Morning Rituals of Fall

Friday, September 22, 2017            635 am   55 degrees

Not a single chicken in sight when drive into Fair Oaks Village. Yet the morning symphony is as loud and as long as ever.

morning, rituals, Fair Oaks, chickens, Fair Oaks Bridge

The songs of Fair Oaks Chickens are my favorite way to start the day – far better than a wake me up beverage!

Today is a cool morning! It is only 55 degrees. I wonder if the cool temperatures wake them earlier and inspire them to begin calling each other.

The brutal 100-degree days of summer are behind us. What a change from two weeks ago when morning temperature had not dropped below 72 degrees at 630 am. I wear a light jacket and jeans. For the first time, my hands feel chilled in the moist morning air.

Loosely scattered clouds define this morning’s sunrise. I missed yesterday’s fiery orange sunrise behind a dense cloud cover and hoped for a repeat. Not today. I watched yesterday’s sunrise from afar as the brilliant yellow ball emerged from the clouds a full 45 minutes after the first glow rose from the horizon.

Fair Oaks Bridge is one of few places where I can find joy when my days are filled with too much drama. I always hope others can find peace in sharing these morning walks on the bridge and the river’s edge.

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Rare Vibrant Sunrise!

September 29, 2017   60 degrees, 630 am

I look west from my front door and WOW! A rare sunrise glowing orange through clouds at 620 am.

sunrise, mornings, Fair Oaks Bridge, fishermen walkers,
Rare sunrise colors the sky with orange, purple and pink long before the sun emerges. Clouds hang like woven baskets in the sky. This sunrise lasted 45 minutes before colors faded to shades of whites and grays.

I leave the house quickly and drive toward the sunrise. The dark sky is a blanket of deep gray clouds and shades of orange. I hurry to the Fair Oaks Bridge to catch the sunrise and hear the lone chicken singing from its tree on Bridge Street.

Village chickens greet me with a rousing symphony this morning. So many awake and singing early.

I shoot a dozen pictures to capture the changing light as the sky brightens. I stand and watch the sky change as the sun slowly rises over distant trees. The clouds turn to gray and then white as vibrant colors shift and fade. Two women cross the bridge quietly holding flashlights. Then I am alone to treasure the colors of morning light with the fisherman below. Three boats sit on the east side and two on the west. The sun I still rising and hidden by long blankets of heavy, dense clouds

fishermen, Fair Oaks Bridge, sunrise, morning, walk,
Looking south from the Fair Oaks Village side of the bridge.

I see an Egret at the end of the boat launch ramp searching for breakfast. In minutes, it flies away. A duck quacks. I see no evidence of wildlife. I hear the chortle of the Great Blue Heron out on the river that I cannot see in the gray light. Its deep blue-gray wings  blend in with the gray morning light.

As dawn turns into daylight, the pigeons fly in to take their places. The tiny bird arrives as the sun rises over the trees – a cool breeze blows on my face. The little sings “Ti Too. Ti, Too,” as it enjoys a panoramic view.

Standing in awe of the sunrise, I see and hear a splash. A proud fisherman catches a salmon. I see it thrashing wildly in the net.

At dawn two groups of Canada Geese fly over high in the sky for a long flight. A chilly morning. I see no other walkers or cyclists. Where is everyone? My hands are chilled. A runner comes by and several bundled cyclists. It is now nearly 730 when people begin to arrive at Fair Oaks Bridge. I see a group of 20 cyclists riding together with matching cycling outfits ride across the bridge. They have come many times before.

fishermen, boat, Fair Oaks Bridge, water, morning, salmon
Preparing to leave the American River with freshly caught salmon

I walk to the boat launch ramp and watch a fisherman fillet his freshly caught salmon standing at the riverbank alongside his boat. When finished, he wraps it up and leaves the dock to get his truck.

The river is as calm as it can be and remains in shadow.. When I return to my car, the chickens have come out of their trees and play an encore to their morning symphony.