The Kingfisher

Blending with the scenery, more chittering sound than sight,
you are more than just a bird fishing for an afternoon snack
but evidence of changes that have already come
and those certain to be.
Little indicator of the health of a stream
and by that the health of a community
and a region
your presence here means we have made change,
we have turned around and made right something we had spoiled
and we have made welcome not just for you
but for ourselves as well.
We can stop for a moment to appreciate
but you tell us to be ready for new accomplishments and adventures.
Even better awaits us.

Poem The Kingfisher © 2014 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A kingfisher is a small but bold bird that is indeed a harbinger of the health of a stream because it needs to feed directly from creatures that live in the water. Once Chartiers Creek was so polluted even plants died on its banks, but after decades of a ban on dumping and a mandate for cleanup the waters were safe to be in, to fish in and fish and other aquatic species began to return. I had been hearing a kingfisher’s chittering along the creek but the actual bird was hard to spot. Finally one March afternoon I saw the actual bird and photographed it diving into the water. We had reversed a century of pollution.

Kingfishers also symbolize adventure and future accomplishments, so perhaps that means the best is yet to come.

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