Bonxies…..Origami Flowers ….. And Some Still Say….

by Bernie Bell - 07:40 on 15 March 2023


Robert MacFarlane asked for stories & images of Bonxies….


So I sent him the following….

“When we first visited Orkney twenty-odd years ago we stayed in a place above Evie Village, by the Birsay Moors.  From the house we walked up the road,  turned left onto a track for quite a way, then across the heather to a lochan named Looma Shun.  Our little dog, Ben, was still with us then and as we walked along the track a Bonxie  was swooping back and forth over us, eyeing up Ben - and Ben was eyeing up the Bonxie.  He was a Jack-Russell Cross – he had attitude. 

I was shaking my fist at the Bonxie, and telling it to clear of – or words to that effect.  Ben was about the size of a large lamb, so in theory a size that the Bonxie could carry off – but he was Ben-The-Dog, and if it came to a fight my money would be on him!

They’re fine birds – but not to be trusted.

Here’s the tale of when we did an approximation of that walk…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/08/06/above-evie-village/

Then Mike sent him a story too – this time with pictures……

“These pictures were taken during research work recording underwater noise around a renewable energy device off the coast of West Mainland Orkney. 

This was in August, near to the island of Hoy - an important breeding site for bonxies.  Note ‘Old Man of Hoy’ in the distance.

They would approach the vessel closely with an eye to the main chance, settling on the water…


…… and flying overhead.  My colleague put up his arm in the manner of a falconer, making as if to offer a perch…..



They didn’t quite alight (probably best!), but one was clearly interested.”

I wonder what Mr. Mac is writing?


Origami Flowers

Before I fold the square
I write a little poem
something brief and cryptic
like a poorly translated fortune

If I've folded a boat
I'll launch on the creek
let it float downstream
to a reader or some hungry fish

If I've folded a paper fly
I'll throw it from the balcony
at the windiest part of the day
hoping a stranger will catch

I have buckets of flowers
folded from pied pages
and when I drive down the interstate
they blossom from the bed of my pickup

Littering the side of the road
wildflowers of variegated poetry


There’s something Andy Goldsworthy about this …… taking care to make something, whilst being prepared for that thing to be destroyed…..



One thing leads to another….


……where birds become stars and stars become birds - our imagination.

And I’m thinking about paper Cranes….


It’s what art does – whether words, images or sounds – opens our minds to …connect.


And Some Still Say….

…that climate change isn’t happening……



Here’s one I made earlier….. . https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/09/27/st-marys-walk/



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