Delayed gratification: Someone in the house Tivoed the CNN election night show. Since I was in a newsroom myself that evening, I never got to just sit and watch (and enjoy) what was going on. Tonight, I watched a little of it. It holds up better a week after the fact than most CNN newscasts.
First Xmas lights: On a walk through the neighborhood last night, I spotted what I thought were the first bona fide holiday lights of the season (I’m not counting Halloween displays that are still up — they’re holdovers from a different observance). The lights were near the top of a tall redwood about a half a mile from our place. When I got closer, and turned a corner, I could see the lifts spelled out “HOPE.” So now I’m not sure they were really holiday lights; or at least not from the holiday I was thinking of.
Large fish: Like many of my species, I’m fascinated by the doings of a fish known, in its Linnaean taxonomic parlance, as Oncorhynchus tschawytscha. That’s the chinook (or king) salmon. One reason I’m fascinated is the uphill battle they have for survival in California, where their most important natal rivers and streams have long been dammed and far beyond the reach of returning spawners. “Returning spawners” is a term that probably marks me as a little bit of a salmon geek, especially since I’ve never gone out to catch one myself. But anyway, I follow the news about them, which has been generally only OK in the best years and bad to dreadful in most years. The number of salmon returning to spawn in the important Sacramento River tributaries last fall was very low, and another poor season is anticipated this year.
Which is why this news — Monstrous Chinook salmon discovered in Battle Creek shallows — is sort of thrilling. Just when the species in near its nadir here, something magnificent happens. In the words of one of the Department of Fish and Game biologists who found the 51-inch fish, ““Hopefully this fish was entirely successful in passing on its superior genetic potential. This is one of the few bright spots this year for one of California’s great sport fish. …”