Morning Echoes

Friday, January 11, 2019   710 am, 50 degrees

I rush to Fair Oaks Bridge this morning expecting to see it covered in fog. No hint of fog and very little mist on the water. Instead I enjoy a pale yellow sunrise masked behind dense strips of white clouds. morning, sunrise, Fair Oaks Bridge, American River, water, nature, outdoors, observation, writing, nature journal, beauty, peace

Minutes after I arrive on the bridge, a crowd of cyclists rumble past me riding from the bicycle trail on the American River Parkway on their way to Fair Oaks Village. A few walkers pass by enjoying the cool morning. Birds twitter unseen in the distance.

I hear the sounds of Canada Geese honking far off in the distance east of the bridge. What sounds like the whistle of a train echoes immediately west of Fair Oaks Bridge. Intervals between the “call and response” echo of the geese and the train get shorter and shorter, until they are both honking and blowing very loudly at the same time. Two geese finally arrive and continue honking as they fly over the bridge.

A gentle wind blows against my face. I expected the air to be far colder, dressing in leggings, jeans, sweater, jacket and gloves. Instead the air feels warm. The sun slowly emerges from behind heavily blanketed cloud cover to reveal a glowing yellow fiery ball of light. The train whistle continues and the Canada Geese keep up their honking as they swim across the river channel. What a noisy morning!  I always wonder what are these geese saying to each other?

A few more walkers pass. Another lone cyclist rides on. I walk to the boat launch ramp to get a closer look at the wildlife. All is quiet here. Three ducks walk up the boat launch ramp. I have no food to serve them.. The same noisy pair of Canada Geese swam over to dunk for breakfast.

Diving ducks swim calmly in the center of the American River. Now you see them. Now you don’t. When you do see them again, they have surfaced somewhere else.

 

 

 

 

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.