Wednesday September 28, 2016, 9 am
Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge or American River Parkway create a foundation to begin my day. I arrive late today, at 9 am. The Fair Oaks Village neighborhood is fully awake. My walks usually pass through quiet streets at 630 or 7am. Now they are filled with rushing cars. A pickup truck appears from a side street and sputters off. Roosters quiet, except for an occasional call to grab attention. They have emerged from the trees and walk the park looking for breakfast. A few early morning fishermen are still in their boats.
I enjoy learning the patterns of the morning – the fishermen are always first before dawn! Ducks emerge next. The pigeons arrive flying in their circle dance, then the smaller birds greet me from the top of the bridge. Geese sleep late and most of them arrive long after the ducks have already finished their morning grooming. Egrets keep themselves hidden. It is a gift to see one or two arrive later in the morning.
Why do pigeons settle on one side of the bridge? Is it warmer there?
Cyclists arrive at 630 wearing headlamps and continue crossing the bridge all day long. Some carrying backpacks commuting to work. Some dressed in cycling attire out for pleasure or training rides. The walkers come by 7 am. Walkers with dogs are always out for early morning walks.
By 9 am the wildlife of the American River are fully awake and busy with activities of the day. A few pigeons still sit on the bridge. The little bird flies to the top of the bridge to greet me this morning. A hawk flies overhead.
I walk the bridge on a hunt for new spider webs and find none. In this cloudless sky, the sun casts shadows on the bridge that cover only half its width. Today, as always, the bridge is a quiet refuge from the hustle of people and traffic and businesses less than a mile away. Ducks and Canada Geese spend many hours a day swimming, watching, grooming and quacking.