Posted: May 29, 2012 7:37 PM by Pat Shingleton
I recently watched some re-runs of the television western, The Big Valley. The show focuses on the Barkley family and their multitude of business interests, including: ranching, mining and agriculture. Ed Darack's article in "weatherscapes" showcased California's Great Central Valley that defines much of the state's interior. The Great Central Valley stretches 400 miles in length with an average width of 45 miles with the Sacramento Valley to the north and the San Joaquin Valley to the south. This area replicates a Mediterranean climate and harvests billions of dollars of crops each year. Massive dam projects on the slope of the Sierra Nevada and Coastal Ranges compliment an intricate irrigation system. A natural grass, Tule, is accompanied by Tule fog that repeatedly reduces visibilities in the region.