The Banks County News
July 25, 2001
Lying on my back, looking up at the clouds drifting lazily along
a sky of vibrant blue. A whisper of a breeze gently nudges my
raft. The still water of the pond breaks occasionally with the
darting tails of goldfish and koi. The sun feels so warm, so
The cry of the baby red-shouldered hawk breaks through lazy thoughts.
The parents are out hunting. I can see them gliding above the
tree-tops, looking, looking Then one dives, disappearing behind
the tangled mound of muscadine and wisteria vines.
Seconds later, it rises, a hapless snake writhing in its talons.
Tiny chickadees and wrens send up a cacophony of trills and tweets.
Whether happy about the demise of the snake or upset about the
fearful surprise of the attack, I can't tell. The baby hawk falls
silent, as do the little birds. Peace again returns to my little
Dragonflies are busily skittering from cattail to cattail. Two
brilliant blue ones meet, inches from my nose. They rise slightly
and then come to rest, locked together in life's procreation,
on the edge of the raft. Something in the water disturbs them
and together they fly off. How they manage it still connectedWater
spiders glide effortlessly, skating from here to there. Honeybees
come to drink at the water's edge. A garden spider spins its
intricate web in the sweet flag.
Thoughts drift, like the clouds above, to pondering this universe
in which we live. Where do all these things come from?
Something wriggling and cool has joined me on my raft. Without
looking, I can tell it's just one of the fish. A school of minnows
has collected around my toes. They're jumping over my feet. Minnows
playing leap-frog! I scoop up the flipping silver sliver and
place it back in the water. It disappears in the shifting, shimmering
assembly at play.
A shadow passes overhead and the minnows disperse and dive. The
kingfisher alights on a thorny limb of the locust tree. It's
eyeing the pond hoping for lunch. Another joins it. Then a youngster.
It's a family deal. One peers at the shallow end of the pond,
and in the blink of eye swoops down returning with a rather large
minnow flipping around in its beak. The fledgling is crying and
fluttering its wings. The other dives and dips to the rippling
surface, rising with another minnow. The fledgling is now in
a frenzy; looking back and forth from one parent to the other,
it cries and beats its wings furiously. "Hey, one of ya
give me one of them fish, right now!" They comply and both
fish are happily consumed. In an instant, they're off, flying
down the river.
Life. It's truly a miracle. How it all came about, I hope, remains
a mystery. It's just too amazing. However life and all its rich
diversity came to be over the millennia isn't what's important.
Being here, a part of it, enjoying it, is enough for me.
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
Banks County News
July 25, 2001
was in county first
One more time, complaints about poultry houses have arisen. As
usual, the complaints are from those who moved here to open their
businesses and build their homes in our agricultural community.
The newcomers do not consider the agriculture that is in the
county until after they have made their investments.
Those who decide to come to Banks County are welcome here. However,
they must consider that this community has always been an agricultural
community and its poultry farmers were here long before they
arrived. This should be considered when one of you poultry growers
spends your hard-earned money for someone else's goods and services.
Many of the small business owners have been here a long time
and understand what a struggle it is just to survive.
Just remember that the next nickel you put into the cash register
of those who complain could be the nickel used to put you out
of the poultry business.