Hello folks who wonder if people eat pumpkin pies only for the whipped cream,

Humans love to play god.

Just take a casual stroll through the produce section of your neighborhood supermarket. You'll be met with row after row of fruit and veggie supermodels - each variety seeming like a silicon-injected, facelifted version of their wild cousins.

Or pay a visit to your local dog park and chuckle at the purebred pooches all around. It's hard to believe that thousands of years ago, aggressive wolves were roaming the forests, only to later be transformed into these coddled fur babies being pushed around in strollers meant for babies.

How the mighty have fallen

What is the point you are trying to make here, Karan? People are fed up of your lame banter especially after all the travelling and shopping during the holiday break. Just give them a break already.

During the holiday break, I went to San Jose to check out the Chinook Salmon that swims through our local creeks all the way from the Pacific Ocean to lay their eggs in the same location they were born and thus continue their genetic lineage.

For people who have never gone Salmon spotting in our creeks, let me tell you it is a lot like watching baseball. For every second of Salmon action, there is an hour of aimlessly looking around. My views of watching baseball as a sport are mentioned in this post.

Luckily we had a couple of Mallards to keep us company.

Mallards are never in the "nice" list for birders

It took a while for my eyes to calibrate and look for salmon. The group I was with got super excited when they spotted what they thought was their first wild salmon. Turns out it was just some vegetation in the creek that gave the illusion of a salmon lying in wait under the water. "So much for carrying a rabbit's foot in my back pocket," I said to myself. 🙄

Dollar store Salmon

But then luck struck and we were able to see one enterprising male swimming his way upstream.

These fishes stop eating when they begin their journey back to their ancestral breeding grounds. As a result, they rely on their body fat reserves to fuel them throughout this migration. Because their resources are limited, you may observe them taking extended breaks in spots where the force of the water poses an extra challenge.

This migration also presents a prime opportunity to observe the fish, since they tend to hover in the same area for 20 minutes or longer while resting.

My dear, you look so tired.

At first you feel empathetic for its situation, since if it is not thrifty with using its fat reserves, it won't make it to its destination. But after a minute of waiting and no action from the salmon, you get restless. (Hey! Stop judging me. Amazon and fast internet have made all humans impatient.) I don't have the entire day just so you know. If you are going to stay just in one place, you should have told me that before. I would just take a picture instead. Waste of my time!

Keep on moving, you couch potato!

That is when I was struck with an ingenious plan. Just as marathon runners are provided with sports drinks like Gatorade to give them an energy boost to keep running, we should have volunteers feed Gatorade to these fish when they are resting in one place to provide extra fuel and energy. Shhh... 🤫 Don't spread the word, someone will create a tech startup with the same idea.

Sponsored by the nectar of champions: Gatorade

When packing for salmon spotting, don't forget to bring polarized sunglasses. Sunlight reflects off the water's surface, creating glare. Polarized glasses have a special filter that reduces this glare, allowing you to see clearly under the water. Wearing polarized sunglasses makes it much easier to spot salmon swimming beneath the surface.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. This is what it looks when you try to observe a female Salmon lying in wait for males to arrive.

Observe the details of the female Salmon that one can see with the polarized sunglasses in front of the camera.

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