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.
In late December, when the steelhead trout were making their run upriver, a morning visitor surprised me. I heard a great splashing. At first, I thought someone was letting a very large dog swim in the river. Then I realized it was a creature much more at home in water.
A sea lion, far from the ocean
If Google—and my eyes and ears—can be trusted, the surprise visitor was a sea lion (not a seal). It and a companion stayed in the area for several weeks, and on some of my morning runs, I could hear barking from a long way off.
Stretching out in the water
I haven’t seen the sea lion for the last couple of weeks, but the times I spotted it swimming in the river filled me with joy and delight.
Have you encountered any unexpected visitors lately? I hope they brought you joy.