I finally had a chance between storms today to check for water in the river. I was sure it must have some after all this rain. The east channels are still pretty dry, but the west channel is flowing swiftly north. I walked the dry part of the riverbed in search of water, camera in hand. After walking for some distance, it occurred to me that I saw no plein air artists at work and no one else with a camera. I wondered why. Vineyards are dormant now, and although they have a unique beauty in winter as green grass grows between brown rows of grapes, it would seem the riverbed is the place to go now for interesting pictures.
Everywhere there is driftwood. Granted, it’s still there in the summertime, but when the riverbed is darker with water, it seems more interesting.
The day was gray, though it seemed it would not rain soon. After picking up a few interesting rocks to study later, I headed back to the car. I took a longer path than I intended because there was an amorous couple on a picnic table and I didn’t want to embarrass them.
As I approached the car I noticed that a science teacher could have a field day at the river. There were rocks of all kinds to inspect and analyze. There was new life on the large boulders by the path at the south Larry Moore Park entrance. There were new weed seedlings getting ready to be this year’s forest of milk thistle and poison hemlock. Moss and lichens made colorful additions to the sides of tree branches and rocks. A child with a hand microscope would have a good time exploring. Maybe the best way to start the new year is with a hike along the riverbed and a sense of adventure and discovery — if it’s not raining.