Join author Marina Richie for stories and excerpts from her new book, Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher—illustrated by Newport artist Ram Papish and published by Oregon State University Press. Richie’s narrative weaves natural history, myth, and memoir to illuminate the jay-sized bird of cocky crest, headfirst dive, and rattling cry. Ultimately, she reveals an inviting pathway for all seeking kinship with nature nearby. Note–this is the very first book to feature North America’s beloved Belted Kingfisher.
Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher is a story of keen observation, curiosity, and revelation in the presence of flowing waters. The kingfisher is linked to the mythic origin of halcyon days, a state of idyllic happiness that author Marina Richie hoped to find outside her back door in her then home of Missoula, Montana.
Little did Marina know her quarry would prove to be a skittish bird, infamous for vanishing around a stream bend. Delving deeper, she embraced tribal stories of the belted kingfisher as messenger and helper, pivotal qualities for a journey extending from one to multiple seasons.
Blunders, epiphanies, and a citizen science discovery punctuated days tracking a bird that outwits at every turn. The female is more colorful than the male (a mystery) and their earthen nest holes are difficult to locate. While the heart of the drama takes place on Rattlesnake Creek, adventures seeking kingfisher kin on the lower Rio Grande, South Africa, and London illuminate her relationships with the birds of her home stream.
By spending many hours observing a nesting pair of kingfishers from within a camouflaged blind, her status as a visitor turned to that of a resident. By the forested creek’s edge, she came to terms with the loss of her naturalist father. Here, too, she tapped into her own powers, inspired by the bird of the headfirst plunge and awakening rattle call. With newfound courage, Marina left Missoula to travel as a roving naturalist in her popup camper, and then returned to Oregon (her home state before Montana). The kingfisher remains her muse.
This presentation will be hosted via Zoom on June 16th, 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Click here to register.
Books are available for purchase at the Northwest Nature Shop in Ashland, OR.
Marina Richie is a nature writer living in Bend, Oregon, She wrote two children’s books under a prior name: Bird Feats of Montana and Bug Feats of Montana. Her writing appears in many publications including Birdwatching magazine, on National Wildlife Federation and National Audubon websites, and on award-winning panels for the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuges. Marina also serves on the board of the Greater Hells Canyon Council. Please visit her website www.marinarichie.com featuring her bi-monthly nature blogs.