My Favorite Place

The light brushes aside the sky’s darkness and opens a new day.

My favorite place stirs itself awake in the dawn. It is quiet, peaceful, serene. But not silent.

The wind brushes between the needles of the pines and firs, with an occasional brief gust whispering good morning. In the distance, water tumbles over rocks into basins, while in the branches two squirrels chase each other noisily back and forth, each teasing the other in a mock battle for a tasty morsel, found, but not yet savored.

It is early, just light enough to see.

Walking slowly along the path, gravel crunches softly under my feet, and dew reflects tiny bright pinpoints of light, as if a celestial painting where space is green, not black, and the dew becomes stars, galaxies, and other wonders in this grassy universe.

Coming to a pond, I see rainbow trout. Freakishly huge, monstrous, circus side-show caricatures of trout, mocking the actual species. But then I realize that these aren’t freaks, they are the result of rainbows left alone, unencumbered by the pressures of man, well fed and languishing the lives of royalty, each a king or queen in the castle of their pond.

There are such ponds everywhere. Small, large, round, oval, the ponds meander; connected by a small gurgling stream and fit together as if a giant necklace of watery jewels were dropped carelessly onto the floor of the forest. There are ponds of Trout, Salmon, Steelhead. Ponds are everywhere.

Over there is a pond of brown trout, also monstrously large; 14, 16, 18 inch fish, so large that anglers would hide their catch, ashamed to show their weak little stringers, and leaving their exaggerated stories of the battle between man, fish, and line untold.

The largest of the ponds contain the pre-Cambrian leviathans. Some have grown more 10 feet long, unmoving, hovering in the water, majestic beasts of hundreds of pounds. I stare at these ancients, marveling at their size, thinking, wondering, mesmerized by their presence. Do they stare back? Are their fish-minds consumed with the simple cycle of only “Eat”, “Rest” and “Mate”? Or do they think deeper, more ancient thoughts, such as “We Sturgeon have been here for millennia, you humans are but a brief flash in our lives. You are unimportant”? Do they wish for freedom, or are they content in their small watery castles, where they have nothing to fear, all they can eat, and humans to care for their needs?

I’ll never know.

It’s too early for the people yet. The sun hasn’t quite begun to show itself, and most people just beginning to rise in Portland. Soon the dew will evaporate in the day’s warmth. The gravel will become crowded with people. Children will be running from pond to pond, giggling and wide-eyed in delight and awe, while parents wonder what to do for dinner, glad for a brief respite from the daily demands of parenthood.

For now, I am alone with the squirrels, fish, the grass, the trees, the dew and the water. There is just me. It is mine alone. I struggle to capture the scene in my mind, a fine painting wonderfully framed. A painting made up with the sounds, the smells, the temperature, the sky, the clouds, the dew-stars, the grassy universe, and the entire place and time consolidated into one forever moment carried with me like a treasured locket.

The frame of my mind-painting has a brass plaque at the bottom. It is engraved with the words “My Favorite Place”.

*authors note: I was successful in etching this scene in my mind, as it actually occurred in 1978. After this special morning, I made it a point to return often over the years. I’ve shown it to my children, and friends, and family, but sadly, you can never go back. The place still exists, however it has not remained unchanged. For example, you can no longer be onsite at dawn or dusk. It is closed to the public during those special times. The hatchery is now a major tourist attraction and has become pretty much over-commercialized and suffered the loss of some of its original charms. The ponds are still there, as are the paths, but they are no longer the simple special jewels they once were. They still contain the monster fish, though, and it’s still very magical and special to me – Especially when it’s quiet. — Jerry

Bonneville Fish Hatchery

Meet Herman the Sturgeon

About Me

I’m Jerry Parker, and I’m a broadcast engineer, electronics technician, Code-Monkey, manager and business owner. I’m lots of other things too, such as a husband and father who is active in his community, who likes to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

My background includes 20 years of business ownership, 10 years of radio experience (the engineer part), and for the last 10 years I have been the Vice President of a firm that provides marketing, emailing, contesting and recurring revenue opportunities for Radio, television and print companies across America and Canada.

My hobbies include collecting, robotics and robot design, and raising small animals at my home outside of Austin, Texas. I’m also the president of my local Homeowners Association, and active in local and county government. I am a conservative who believes in the American Dream, and yet fully supports the notion that sometimes, people need a “hand up”, but very, very rarely need a “hand out”.

You can read more about my career here, and about my political activities here. If you’re interested in my hobbies, look here.

If you’re interested in my opinions or expertise, check my blog pages, I’ll occasionally put tidbits of information up there relating to servers, software, new technologies and toys.

 

Arduino Bot Shop

The Arduino.

If you tinker with electronics, have a need for an electronic doo-dad to control, monitor, drive or display something, you’ll see why the Arduino is my go-to choice. I’ve used Arduinos to monitor networks, display and tweet real-time weather from my weather station, control my entertainment center, drive motors, charge batteries with the sun, count chickens, and so much more.

This is my site dedicated to arduino-controlled robots, robot sub-systems, toys, and and other circuits and projects. All things Arduino. Want to build a Robot? Stop by my site for ideas, circuits, software and even a digital book that will take you from zero to a completely autonomous robot in no time! There are projects galore, kits, reviews, reccommendations and more on Arduino Bot Shop. Go take a look.

 

Home

 

I’m Jerry Parker, and I’m a broadcast engineer, electronics technician, Code-Monkey, manager and business owner. I’m lots of other things too, such as a husband and father who is active in his community, who likes to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

My background includes 20 years of business ownership, 10 years of radio experience (the engineer part), and for the last 10 years I have been the Vice President of a firm that provides marketing, emailing, contesting and recurring revenue opportunities for Radio, television and print companies across America and Canada.

My hobbies include collecting, robotics and robot design, and raising small animals at my home outside of Austin, Texas. I’m also the president of my local Homeowners Association, and active in local and county government. I am a conservative who believes in the American Dream, and yet fully supports the notion that sometimes, people need a “hand up”, but very, very rarely need a “hand out”.

You can read more about my career here, and about my political activities here. If you’re interested in my hobbies, look here.

If you’re interested in my opinions or expertise, check my blog pages, I’ll occasionally put tidbits of information up there relating to servers, software, new technologies and toys.