Stoat Funerals?......Hedgehog Awareness Week…..’Poisoned Beauty’……

by Bernie Bell - 10:01 on 17 April 2023

Stoat Funerals?......

I read a letter in ‘British Wildlife’ ( Volume 34  Number 1  October 2022)  about stoat funerals.  Jonathan Mullard writes of actually seeing one years ago in Shropshire, and then of finding an article in The Irish Times of a ‘sighting‘ in County Mayo.

Apparently, it’s when a long line of stoats is seen proceeding on its way, with the ones at the front carrying the body of a dead stoat – which must be a very strange, and disconcerting, thing to encounter.  Possibly, this happens reasonably frequently but without humans to witness it.

Orkney is presently experiencing a problem with stoats…


…….which is being dealt with by the Orkney Native Wildlife Project….


I now have a strange image in my mind of stoats mourning by a stoat trap, unable to access the body of one of their group to carry out the funeral rites. 

But what do they do with the body? Do they bury it?  Shove it down a disused stoat hole – maybe the hole of the defunct stoat?  Chuck it over a cliff?

The natural world is a strange and interesting place – add a bit of imagination, and maybe a story is born?



Hedgehog Awareness Week…

Lots of info….


Plus…one way to tell if you’ve got hedgehogs in your garden….

I was walking up the path at the side of our garden when I saw this poo……

…..not a dog, not a cat – not pellets, so that rules out hare or rabbit.  What is it? 

I came indoors, and Mike – who has a reference book for all Natural History queries – looked up mammal droppings…..it’s a hedgehog!  The pic. in the book was exactly the same as what was on our path.

This pleases me greatly.  We know that hedgehogs visit our garden as we see them now and then……somehow the poo makes me feel that they feel at home here…….it made my day…..doesn’t take much….


Poisoned Beauty…

From ‘Emergence’ magazine…. https://emergencemagazine.org/

Poisoned Beauty

by Gheorghe Popa

“This place plays with all your senses. The vivid green blends in with these crazy colors, and the fresh air you are accustomed to has a chemical scent … I could feel the taste of chemicals in my mouth.”

“Around the world, communities are wrestling with the risks of copper mining. Increased production of copper, a highly efficient electrical conduit, will be vital if we are going to make the transition to renewable energy. But copper mines are noxious, releasing harmful chemicals and heavy metals into waterways, soil, and air. Where will new mines be drilled, and who will bear their impacts?

This week, the horrors of copper mining are laid bare in images from Romanian photographer Gheorghe Popa. His arresting aerial series, also featured on the cover and in the opening spreads of our upcoming print volume, capture a mountain village drowned in toxic mining waste. In 1977, in the Apuseni Mountains of western Romania, communist dictator Ceaușescu forced the evacuation of over four hundred families in the village of Geamăna to make way for waste from the nearby Roșia Poieni copper mine. As tailings bled into the valley, the church, the houses, and the habitats of birds and insects were all submerged in toxic sludge. Forty years later, Gheorghe photographed the village from above, engulfed by poisonous, brilliantly colored water.”



I was thinking, it’s like the beaches made of bits of plastic – environmentally, a disaster – but they can look interesting….colourful….


Poisoned Beauty – Poisonous Beauty.

Some folk make art from the crap-off-the-beach…


Including, here in Orkney, Robinson RR…



Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/09/28/its-something-people-do/


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