Rain Softens the Landscape

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7 am   56 degrees

Despite the gentle rain, Fair Oaks chickens are on patrol again this morning.

When I first arrive, the rain feels more like a drizzle – drops sprinkle here and there in no special pattern. The air is fairly warm and the rain is a refreshing morning wake up. Even in rain, this bridge is a peaceful place to escape and watch the river move down in a smooth, elegance. The ripples, the shallow places in the river, change as the raindrops fall more evenly and increase in number.soft landscapes, morning, rain, Fair Oaks Bridge, American River, Fair Oaks, nature, outdoor writing,

A few people pass by. Raindrops are marking the bridge deck with huge spots. Water drips down in tiny streams from the Truss structure and the side rails.

Some people think rain makes for a dark and gloomy day. I see landscapes that are fresh, crisp, clean and bright.

Soft, consistent drumming is the heartbeat of rain. The sound of rain is a gentle lullaby. The mist softens the edges of the landscape and the trees. Through the mist, they resemble mirror images of themselves.

So much to observe and listen to out in the rain for those who choose to take the time – those who appreciate the gifts of our outdoor world.

Leaves change color from green to red, orange and gold. Yet, trees along the American River are always green and gold. I watch leaves gently fall into the river and see many others lining the bridge deck. I believe the sound when leaves hit the ground is so gentle, it is overrun by the drumming of the rain.

An Egret scavenges the riverbank. Finding nothing of interest, it flies away. A seagull flies in and I stand to watch its snowy white wings fly gracefully over the bridge.

Ducks flap wildly to rise and fly away. They leave a wake behind them, accentuated by the patterns of raindrops falling into the river. Rain increases and ducks of the river ignore the event as if there was no rain at all.

Puddles form in low spots of the bridge deck. More seagulls arrive, flying through the center of the river channel, flying in the opposite direction of ribbons of water flowing downstream created by the rain.

ducks, water, American River, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, rainOn this particular morning, the river belongs to those few waterfowl that call this place home. I am a guest who finds a sense of joy when I overhear their squabbles, their calls and their complaints.



Cloud Candy in the Sky

February 2019

So many cloud formations grace the sky. Photos taken over several days in mid February.

I see ribbon candy and finely woven blankets in the sky. Other cloud formations create stunning backdrops for sunrises and beautiful days to enjoy the beauty of the American River.


Sense of Place

Every “place” has distinctive characteristics that set it apart from somewhere else. A sense of place is character, setting, mood, people, landscape and senses. Uniformity and sameness is “absent” when defining sense of place.

Listed below is a set of questions to help define a sense of place in a neighborhood, park, historic site, national or state park, or a one-of-a-kind restaurant. A bakery located on a main street with traffic buzzing by will offer a sense of place far different from the bakery nestled in a quiet neighborhood, known only to residents and friends.

  • Who are the people who have lived in this place? (today and many yesterdays)
  • What are the sounds of this place?
  • What are the smells?
  • What are the activities?
  • What is the weather? (today and through time)
  • What are the unique characteristics about this place that sets it apart from another places?
  • What is the landscape of this location?

Spend an hour to reflect, write, and reel in your senses to define a unique sense of place.