Sunday, September 25, 2016, 7 am, 55 degrees
This is a quiet Sunday morning when the neighborhood sleeps late. Roosters are awake. My first impressions when I approach the bridge is how bright it is so early in the day. I wonder how the shadows change as the sun moves through the sky? I will return to the bridge before sunset and find out.
Today instead of seeing scenic beauty first in the morning, I see remnants of a dozen burnt out sparklers and fountains saved from the fourth of July left in the center of the bridge.
Neighbors tell me it is a constant battle. Some cars drive by, stop and dump trash from inside their car on to the street. The Annual River Clean Up Day, led by the American River Parkway Foundation was only a week ago. Thousands of pounds of trash, ranging from furniture, old tires to garbage was removed from our rivers at clean up stations all the way into the foothills.
I get frustrated by such a lack of respect and remember many other times when I have cleaned up the leftovers from someone’s lunch and discarded empty boxes in picnic areas along the Parkway during bike rides. I wrap the trash in my denim jacket and throw it all in a trash can near the bridge entry.
I refocus my attention on the morning activity. Pigeons are in their usual places. Where are the little birds? I can hear them. They have not shown themselves yet. The little bird has returned to greet me, sitting on the bridge. I notice a picture painted high on the bridge frame and cannot identify what it is. It has always been there. Now I look there and wonder what is that meant to be?
I don’t have the patience of the fishermen to sit and wait. As I look over at the boats to see if anyone is catching anything, I see boats move through the river looking for a better position. A man stands beside me watching the boats. He has seen the fishermen catch a few salmon this morning. We watch one whose line is arching with the pressure of the fish pulling to get away. He catches the salmon in his net. This one escapes and swims away.
This fellow observer describes the day of the fishermen at the river, “They wait all day for a few moments of terror.”