Tag Archives: Sherman Island

WestDeltaGirl’s Art and Photography

12 May
Spring Bouquet  ©2013 afroditi katsikis

Spring Bouquet ©2013 afroditi katsikis

I’ve always been fascinated with birds and now that I live in the Sacramento / San Joaquin Delta, I finally became a birder. The winged visitors and permanent residents of the west delta are my inspiration!

Even though I earned a BFA in Photography at ASU studying with Jack Stuler, Eric Kronengold and Bill Jay; and studied with Les Krimms and Paul Diamond at State University College NY at Buffalo, my career path abruptly changed course and I pursued a career as a litigation paralegal with very little time to live my life or take many photographs.

I have always had a camera but haven’t always used it due to time constraints and in fact had not used digital until 2006 when a friend gave me a Lumix digital camera. Don’t know why I waited so long to convert to digital – but I’m still not ready to give up my Nikon F3! My life changed drastically after a car accident that didn’t seriously injure me but it woke me up to what I was letting pass me by and I started photographing Sherman Island.

Spring in the Delta ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Spring in the Delta ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Shortly after that, I became unemployed and had more time for photography here in the west delta. The Sacramento River Delta is a major stopover and destination for migrating birds, ducks and geese. It is not far from Sacramento or San Francisco yet isolated enough to be considered country living.

Egret flying over the river ©2008 afroditi katsikis

Egret flying over the river ©2008 afroditi katsikis

My first intimate knowledge of the delta was as a windsurfer during spring and summer months. After purchasing my home and spending the first winter here I came to appreciate its beauty year round. To the casual observer, it may appear as though the seasons do not change very much here, but the birds know and keep coming back when it’s their time to be here.

Winter on the Sacramento River ©2008As I got more involved in environmental issues plaguing our environment I began modifying photographs in order to express my fears of the future. These heavily photoshopped images are on my Fine Art America gallery: Altered Landscapes And Riverscapes. I feel as an artist/photographer I could help create some awareness about the problems plaguing earth, our home: air pollution, GMO agriculture, fracking and climate change.

View from Sherman Island ©2011 afroditi katsikis

View from Sherman Island ©2011 afroditi katsikis

Artists create art for many reasons and they have, throughout the ages expressed their concerns through their art by sharing the beauty of our planet, expressing their feelings about politics and current events. Writers write about they see and feel, while artists show their feelings and views through their art.

I hope you enjoy my photographs because I sure do enjoy making them.

CLICK HERE to visit My facebook page:  WestDeltaGirl
CLICK HERE to visit My Photo Gallery

Smoldering fire on the Sacramento River Levee

16 Nov
Break in the Storm © 2011 afroditi katsikis

‘Break in the Storm’  Sacramento River view from Sherman Island © 2011 afroditi katsikis

Smoldering fire on Sherman Island levee of the Sacramento River © 2013 afroditi katsikisAfter returning from an appointment I had today, I decided to take my dogs for a walk along the Sacramento River levee and saw a smoldering fire on the levee, unattended, at a place windsurfers call ‘The Sign’! Pissed me off so I took a photo with my phone and called the Rio Vista Fire Dept! I told them it was not an emergency and that I could put it out myself but they said it was their job to do it so they were there in about 15 minutes. The fire department is about 10 miles away.

This is not the first time I’ve come upon an unattended fire on the levee. The first time it happened was shortly after I moved here. I was on my way home late in the evening and saw flames on the levee at a popular fishing spot along the Sacramento River. The wind was blowing from the north which meant the smoke and embers were headed towards the island – not towards the river so I could not ignore this fire. I would never ignore a fire especially an unattended one!

I grabbed my dog’s water bowl from my van but knew it was not going to be enough water in it to put out the fire. Luckily my small folding shovel that I took on camping trips was still in the van. I was able to find enough loose sand and dirt to put out the flames but it was still smoldering. I was hoping if I sprinkled the water from the bowl it might be enough to put out the fire. It wasn’t.

The next thing I did was make my way down to the water’s edge about 12-15 feet down over rip-rap, tree logs and  small shrubs with the empty water bowl. Did this a couple more times before I had put enough water on the fire. When I was satisfied it was out, I  used the shovel to stir it up and spread it out to be assured it would not re-ignite.

I am disgusted by the fishermen who fish from the levees, leave lots of tangled fishing line, fishhooks, and tackle behind because they are much to lazy to pick it up and take it home with them. They start fires and leave their trash behind – beer and soda cans, plastic water bottles, fast food containers, and dirty diapers too!

Over the next few days I plan on documenting all the fishing spots along a 6 mile stretch of the levee on Sherman Island along the Sacramento River. I plan on taking photos of all the litter and places where there have been open fires.

Above photo may be purchased here.

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