Mornings at Fair Oaks Bridge

Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Bridge, chickens, community, nature, ducks, Canda geese, wildlife, American River, American River Parkway, bicycle, walkers, trail, morning I look forward to every morning sunrise on the Fair Oaks Bridge, and the American River Parkway to discover and celebrate the gifts of the outdoor world.

The American River Parkway is “The Jewel of Sacramento.”  Fair Oaks Bluffs are the “Crown Jewels.”

One Sunday morning in September I decide to get up early and watch the wildlife wake up at the Fair Oaks Bridge. I arrive at dawn before the sun rises over the trees.

This morning wake up is now a regular activity, generally spending an hour or more to watch, listen and write. I can easily ride my bicycle to the bridge along the bike path – an activity I usually reserve for later in the morning.

“I don’t know where it is possible to love the planet or not, but I do know that it is possible to love the places we can see, touch, smell and experience.” 

David Orr, Earth in Mind

The Fair Oaks Bridge was completed in 1909. It is a “Truss” bridge and an icon for the community of Fair Oaks. Fair Oaks Village is widely known for its chickens, whose wake up calls provide music each morning and continue throughout the day. Chickens are featured throughout blog posts in photos and video.

The bridge connects Fair Oaks Village with the American River Parkway, stretching 37 miles through suburban communities of Sacramento and into the city. The bridge sits alongside the Fair Oaks Bluffs – also displayed in many photographs within blog posts. Fair Oaks Bridge is one of those places for me to see, touch, smell and experience! The community of Fair Oaks is located about 15 miles northeast of the city of Sacramento. Our family home for more than 20 years and Fair Oaks Bridge remains one of my favorite places.

Waterfowl Walk and Ski

Wednesday September 21, 2016, 7 am

Clouds cover the sky. Raindrops fall on my windshield. In the 10 minutes it takes for me to walk to the river, the sky has already brightened. The raindrops that fall on the bridge quickly evaporate. I feel a cool breeze blow against my face. This is the first moisture of late summer and in a few minutes the drizzle has passed.clouds, bridge, Fair Oaks Bridge, Fair Oaks, morning, American River

Roosters wake up the neighborhood with their calls – one crowing and another responds. Far fewer roosters are awake. Maybe the chill has kept them hiding in trees a little longer?

I know the morning sun has risen over the trees. Yet I cannot see it today hidden behind dense cloud cover.Read more

Lingering Fog and Frosty Mornings

Sunday, December 30, 2017, 715 am, 36 degrees

So cold this morning, the chickens are still sleeping in the Village. They have yet to utter a sound.

I hear no shouts good morning walking past the park and the trees that provide nighttime shelters for so many Village chickens. Three chickens scratch and complain searching for breakfast a few yards from the bridge entrance – their favorite hangout.

Fair Oaks Bridge, fog, morning,The bridge deck is covered with white, slippery frost. Clouds above me resemble spun sugar in shades of gray and soft white. As the wind blows, they stretch into thin wisps of white. Fog washes over the eastern section of the American River. As with other days, I watch as the mist rolls down the river channel and under the bridge. On this particular chilly morning, mist is still sitting on the river well beyond 9 am when I prepare to return home.

Visiting the American River at Fair Oaks Bridge is a gift to enjoy and share. The most impressive days of winter for me are the peaceful mornings listening to seagulls call and seeing them soar gracefully through the sky, following fiery orange sunrises, and watching the fog as it blankets the river and reflects golden sunlight through the trees.

gift, American river, Fair Oaks Bridge, Fair Oaks Bluffs, morning, fog, seagulls, wildlife, mornings
Fog blankets the eastern section of the American River at Fair Oaks Bridge and rolls slowly west. Boat launch ramp is on lower right side of photo.

Each day brings a new cloud formation, each day a new way the wind blows them apart to create a kaleidoscope of color at dawn to announce the new day. I love watching fog blow slowly down the river. I stand watching in amazement at the way fog bathes and nourishes the Fair Oaks Bluffs and the sun’s yellow light shining through the trees along the American River Parkway. When I walk to the boat launch ramp, I see how the fog surrounds the Fair Oaks Bridge and drifts slowly west beneath the deck.

Seeing Fair Oaks Bluffs shrouded in fog reminds me of “Brigadoon,”  that magical, mysterious place that emerges out of the fog once every few years.

I think of Peter Pan’s Neverland where fairies and other magic is commonplace. This is a place of peace where you can hear the distant call of seagull and see birds emerging slowly out of the fog. Two ducks swim in the center of the river. All others are still in hiding and come out much later when the temperature warms to 45 instead of 36 degrees. Many walkers are out this morning. First two, then two more, then two more all bundled up and enjoying the morning. A speeding cyclist passes by pedaling as quickly as possible.

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Egret flies through fog on the American River alongside Fair Oaks Bridge

An Egret flies in and lands in its preferred spot on the riverbank beneath the Fair Oaks Bluffs. Soon there are two flying together and move on further downriver. I always marvel at its graceful flight and sleek, straight body.

Most of the seagulls, ducks and the Canada Geese have moved on farther downriver where food is more plentiful. I see more than 50 seagulls on the riverbank at Jim’s Bridge crossing and farther downriver. Canada Geese roamed the shoreline at Rossmoor Bar, an overlook and rocky beach two miles from Fair Oaks Bridge, popular for rafters and picnics.

 

 

Rabbit and Chickens Play

April 11, 2018, 7 am   51 degrees

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Rabbit and chickens hide in bushes along Bridge Street. They come out searching for breakfast before vanishing again.

The chickens roamed quietly on Bridge Street as I approached Fair Oaks Bridge. I heard a chorus of birds singing in the trees to my left, as the chilly air blew against my face. The sun was just emerging over the horizon through white and gray clouds. I saw two ducks swimming from shore. A few people walking past quietly on this peaceful morning. I walked across the bridge enjoying the sunrise, while my son kept his eyes on the resident rabbit munching on its breakfast.

Another short day…enjoying a few moments outdoors.