Thursday, February 1, 2018 740 am 46 degrees
This morning I sit and wonder why does that happen?
I have watched wildlife morning wake up rituals, morning cloud formations and brilliantly colored sunrises for nearly 18 months at Fair Oaks Bridge. This morning I sit with questions and no answers. As soon as I think of one question, that leads me to wonder about something else.
Dense clouds overhead remind me of a tightly woven basket, a fan or bubbles forming in the sky. As the sun emerges behind a blanket of clouds farther east, the clouds seem to magnify its yellow brilliance.
Looking at clouds always leads me to wonder how they can become so many shapes and change so quickly.
I imagine the wind moving clouds and stretching them until all that is left are faint wisps or fantastic creatures that walk across the sky. I imagine the wind pushes clouds together, so they are more dense, dark and filled with rain. I wonder if winds are different from one place to another, does that make the clouds different too? Are two clouds ever the same? How can we ever find out?
I wonder why Buffleheads dive for food in the center of the river channel? Is the deep center the best place to find breakfast? How deep do they dive? What treats do they find? Buffleheads swim calmly up and down the center of the river, diving in one spot and reappearing a dozen feet or more away.
I see the graceful flight of an Egret and wonder how many miles it travels and how many places does it stop in a day? Where does it sleep? Why does it stand far away from ducks, seagulls and especially the Great Blue Heron? I see a pair of Egrets fly over and wonder why they always fly low and close the water?
Why do pigeons circle Fair Oaks Bridge six, eight or a dozen times before settling on the bridge to rest. I imagine this to be their morning “warm up” exercise. They are warm-blooded and I imagine their rapid flights keep them warm to sustain their body temperature. The history of these humble birds dates back thousands of years.
When Canada Geese honk as they fly are they giving directions? I know the honking unifies the flock and actually helps them fly faster and farther.
My last question of the morning is wondering, where is the rain?
Last year at this time, our rivers were raging torrents. Jim’s Bridge (for bikes and pedestrians) was submerged under six feet or more of water. The fence on one side twisted and broke off during the storms. I stood on Fair Oaks Bridge a year ago today and watched the water underneath it swirl and churn. I was dizzy watching. The riverbanks, the boat ramp, the parking lot and the bike trail even further back, were all submerged under several feet of water.
I saw people lined up on Fair Oaks Bridge to take pictures of the wild river…Who has returned to see the river at peace? Was it just the drama of a raging river that attracted so many people to snap photos using their mobile phones?