Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge
Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge – Introduction
This segment describes what you will hear in the series of 12 podcasts. Each one describes Janice’s early morning experiences and settings, beginning in September 2016 continuing through February 2018.
Coming of Fall
As the season changes to fall, fishermen arrive at the American River at dawn to catch salmon as they swim and search for the best place to spawn. Always a good time to visit the river’s resident ducks. They are always hungry.
Gulls gather on the river in groups of a hundred or more to wait for salmon to swim upstream, spawn and die. Turkey vultures and salmon both guard their catch.
Fair Oaks Bluffs Reflections
Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 7 am
Roosters 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.
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
Wildlife Returns to the River
The American River is quiet once again after one of the wettest winters in 20 years. What wildlife will return to the river this spring?
Bobbin’ for Breakfast
Lots of activities at the river: cyclists, walkers, new goslings, ducks fly in and search for breakfast. Canada Geese bob for breakfast.
A beautiful and quiet time of year anticipating the soon arrival of salmon. Mallards walk the boat ramp continuing to search for food. Water reflections mirror the Fair Oaks Bluff.
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.
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.
Usually 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