June 16, 2017 730 am, 80 degrees
One hundred cyclists pass me on the American River Parkway in groups of four to six all wearing cycling spandex with logos. Some casual riders pass without bicycle helmets.
Bridge is quiet and filled with spider webs and captured prey. Woodpeckers are flying through the dead tree, looking for breakfast. My first stop after crossing the bike bridge is the boat launch ramp and then Fair Oaks Bridge. Today another scorching day of least 100 degrees, so early morning is the best time to be outside.
Most of the Canada Geese (all 70 of them) wander their early morning hours at the rocky shore alongside Jim’s Bridge – the cycling/pedestrian bridge completely submerged during winter flooding. They scavenge the rocks for food and later enter the water for a leisurely swim.
Geese climb the boat ramp and beyond into the dirt searching for breakfast. Mallards fly in from the opposite shore. I watch a group of four of them glide into the water straightening their legs and using them as water skis to quickly come to a stop. I watch the action and miss the photos.
Standing close to the water, I watch the Canada Geese and ducks and can see their feet paddling along under the water. I see all of them bobbing up and down in the water as they go. Their heads move forward and back. The once tiny goslings are big now. Their characteristic black stripe is darkening on their necks.
As I stand on the boat ramp, four of the ducks are engaged in morning cleaning rituals. Three others are sleeping with their head tucked under their wing. In the distance I hear one lonely chicken call.