Moments of Peace

Wednesday, January 31, 2018   56 degrees, 11 am

Today’s temperature warmed up quickly considering that it was 38 degrees at 7 am. I wonder why the morning is so warm?

This is the quiet season on the American River. January days at Fair Oaks Bridge have alternated between dense fog, rain and bright sunshine. No telling what the day will look like until dawn. I have noticed on some evenings the clouds that gathered at night are blown away by morning – or the other way around.

seagull, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, mornings, American River, boat launch rampI walk to the boat launch ramp and watch a seagull standing still atop a rock just beneath the water. Another one stands at the end of the ramp. Both stare intently at me.

After several minutes of quiet contemplation, both seagulls decide to investigate another part of the river. They leave without making a sound.

A group of six Bufflehead dive in the center of the river ignoring everything else. Buffleheads skim the top of the water when they take flight, leaving a large wake behind them. Their wings flap so quickly, they remind me of hummingbirds. All I can see a blur of flapping wings crossing the river.

A dozen pigeons arrive. They circle the bridge a dozen times before separating. Only a few remain to settle on Fair Oaks Bridge. I watch them from a distance walking on the top of the Truss framework as if it were a flat sidewalk.

Such a peaceful day, it is hard to imagine this was a raging river one year ago today. The boat ramp was invisible under five feet or more of water. So many waterfowl moved to shallow waters, where they could find food and safer shelter. The riverbank homes were washed out.