We all seem to have busy lives and we rush from one place to another so that we can do all the things we think we have to do. But we miss so much. I watched a mother hurry her child across the footbridge over the local stream because she wanted to get home quickly. The child wanted to see if there were ducks or fish in the stream, but did not get the chance to stop and look. If we don’t give our children the chance to observe nature how can we expect them to respect it later on in their lives?
The bridge over the stream is a short cut for children going to and from school and people going to work or to the shops. In the last year I have only seen two parents stop and let their children look at the stream. One mother brought her child especially to feed the ducks.
I often stop and watch when crossing the bridge. I have seen the stream in full flood with muddy swirling water rushing past almost as high as the bridge. One side of the bridge looks upstream to a tiny waterfall. The other side, the stream goes between tall buildings close to the edge of the banks. But here there are buddleias and a small elder tree. There are lots of little inlets where ducks can hide and lots of large stones which can hide various larva such as that of the caddis fly. I saw a kingfisher earlier this year and my son saw one last weekend. I remember standing still to watch the kingfisher and is seems that he was very aware of me. When I blinked, he moved and was gone. How did he know when to go?
There are plenty of tiny fish in the stream and when you ‘tune’ in to the water you can see them clearly. It can be a magical place despite the buildings and the factory car park but there is no access down to the stream. Perhaps this is a good thing as it prevents human damage to the unique habitats within the stream. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of this stream but I will show you another photo of the country park where the stream has its source and after the heavy rains.