Reub's journey

01 January 2010

Friday My Town Shoot-Out: Construction

This week's My Town Shoot-Out was suggested by the clever, talented, and consummate fisherman, Gordon, from St. Augustine, Florida

a complex entity constructed of many parts

Since the recession hit, there is almost no building in Corvallis. But in the clear little rivers of the Coast Range there is construction of a different sort: the exquisitely beautiful ending-and-beginning of the salmon life cycle. The life of this amazing creature is definitely a "complex entity constructed of many parts."

Spawning chinook salmon in Big Elk Creek, west of Corvallis. We watched them on Monday, when I took this picture.

This time of year the fall chinook have come home to Oregon from their years in the Pacific Ocean. They have swum all the way from here to Japan and back again. They are busy constructing their pebble nests, laying and fertilizing eggs, sweeping away silt with their strong tails, defending their ground, and eventually fading into the cold, swift waters forever. The spring chinook, the coho, and the steelhead will do the same thing, sharing the streams but arriving at different times, a perfectly constructed and miraculous system.

If you have 3 minutes 37 seconds, please watch this literal journey to heaven: it opens with a (long) contemplative look at the surface of the nearby Alsea river, rippling with fish. It ends with a salmon just finishing its life cycle: oh to drift away like this, how beautiful.

Video by Don Whitaker, music by Anton Raijekov


  1. Wonderful! your posts are always a special pleasure.
    Have a happy and healthy new Year!

  2. Salmon and their end trip have always fascinated me.

  3. It is wonderful how nature is so orderly and predictable. That is because, of course, God is the director. That was an interesting take on the theme. Very creative. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  4. It's probably not very polite to say yummy, is it? How often to we get to catch a glimpse of live salmon? They are breathtakingly determined and oh so lyrical. Watching the video was wonderful! Thank you for sharing this, Kerry. Have a very healthy and joyously Happy New Year!

    With love, from Barry and Linda

  5. I got to see this in person also in upstate NY on the Salmon River, and felt great compassion for their plight...even though I do take pleasure in my job, I respect how conservationist protect them...I like your multimedia construction post!

    I am trying to learn to post the video!

  6. Beautiful video. Hope you have a wonderful and Happy New Year!

  7. Thanks you so much for the video. It instantly brought back the emotions I felt when I witnessed the salmon spawning in Canada a few years ago. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me, a ticking off of something on my Bucket List. I've always been fascinated by salmons ability to find their birthplace after living and growing thousands of miles from home out there in that huge ocean. Seeing them spawn and the river littered with their bodies filled me with the most exquisite sadness. It really is a perfectly constructed and miraculous system.
    Happy New Year!
    I don't think I've ever left such a long comment.

  8. all of the creatures here on Earth are so amazing. great shoot out!!

    happy new year!!

  9. There's a lot of interpretation with your photo and great information. I like it!

    Good thing you already received the photo card I sent. But it arrived late there I guess.

  10. Cool pictures Kerry. I am always facinated with this..the salmon. You can't live up this way and not!! Wonderful pictures and thank you for the video!! Happy New year to you and the pups, Sarah

  11. Amazing creatures, aren't they? but sadly they ended up being on the diner's plate!

  12. You are my latest hero. Trying to figure ou how to copy the video to my blog. Thanks. This is the best!

  13. I live in salmon country, too (Vancouver Island) and every year at spawning time, people line up along the rivers here to watch the salmon fighting their way upstream. It is a source of endless fascination. Thank you.

  14. Love your take on the theme, and I think we humans sometimes become too far removed from natural life.


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