This is someone's house, high on a cliff above the American River, right next to the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge. They've constructed a peace-sign-shaped frame and strung it with Christmas lights, and they're lighting it up every night from dusk to dawn, all year round. And they just happen to live at probably the single most visible location in the entire city for displaying such a thing to the maximum number of people! The Sunrise Boulevard Bridge is an extremely busy bridge, being the only bridge cars are allowed on for miles in either direction (the next bridges over are a couple of cities away from here) and being in a pretty populated area, too. And the house with the peace sign is at the top of a high cliff above the bridge, so you can see the peace sign from way down the road. It's an amazing piece of luck that this particular piece of land happens to be owned by such marvelous people.
Here's another one, where I was trying to give more of a sense of the height of the cliff that the peace sign is on.
And here's the same house during the day time. If you look very, very closely, you can faintly see the frame of the peace sign at the very left edge of the picture here, at the top of the cliff. And yes, there is an odd little clubhouse sort of thing down the cliff from them.
It's the American River Canyon! Well, not really; the real American River Canyon is 4,000 feet deep. But this is our own little miniature American River Canyon, in the suburb of Fair Oaks, across the river from Rancho Cordova. The Rancho Cordova side of the river is flatter than the Fair Oaks side. Anyway, the peace sign house is over at the right in this picture, and you can still see the frame of the peace sign if you look closely.
Here's the peace sign house again, with both the peace sign frame and the clubhouse below visible.
And here's a view that includes the next house over to the right. Those are seriously expensive houses up there. By the way, that long thin island in the American River there is called the Sacramento Bar.
Here's a house even further to the right.
And somewhere down there to the right is this pedestrian bridge.
Sun shining on the Sacramento Bar.
Another view of the Sacramento Bar.
Lots of the trees around here have huge interesting root systems hanging partway out over the river.
Other people were here to photograph the area too!
I walked under the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge . . .
. . . and arrived at the Jim Jones pedestrian bridge, where these kids were standing. They didn’t appear to be accompanied by any parents, and they seemed a bit young to be there alone, but I suppose they must live in one of those houses on the cliff that are right next to the river. Anyway, this is where I took most of my bird photographs. I sat on the bridge to photograph the egret that was to the southeast of the bridge, and I stood next to the bridge to photograph the pair of male ducks that were to the southwest of the bridge.
The kids crossed back toward the side of the bridge they had come from.
After taking pictures of all the birds, I crossed too. This is the park to the northwest of the bridge.
From there, I walked over to the cliff below the peace sign, and found the clubhouse. I hadn’t even noticed it from the other side of the river; I stumbled onto it accidentally once I got over here. I don’t know who built it, or who it belongs to. I’m pretty sure the property line of the people at the top of the cliff ends at the top of the cliff, and that this land down here is part of the park. There were the remains of some former homeless camps along the foot of the cliffs, so when I arrived here and found this, my first thought was, "Some of the homeless people built themselves quite a stylish home!" But upon further consideration, I think if it were a high-class homeless camp, someone would probably have gone out of their way to tear it down. So I don’t know what it is, really. I didn’t go all the way up to it or try to actually see inside it.
Another picture of the clubhouse, and the peace sign house up above it. See the pale thing at the back right corner of the clubhouse roof? That was a cat.
But the most interesting thing about the clubhouse was that when I first came around the bend and saw it, two deer were grazing in front of it, about five feet from me. I don’t understand how they could have failed to hear me coming, but apparently they did, because they acted just as surprised to see me as I was to see them. Before I even had time to lift my camera to my face and try to photograph them, they ran off behind some trees. But then they stopped, abut twenty feet away from me, and just stood there, watching me. I stood there and watched them back, for about fifteen minutes, and fiddled with my camera because it turned out that my memory card was already full and I needed to delete some bad pictures before I could take any new ones. The deer waited patiently though, and never moved. So I photographed them, through the tree branches. And then I turned back and returned the way I had come.
I passed by lots of trees.
Some of them were interestingly shaped.
The ground was pretty, too, so I stopped to photograph the moss and rocks.
I saw some California golden poppies, the state flower of California. They used to grow wild by the millions all over the Sacramento Valley. Now they just grow wild by the tens of thousands.
I passed by grassy paths . . .
. . . and reemerged onto Sunrise Boulevard, where I photographed the "Welcome to Rancho Cordova" sign. (I had previously photographed the other "Welcome to Rancho Cordova" sign at the other end of town, on Folsom Boulevard, but not this one.)