Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge: Watching Wildlife at the Lower American River

Mornings on Fair Oaks Bridge: Watching Wildlife at the Lower American River

by Janice Kelley


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This delightful collection of more than 75 of Janice Kelley’s first person narratives and stunning photography spans 18 months to present both awe inspiring views and whimsical accounts of the wildlife and other activities she experiences during morning visits to Fair Oaks Bridge. The collection begins with the fall salmon run of 2016, describes the 2017 winter floods and impact of wildlife and the river corridor all the way through spring, highlights the August solar eclipse, a second fall salmon run and ends in February 2018 after a mild winter.

Brief descriptions of the settings where Fair Oaks Bridge is located are featured in the beginning of the book. Fair Oaks Village is the vibrant center of the Fair Oaks community. Fair Oaks Bluff is preserved open space atop a series of steep cliffs offering panormic views formed by eroosion over time by the American River flows. Fair Oaks Bridge History describes it signficance to the area's early agricultural roots. Fair Oaks Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 2006. American River Parkway is a 23-mile long greenbelt with a bicycle and pedestrian trail that encases the Lower American River as it winds through suburban Sacramento communities.

Mornings on are a peaceful and magical time on the American River at Fair Oaks Bridge. Winter fog blankets the landscape and rolls slowly downriver floating above the surface of the water. Stunning sunrises paint clouds in deep pinks and orange long before the sun is visible over distant trees. Resident waterfowl engage in early morning rituals, dunking, patrolling, snapping at bugs and cleaning their feathers to prepare for the new day. A dozen pigeons fly over three times before landing on the bridge frame or walking the deck as they search for food.

“Janice takes the time to slow down and catch the moods and rhythms of American River Parkway inhabitants and muses on their interactions. Her queries and ponderings on the ways of river life give one pause to take a deeper look at life and explore its subtleties. One can easily be drawn in by her reflections as they offer a soothing yet intimate look at the river – a natural gem and identity of the Sacramento region.” Bruce Forman, Naturalist, Sacramento.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780971546721
Publisher: NatureLegacies
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Series: none
Pages: 204
Sales rank: 828,403
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

As a long time Fair Oaks resident, author and naturalist, Janice Kelley enjoys sharing the mysteries of the natural world, wildlife behaviors and community stories. She provides the creative spark, provocative questions, and passion that invites individuals, youth and families to make meaningful connections with the outdoor world. Janice holds a Master's Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, with special expertise in interpretive writing, programming, and place-based learning.

Table of Contents




Fair Oaks Village 14

Fair Oaks Bridge 16

Fair Oaks Bluff 18

American River Parkway 20


September 22

Sunday, September 18 Watching Wildlife Wake Up.23

Monday, September 19 Cyclists, Walkers and Wildlife Meet.25

Tuesday, September 20 Fair Oaks Bluff Reflections.26

Wednesday, September 21 Waterfowl Walk and Ski.27

Thursday, September 22 Waiting for Salmon29

Friday, September 23 Coming of Fall 32

October 34

Saturday, October 1 Dressing Up 35

Monday, October 3 Great Day for a Leisurely Swim or Dip .37

Friday, October 7 Salmon Jump Everyday Before Sunrise.39

Wednesday, October 12 Busy Morning for Salmon Fishermen..41

Saturday, October 22 Watching Wildlife..43

Tuesday, October 25 Light Rain Refreshes the Morning.45

Wednesday, October 26 Great Blue Heron Meets Flight of Canada Geese.47

November 49

Thursday, November 3 Sunrise Paints the Sky .50

Tuesday, November 15 Salmon Watch…53

Tuesday, November 22 Have You Ever Heard a Goose Whisper?..55

Saturday, November 26 A Place for Peaceful Contemplation.58

December 59

Thursday, December 1 New Visitors to the American River.60

Wednesday, December 15 Morning of Stillness.62


February 64

Saturday, February 25 So Much Water!...65

March 68

Friday, March 3 Wildlife Returns to the American River.69

Sunday, March 5 Winter Chill Lingers.71

Friday, March 10 Pigeons Dance and Search for Food..73

April 74

Sunday, April 9 Butterfly at Rest.75

Saturday, April 22 River of Emptiness ~ After the Flood76

Sunday, April 30 Wild Day at the American River78

May 80

Tuesday, May 9 Goslings First Swim..81

Thursday, May 25 Daily Rituals at Fair Oaks Bridge.82

June 84

Tuesday, June 6 Waterfowl Return and Search for Food…85

Friday, June 16 Bobbin’ for Breakfast…87

Tuesday, June 20 Relaxing in the Morning Sun.88

Wednesday, June 22 Lizard Pushups ~ A Morning Ritual89

Fair Oaks Village chickens .90

Additional American River Parkway Photos .92

July…. 94

Monday, July 10 Cormorant Airs its Wings.95

Thursday, July 20 Two Turtles Sunbathe at the American River96

Saturday, July 22 A Wild and Busy Morning97

August 99

Wednesday, August 2 Wildlife and Wonder100

Tuesday, August 8 River in Shadow.101

Thursday, August 10 Peaceful Morning.103

Friday, August 11 Rocky Remnants of a Fisherman’s Island..105

Monday, August 21 Day of the Eclipse..107

Wednesday, August 23 Chickens Greet the Day...109

Sunday, August 27 In the Moment of Sunrise..111

September 112

Sunday, September 3 Music of the Morning113

Friday, September 8 What Sounds Go Unheard?115

Sunday, September 10 Reflections on Wildlife117

Sunday, September 10 Wonder and Joy119

Monday, September 11 Morning of Peace120

Friday, September 15 Diverse Wildlife Wait for Salmon.122

Monday, September 18 Beavers Swim at Daybreak.125

Friday, September 22 Morning Rituals of Fall126

Friday, September 29 Vibrant Sunrise!.128

October 130

Sunday, October 1 Mallard Speak131

Sunday, October 15 Where Salmon Swim, Seagulls Fly.133


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