I had forgotten the salmon are starting to run now. It was nice, though, sitting there on a rock at the water's edge (I walked up and down the bank for a while before deciding to just sit) and listening to the birds around me chirping. The geese overhead were honking to one another as they flew by (I thought they went south for the winter, these were heading north-west -- must have been a male in the lead and he was obviously refusing to ask for directions) and the crawdad (? crayfish? whatever they're called) I spotted a foot from shore was busilly taking a nice close look at the area surrounding his rock. A few small fish were swimming around the cracks and tunnells in the rocks about 2 feet from the water's edge, looking for breakfast no doubt. The salmon, though. Wow. The season is not in full swing yet, so there were only a few leaping above the surface every now and then. Sporadic splashes and when you turn to look you'll find nothing but the ever expanding concentric circles of their passing. I was lucky enough to be looking in the right place at the right time, though, to see one of the larger ones take a little hop right in front of me. It was about half-way out in the river, and was going slow enough that I could get a nice clean view of the mouth, eye, dorsal fin, and tail. It didn't come fully out of the water, so that's about all I saw of it, but what a sight it was nonetheless. A big fish, it was, easilly 2.5 feet long -- likely more like 3.5 or 4 feet, but my trig is not that good and I'm not sure how far out it was to be precise.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the simple volume of water that flows in the river. I realize the American River (I think that's the one this campus is on) is not exactly a *large* river, in fact I expect it barely rates as a medium-sized river. Nonetheless, though, it's big enough that every time I see it I can't help but try to get my mind around the concept of just how *much* water there is flowing past every second. I try to think of it in terms of my shower in the morning. I try to consider it as a function of tipped over water towers. Nothing works, though. It is one thing I've allways had trouble grasping, is *REALLY* big numbers. Not Infinity, that gives me no worries at all (small or large, I'm fine with both). Nor do large numbers on paper give me trouble. It's when I am standing there, looking at the water go past -- when I can put my hand in it and feel the gallons upon hundreds of gallons just flow right past me -- that's when I have trouble comprehending the quantities involved.