Favorite season

Chico’s beautiful right now, so make sure to enjoy it

My family took a long walk downtown and on the Chico State campus the weekend before last. We didn't plan to do that when we left the house and headed to the Saturday farmers' market. But the weather was just about perfect—brisk but sunny—and because it's dark when we leave work in the evening, we'd been longing to spend time outdoors.

We parked our car across the street from the market, in CN&R's private lot, adjacent to Cal Water's property at Third and Orient. That park-like parcel is home to many trees, including a gorgeous species (I wish I knew what it is) with iridescent orange leaves. Seeing them glow in the morning light hooked us. We decided to get our veggies, drop them at the car and then continue our stroll.

When I think about my favorite season, it's usually a toss-up between fall and spring. This year, though, I'm all about fall. Chico is aglow right now in reds, oranges and yellows. It's as though the trees are giving us one last spectacular show to get us through the bleakness of winter. And if there's one place in town where that show is the brightest, it's The Esplanade.

If you haven't driven down that thoroughfare lately, you're missing a postcard-worthy display of color. Do it before the rains come in earnest and wash it all away. Better yet, instead of driving, take a walk. It will remind you why you love living here.

We didn't have our newly adopted German shepherd mix with us on our impromptu walk, which is unusual considering Monroe's gone most places with us since we took him in back in early October. Less than two months later, he is a full-fledged member of the Daugherty pack. I love this dog and do not for a second regret choosing to rescue rather than buy a pedigreed pup, as I'd originally intended.

And this past weekend, we got to aid the rescue that took Monroe in—the Greater California German Shepherd Rescue—by helping the nonprofit vet a person interested in adopting a dog. The organization relies on volunteers to do “home visits” to make sure potential adopters are able to provide a safe and secure environment. It was a relief that the woman we met appeared to be a model adopter—retired and willing to dedicate the time and resources to take in and properly train a dog. Her property in the foothills was idyllic—several fenced-in acres where two other dogs happily reside.

It felt good to give back to an organization that does so much for this wonderful breed of dog.

Speaking of giving, special thanks go out to all of the folks who've donated items to our drive for toiletries for local nonprofits that help the needy. We have a nice stockpile started, with all sorts of products—floss, toothbrushes, soap, lotion, etc. Those little hotel soaps you'll never use are greatly appreciated by these worthy organizations. I feel thankful for a lot of things in my life this time of year, and that includes this paper's generous readers. Happy Thanksgiving.