Daily Rituals at Fair Oaks Bridge

Thursday May 25, 2017 7 am 57 degrees

Walking through Fair Oaks Village today, all the chickens are silent except for one.

One solo chicken hides in a tree on my way to the Fair Oaks Bridge. It calls every five seconds, over and over and over again. I hear its faint call from the bridge some 100 yards away.

Where is everyone?” “I am awake!”

Dense clouds float above my head. It is a chilly and windy morning. I have already seen half dozen cyclists and several walkers. A lone boater was in the water and more preparing to enter the river. The water is calm. Pigeons coo as they straddle the upper bridge frame. Parts of the bridge are covered in spider webs blown apart by winds.

Even after 20 minutes of standing on the bridge, I still hear the chickens calling and the music of  birds singing while hidden in nearby trees. Three ducks play in the water at the end of the boat ramp. I hear the distant honk of a single Canada Goose and see it fly under the bridge and continue its west facing flight. Pigeons are the only ones flying this morning. I watch a new family of Canada geese swim over to the riverbank, climb up and disappear into the shrubbery. The rocks are laid bare after the severe flooding washed away so many hiding places.

ducks, hygiane, morning, boat launch ramp, American River, MallardsFive ducks gather at end of the boat ramp, engaged in their daily cleaning rituals with hardly a sound from any of them. I hear a few soft quacks. It may too early in the morning to be rowdy and loud.

A tiny feather floats in the air to land softly on the water and drifts away. For the moment, the water is quiet and shimmers. Not a white cap or riffle anywhere in sight.

deer, Fair Oaks Bridge, American River,
Camera shy deer hiding behind a bush

As I prepare to leave, an Egret glides through the sky, flying east. I stop to watch and photograph a caterpillar slinking slowly across the street.

On the street leading from the bridge into the Village, I see a deer crossing the street to hide in the shrubbery, looking for breakfast. It stops to stare at me as its hides behind tall plants.