from the Los Angeles area to Orland, a small farming community at the northern end of California’s Sacramento Valley, in 1960. By the end of our first day in school, my brother Kenny and I felt as if we’d lived there all our lives. The following Saturday, we joined several of our new friends and walked the railroad tracks to Stony Creek, where I caught my first smallmouth bass and began a childhood adventure that would last until I left for college years later.

Steven T. Callan and Orland High School Class of '66 Classmates

Two Nights to Remember

Steven T. Callan and Orland High School Class of '66 Classmates

I have to admit that I was more than a little apprehensive about my upcoming Orland High School class reunion. I hadn’t seen most of my classmates since we crossed the stage and received our diplomas on that fateful night fifty years ago. Would I recognize anyone? Would anyone recognize me? I sure hope they provide name tags. 

The McCloud River Preserve encompasses 2,330 acres surrounding this iconic mountain stream. Photo by author Steven T. Callan.

The McCloud River: Relief from the Dog Days of Summer

The McCloud River Preserve encompasses 2,330 acres surrounding this iconic mountain stream. Photo by author Steven T. Callan.

The McCloud River Preserve encompasses 2,330 acres surrounding this iconic mountain stream. All photos by author.

Nothing picks up my spirits like a walk along a mountain stream during these hundred-degree days. The McCloud River is as good as it gets.

I hope these photos from our recent hike through the McCloud River Preserve with the Shasta Land Trust will pick up your spirits during these dog days of summer.

Rock Creek, Feather River Canyon, California

A Tribute to Streams

Rock Creek, Feather River Canyon, California

The other day I came across a thirty-year-old photograph I had taken of my younger brother Matt. Matt was diving into Rock Creek, a tributary to the north fork of the Feather River, located about an hour southeast of Chico. Kathy and I had picked Matt up for a day of hiking in Northern California’s Feather River Canyon.

Photo of Wally Callan on Newville Hotel porch

Game Wardens and Ghost Towns

Photo of Wally Callan on Newville Hotel porchWhile working on a sequel to Badges, Bears, and Eagles, I recently returned to my old stomping grounds near Orland, California, and the ghost town of Newville. Located twenty-two miles west of Orland, Newville thrived from the early 1850s until 1929, when all but a few buildings burned to the ground. During its heyday, Newville boasted a general store, two livery stables, two saloons, a blacksmith shop, two hotels, a post office, and at least one service station. I mention the service station because as of this week, it remains the only building left standing.

Picture of Author Steven T. Callan planting trout for the California Department of Fish and Game

Fish Tales and Fond Memories

Picture of Author Steven T. Callan planting trout for the California Department of Fish and Game

Trout Planting Days

In 1966, as a high school graduate about to enter college, I was fortunate to find a summer job at the Mount Shasta Fish Hatchery—the oldest and probably the most beautiful operating fish hatchery in the western United States. The other seasonal aides and I found ourselves at the bottom of the proverbial food chain, so we spent most of the summer mucking fish waste out of the raceway ponds, cleaning fish troughs inside the hatchery buildings and loading fish planting trucks at six o’clock in the morning. Every Monday morning, I eagerly checked the weekly work schedule in hopes of being assigned to one of the trout planting details. Although I only planted trout once or twice that summer, I remember it as one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

What’s in Your Yard?

Pileated woodpecker photo by Keith JacksonMy wife and I are fortunate to live on a  patch of oak woodland in the foothills of Northern California.  Several years ago we decided to rid our yard of water-guzzling domestic fescue and replace it with gardens of drought tolerant native plants.  In doing so, you might say we put out the welcome mat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.  Documenting bird species that visit our yard has provided a special sense of pride and enjoyment.