Fair Oaks Bluffs Reflections

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 7 am

Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks chicken, chicken, Fair Oaks Village, roosters, morning, Fair Oaks bridgeRoosters are still calling “good morning” still hidden for the night in trees and shrubs. Some are very early risers and wander about in the street. fo-ckn2

A cloudless sky. I arrive at 7 am wearing a T-shirt and shorts and put down my backpack. A lone kayaker approaches boat dock after an early morning row. One lone boat – 2 men – casting their fishing rods. I see the same woman jogging today. I wonder how many people I will see that come here as walkers, joggers or dog walkers every day? The bridge is quiet so far, with few cyclists or walkers.Read more

Waiting for Salmon

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:15 am

By the time I arrive at Fair Oaks Bridge at 7:15 am, the sun has already risen high above the trees, glowing yellow and hot in a cloudless sky.  The bridge is already filled with sunlight.Fair Oaks Bridge, shadows, American River, American River parkway, water, sunlight

Morning walkers pass by. We exchange good mornings and smiles. Garage doors lift and shut as residents of the village drive on to the street and away to begin their workday.

A young boy alongside in a boat struggles with his fishing pole sitting in one of the boats alongside two men who are also fishing. The boy gives up, tosses the pole and begins to explore the boat, walking back and forth, checking its bottom for something interesting to examine

Five boats filled with fisherman cast their lines into the cloudy green water. The boats sit at some distance apart on the east side of the bridge. Thousands of salmon will be arriving  soon, jumping randomly out the water. They have not yet arrived from their long journey from the Pacific, through the Delta sloughs, up the Sacramento River and into the American River. Many will end their journey near the Fair Oaks Bridge.Read more

Coming of Fall

   Friday, September 23, 2016, 7 am, 53 degrees

I finally acknowledge the passing of summer’s long, warm days when the cool mornings of October arrive.  With sunlight and bike rides along the American River that last until 9 pm. Dew covers my car windshield in the morning now. The air is chilled at 645 am. My first Sunday morning on Fair Oaks Bridge, I wore shorts and a t-shirt, warmed quickly by the sun. Today, Friday I wear my denim jacket and slip on a pair of jeans. Yesterday’s morning temperature was 55. Today it is 53. As days grow shorter, and fall blends into winter, morning temperatures will drop further to 45 and then 35 and sometimes the high 20s. I will enjoy these mornings on the bridge before the chill of morning gives me a reason to stay longer at home.

rooster, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Village, morning, crow, walk, American RiverUsually I wake gently as I walk to the bridge, listening to the morning symphony of roosters. Today my morning explodes with deafening sound as I walk down the street as a motorcycle with his radio turned up comes up from behind. I am jarred awake. My morning “fog” instantly evaporates.

Determined fisherman sit in their boats waiting. I have no idea when they arrive. Each morning they are already here. They must come before dawn to catch the salmon as they rise for breakfast. I notice the moon in the sky. During my first Sunday, the moon was full. Today, hardly a week later, the moon is now half visible.Read more

Some Bridge Visitors Show No Respect

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 7 am, 55 degrees

This is a quiet Sunday morning when the neighborhood sleeps late. Roosters are awake. My first impressions when I approach the bridge is how bright it is so early in the day. I wonder how the shadows change as the sun moves through the sky? I will return to the bridge before sunset and find out.

Today instead of seeing scenic beauty first in the morning, I see remnants of a dozen burnt out sparklers and fountains saved from the fourth of July left in the center of the bridge.

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So Many Ways to Enjoy the Outdoor World

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

So many ways to celebrate and enjoy the outdoors at the American River on any day.

San Juan Rapids, Rossmoor Bar, American River, American River Parkway, water, river, cyclist, trail,
Sitting on rocks at the river’s edge

Today’s post highlights my morning bike ride on the American River Parkway. I call this site “my peaceful spot”  because it is one of many favorite stops to enjoy the view, watch the San  Juan Rapids and get my feet wet.

A dozen squirrels leap across the bike path searching for acorns to store for the winter. One clings to the trees beside my bike. It stops to stare, holding the acorn in its mouth and decides to run off and disappear from view. Squirrels are amazing creatures to watch. They crawl, leap, and stop to chew when they think no one is watching. Then off they go again climbing up the next tree.Read more

A Foundation to Begin the Day

Wednesday September 28, 2016, 9 am

Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge or American River Parkway create a foundation to begin my day. I arrive late today, at 9 am. The Fair Oaks Village neighborhood is fully awake. My walks usually pass through quiet streets at 630 or 7am.  Now they are filled with rushing cars. A pickup truck appears from a side street and sputters off. Roosters quiet, except for an occasional call to grab attention. They have emerged from the trees and walk the park looking for breakfast. A few early morning fishermen are still in their boats.

American River, Fair Oaks Bridge, American River Parkway, pigeons, flying, dance, morningI enjoy learning the patterns of the morning – the fishermen are always first before dawn! Ducks emerge next. The pigeons arrive flying in their circle dance, then the smaller birds greet me from the top of the bridge. Geese sleep late and most of them arrive long after the ducks have already finished their morning grooming. Egrets keep themselves hidden. It is a gift to see one or two arrive later in the morning.

Why do pigeons settle on one side of the bridge? Is it warmer there?

Cyclists arrive at 630 wearing headlamps and continue crossing the bridge all day long. Some carrying backpacks commuting to work. Some dressed in cycling attire out for pleasure or training rides. The walkers come by 7 am. Walkers with dogs are always out for early morning walks.Read more

Graceful Flights and Duck Fights

     Thursday, September 29, 2016, 6:45 am, 55 degrees

I arrive greeted by a chorus of roosters singing together all from distant trees. They were all waking at the same time and answering all at once. Cooler today. 55 degrees. I wear my denim jacket to keep the chill off my arms.

American River, sunrise, fisherman, salmon, fishing, sunriseMorning sky is awash with scattered clouds. The pale pink of sunrise is emerging over distant trees. Two boats sit in the water. Fishermen cast their lines and wait. Many of the same walkers come by every morning. I recognize some of them. Two women with hats and one of them wears a warm woolen cape.

A flock of 30 pigeons circles a dozen times around the bridge. They are so close I can hear the flapping of their wings. I wonder if they warm  their bodies by flying so fast? After many flyovers, they settle on the bridge to sleep with their heads tucked under their wing.

The sun rises above the trees with a deep orange glow that expands slowly across the sky.Read more

In Search of Food

Saturday, October 1, 2016, 8:50 am, 57 degrees

As I drive through the Village, residents are walking about holding steaming cups of coffee and warm their hands. Where are the people? Morning walkers? cyclists? I walk slowly down to the bridge. A few roosters greet me. Their wake up calls are long over.

spiderweb-2w-spider, Fair Oaks Bridge, American River, water, morningI arrive and do my regular check for new spider webs and spiders. Where are the spiders? So many webs cover the bridge frame and the spiders have left. I keep looking. Maybe the temperatures are too cool for them? I have walked the bridge many times in summer and seen a dozen spiders doing their daily work.

Cyclists in matching attire rumble past me. Always in a hurry, speeding by as fast as they can ride. The only words ever spoken are “on your left” or “bikes up.” The bridge always shakes when cylists pass by. Even a heavy runner causes the bridge to vibrate. Pairs of walkers engaged in deep conversation pass by not even looking to either side of the bridge.Read more

Great Day for a Leisurely Swim or Dip!

  Monday, October 3, 2016, 6 pm, 70 degrees

The sky is covered with what looks like strips of pale blue and white cotton candy. At 6 pm, no sun to be found. The air feels cool and I wear my zip up hooded sweatshirt.

No birds are out. A few ducks are out for a leisurely swim. I hear splashes in the water and look to the sound and see rings of concentric circles. Must have been a salmon jumped out and dove back in quickly. Since my last visit I see that rain has fallen on the bridge. The intricate networks of spider webs and flytraps are washed clean away off the bridge upright and cross beams. Not a trace is left. The air is heavy with the scent of moist dirt, yet clean and refreshed by gentle rain.

ducks, swim, swimming, American River, Fair Oaks BridgeTwo boats and a kayak sit in the water. A few cyclists pass and some walkers out for a evening stretch before sunset. I walk to the boat launch ramp and the ducks see me coming. Today I have no bread to throw.

A dozen ducks gather and walk up the ramp and wait. They look at me impatiently as if to say, “Where is the food?”

After a few minutes when they realize no food is coming, they all retreat back into the water. In minutes some have disappeared to hiding places on either side of the ramp. The dabblers decide to find food on their own.Read more

Chilly Mornings, Shorter Days and Beautiful Sunrises

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 635 am

Fair Oaks Bridge, American River, water, sunrise, morning, colors, pinkClouds that blanketed the sky last night are gone. A few scattered brush strokes of color hang in the sky glowing with morning light as the sun rises behind them.

I left home at 635 and see brightness to the west just now rising over neighboring trees. Streets are dark. My car windshield is covered with drops from misty air. I wear my hooded sweatshirt again this morning, long pants and warm socks. This morning’s temperature is 51 degrees. I drive with headlights into the Village. In the 10 minutes it takes me to reach the bridge, the sky is bright and daylight fills the sky. All traces of night have vanished.Read more