Personal Stuff

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.