Sunday, November 26, 2017, 7 am 58 degrees
Mist on the river slowly rolls over the still water as I stand and watch.
The soft orange glow of morning sun reflects through dense clouds. The colors appear only for a few moments, then muted and fade to gray in the company of heavy clouds. Fifteen minutes later, I look again to see a fiery orange strip peeking behind trees in the east.
Only three birds overhead are awake this early. Not a gull or a duck have come into view yet. One lone chicken calls “good morning.” Suddenly dozens of birds in groups of six, nine and twelve soar through the foggy sky and disappear. One seagull patrols the boat launch ramp looking for salmon to nibble on. The turkey vultures, the seagulls and the Canada Geese are all flying west away from salmon spawning habitat. Is the salmon run over so soon?
Everyone has their role and place at the river. Those that don’t belong are quickly told off with a series of loud quacks and chased away.
I approach the boat launch ramp and discover air filled with the scent of dead salmon. Seagulls sit in the water calling to anyone who will listen. Two dead salmon float in the river at the end of the boat ramp. Ducks ignore this treat and paddle over their bodies. A male and female duck swim together and bob their heads in unison as they paddle through the river.