Thursday October 18, 2016, 80 degrees
As I arrive on my bike this afternoon, I notice the sun has flipped to the opposite side of the bridge this afternoon as the sun travels to the western sky. The river is quiet and weather is a warm 80 degrees – a warm day for fall. Resident ducks are enjoying a lazy day at the river. Birds are gone. After their morning flyover, I see birds spending their days gathered on the river scouting for food.
A gentle breeze carries the sound of rap music from visitors gathering on the riverbank to the east side of the bridge. This large open spot on the riverbank is among the most popular “hangouts” for groups to gather for parties on the river.
Years ago, when I first started visiting the Fair Oaks Bridge. Nearly every evening for months on end, I heard the beat of bongo drums from the riverbank.
Logs sitting against the north shore (where I enter the bridge) is home to a family of river otters. My daughter has watched them play in the river and search for food.
I continue my ride east and see the egret flying the distance and disappear. Still looking for my chance to photograph ducks or Canada Geese as they land. I smile each time I see them descend as they approach the water, straightening their legs, splash down and then water skiing with their webbed feet as they slow to a stop.
As I watch the wildlife from a picnic spot overlooking the river, ducks are splashing, playing and stretching their wings in the water. A salmon jumps out of the water two times in front of me and quickly splashes back down unseen. I wonder if the salmon jumps here to check its location?
Salmons are gifted with such a strong sense of smell, they can detect the scent of their home river from a single drop.
Dedicated fishermen stand in the river, hoping to catch roving salmon. All of them have their own favorite position and move around as needed. Others line the shore with their fishing lines cast.
It is a cloudless sky, except for the streams of white left by passing airplanes. As I watch, two salmon jump out of the water as they swim farther east toward the fish hatchery and the gates that will end their journey upriver. I watch dozens of seagulls waiting in the river. Everyone is anxious for the salmon to return home.