My alarm sounded in the darkness, although somehow I was partially awake already. Tucked into the truck, we headed north in the pre-dawn twilight as mist curled over the fields around us. I wanted to stop and try and capture these scenes I could barely see, but knew we had another goal in mind. Where the road curved out along the water though, I had to make AK pull over. I caught a few images of the coast range mountains outlined in pink, just in time before the colour faded out in the growing light.
Along the river road a few cars rested in the gravel; we pulled in alongside and ducked into the trees on foot, to emerge moments later in the mud of the shore. A handful of fisherman already stood thigh deep in the water or perched on rocks. My eyes immediately fell on the berry-seed-heavy pile of scat at the water's edge, fresh remnants of an earlier visitor. AK waded into the water with the others, but I found myself scrambling over slippery clay-covered rocks with camera in hand, watching both the light in the sky and the fly-tipped lines whizzing in the air nearby.
There is so much to notice at the riverside at dawn. The raucous screes of gulls as they squabble over scraps. An occasional high pitched whistle from a bald eagle alighting high in the trees to survey the scene. A swarm of flies swirling just above the water's surface, and the constant splash of salmon jumping. Every once in a while my ears would note a more significant splash, a heavy spring (chinook) instead of the smaller pinks dominating the current right now. Two belted kingfishers flitting back and forth across the river or perching in branches, while seeing whose hoarse rattle was the loudest. And a large black shape ambling along the far shore, the possible culprit for the scat I eyed warily earlier. It was looking for a meal just like the fisherman, but smartly stuck to its side of the river now that the two-leggeds had moved in with the light.
The pinks are getting tired this late into august, even this close to the mouth of the river and so early in their upriver journey. Few were biting this morning, focused instead on their ultimate sacrifice ahead. At about 8:30 we called it quits, accepting defeat as the river began to fill up with other anglers looking to try their luck. A second breakfast seemed entirely appropriate for the drive home.
a few things:
>> these corn and cauliflower tacos were fantastic. I added mushrooms to the roasting pan and topped the mix with feta and avocado slices.
>> I've become so bored with my plain jane hair, I'm contemplating doing something a bit drastic.
>> would love to traipse through the autumn woods in these mukluks.