In the Moment of Morning

Sunday, August 27, 2017   615 am

Who is Paying Attention and Who is Passing Through?
sunrise, morning, cross, attention, observation, Fair Oaks Bridge
Being in the moment of sunrise or passing through?

Seeing so many walkers and cyclists cross the bridge everyday, I find myself wondering why so few people ever stop to see the activity happening on the bridge. I have seen a lot of sleepy walkers cross the bridge. Very few people ever stop to watch activity from the bridge in the morning. Afternoon visitors are far more like to wander, watch and stop, if at all.

I believe the act of walking or cycling is far more interesting if it includes paying attention to what is happening where you are. When crossing the bridge, I wonder who is making a choice to “be where you are” or “be diverted with conversation or random thoughts until you are where you are going?”

Cyclists arrive by 630 am on any given day. Most of them race by at top speed as if this were their personal raceway, inattentive that anyone else uses the bridge. They look straight ahead, neither to the left or the right.Appears they are also focused on passing through – that the destination or a resting spot when they can ride no further is the only place where they will notice?

 

The Wonder of Clouds

Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017  9 am

As I gaze into the sky today standing on the bridge, I wonder about the clouds, their constant motion and beautiful palettes of color. Clouds continue to fascinate me. How exactly do they move and change shape?

Are clouds held in the sky by currents of air in the same way an airplane flies?

clouds, Fair Oaks Bridge, Fair Oaks, morning, American River, sky, nimbus, cumulus, stratusWhat is the air temperature inside a cloud? I have often heard, “Cloudy skies today, so our air temperature is low.” Or, “The clouds held in the heat overnight to keep away the frost.” Are clouds one of nature’s mysteries?

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In person, those hints of color at the center reflected the full spectrum of light.

I stand in awe at how the shape and density of clouds create the brilliant colored lights and shadows of sunrise. The golden glows of deep orange, and varying shades of pinks and grays filter the sunlight. I have seen long strips of clouds and barely visible wisps. They look like unraveled skeins of yarn, finely woven baskets, and rounded puffs reminding me of spun cotton or cotton candy.

Each cloud formation changes every minute. Everyday brings a new landscape and new shapes in the sky. We see rainbows after a rain storm. We can find animals, dragons, giants and scenes playing in the sky.

Each cloud formation changes every minute. Everyday brings a new landscape and new shapes in the sky. We see rainbows after a rain storm. and can find animals, dragons, giants and scenes featured in the sky. What about the days when there are no clouds in the morning and by evening the sky is covered by a heavy blanket of white?

 How do we know if clouds move as the earth moves, stay in one place or move on their own at the mercy of the winds?

clouds
Early moments of sunrise on Fair Oaks Bridge

Yesterday morning the ground was covered in mist. The sun never shined through the clouds until the evening. The sunset was a single strip of pink lasting five minutes and then faded into gray. Besides learning their different names – cumulus, nimbus, stratus – to describe a cloud’s characteristic shape, moisture content and elevation, what else can we learn about them?

 

 

One Crazy Chicken and more…

Have you ever seen a chicken that looks like this one?

mornings, chicken, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Village, Fair Oaks Bridge, nature, outdoor, walks

I found this one scratching at the dirt looking for breakfast during one of my morning walks to Fair Oaks Bridge.

Three days later. . .

I returned to Fair Oaks Bridge and saw a river otter enjoying a morning swim. river otter, American River, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, water, swim, mornings, write, nature, outdoors

Later that morning … I saw three turtles had found a fallen log at the riverbank just beneath the bridge to enjoy morning meditation in the sun.

turtles, Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, mornings, water, American River, fallen log,

And the next day...

Mama duck and her six new ducklings out for a swim. They were surrounded by a dozen Canada Geese aggressively searching for food. She led them carefully – as they peeped and followed in a line – to a safer hiding spot in the middle of nearby reeds.

ducks, ducklings, Mallard, American River, Canada Geese, food, eat, swim, water, river, guard, babies, peep, observe, nature, writing, outdoors        

A few minutes walk from Fair Oaks Village down Bridge Street The American River and Fair Oaks Bridge crossing feature abundant opportunities to enjoy incredible scenic views and diverse wildlife. Great walks and bicycle rides for miles in either direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude

Sunday, May 26, 2019  7 am

So many quiet mornings I see no wildlife flying in, swimming or diving. The river flows swiftly and deep. I need to look for other ways to tell the story of this beautiful place hidden away from busy urban spaces.

I feel grateful standing under partially cloudy skies and experiencing magnificent scenic views of the American River corridor even when the river seems empty. I see a brilliant ball of sunlight shining through clouds – and sometimes see no sun at all.

During many recent mornings, I have crossed Fair Oaks Bridge, walked the trail along the American River Parkway, and from Bannister Park to Jim’s Bridge (crossing the river farther east). My goal has been to experience the open space and the calm of the morning when few others are outside. I enjoy the cool wind against my face, the bird songs and the lonely roosters calling out to anyone who can hear.

At times when I have no words, I feel grateful. Voicing my gratitude for the beautiful spring day, warm weather and the beauty that surrounds me inspires the words to flow.

I feel grateful for the variety of trees in all their twisted shapes and sizes, sweet bird songs, green grasses and leaves. I feel grateful for the pale green moss that hugs tree trunks along the river trail. I notice weeds spreading everywhere boasting their own spiny purple flowers. I wonder when will the goats return to eat these weeds?

I walk on river rocks that line the trails – large, small, smooth round, jagged, curved and straight. I listen to the haunting call of a morning dove, the twitters and caws of other birds hidden in the trees that surround me. I enjoy the gentle curves and slopes of the dirt trail enclosed in greenery to create a walk with character, interest and a bit of mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

I stop to enjoy the abundant clusters of deep green leaves growing on mature oak trees. I marvel at the expansive oak tree canopy stretching its curving branches away from its central trunk as they reach for sunlight. I stand upon the edge of the trail and see deep pockets of green foliage set into a canyon.

I see trails crisscross leading deep into the parkway – some trails lead to the river, others to hidden concrete structures overgrown with ivy and often missed, secret picnic alcoves and islands where waterfowl rest and play. One day I found a small amphitheater long ago forgotten.

I feel grateful for patches of poppies yet to wake at dawn and the brightness of other wildflowers that live with them. I feel grateful to enjoy such beauty any morning, afternoon or evening I walk.