These last few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I anticipate additional frenzy for another few weeks as our move back across the country happens. I’m saying goodbye to the river this week, along with all the birds and other wildlife the river attracts.
To say goodbye—even typing these words—brings a lump to my throat and the threat of tears. I have loved this place: the American River and its banks. And the river’s last surprise for me (one I first shared with you in January) has brought some of my most cherished memories:
The sea lion visits the river by the fish hatchery.
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As my days here in California dwindle, I’m trying to savor the things and places I’ll miss most. Last week’s post offered up the first part of a love letter to the river here. This week’s focuses on a more specific love I have for the river: the birds it attracts.
A Great Heron keeps a watchful eye from its nest.
Double-crested Cormorants line up along a wire across the river. I love their turquoise eyes.
White-tailed Kites perched in their tree before going on a hunt.
Perhaps it is the birds I will miss most about the river. Unexpected varieties of birds have became daily companions. I’ve searched for them on morning walks and brought friends to see them in pouring rainstorms.
The little Anna’s Hummingbird that perches in the same tree top each morning. The pair of White-tailed Kites who have their own tree to defend from interloping hawks. Owls I can hear but never see in the dimmest early morning hours. The big birds that come in hunting salmon and trout: golden eagles, bald eagles, osprey. Then there are the herons, egrets, cormorants, mergansers, and other birds who are ever present. I’ve even come to appreciate the vultures.
Encountering these birds make up some of my favorite memories, and I will carry them with me in my heart when I go.
Do you have favorite birds you see where you live? Or when you travel?