Warning: if you wear glasses, you'll sure need them for this post. The pictures are from my cell phone.
My parents live on a 20 acre farm in Sutter County, California. The farm is situated near the base of the Sutter Buttes, reportedly the smallest mountain range in the world - at least that's our claim to fame. Winter (well, we don't really have one) and spring, they are green and lush. In summer, they turn brown, or golden as my daughter says, due to our lack of rain. This year, we had an unusually late spring. A couple of weeks ago, I went out to visit the folks, and got these pictures on my cell phone. Sorry for the poor quality!
Originally, the Maidu Indians called the Buttes Histum Yani. Follow this link - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23786 for more information - and better pictures.
When I was growing up, we were told that the stone fences in the Buttes were built by Chinese laborers, but archiologist, historians, and experts in Chinese fence building dispute that fact. The fences were actually built by day laborers, possibly miners looking for work during the winter months when the Sierras were snowed in.
You can't really tell from the above pictures, but the Buttes are covered with hardy oak trees, which were heavily timbered in the mid to late 19th century. Intensive ranching didn't help, either. Seems they're now making a comeback.
One cool historical fact: John C. Fremont actually camped for a few days somewhere in the Mexican-owned Buttes a couple of years prior the US takeover of California. http://www.militarymuseum.org/fremont.html As kids, we used to bike out to a monument commemorating his visit.
For me, the Buttes are home.