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

Seeking Peaceful Comfort on Saturday Morning

  Saturday, September 24, 2016, 7 am, 55 degrees

Fair Oaks, Fair oaks Bridge American River, water, sunrise, mornings, American RiverThe eastern sky looks as if an artist brushed in pale pinks to add some contrast to the blue sky.

I return to the bridge for my seventh consecutive day. Clouds that blanketed the sky last night after dark are all gone. To the west, traffic is light on the Sunrise bridge. Whizz and roar of traffic  carries through the air.

Morning temperature of 55 degrees continues. As the sun rises, it casts a warming light on the bridge. I enjoy feeling its warmth on my face. I wear my denim jacket again today to keep the chill off my arms.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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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