An Alternative Allegiance Pledge…..Just Because…..Nature Notes….. From Kilmorack Gallery…

by Bernie Bell - 09:18 on 09 May 2023

An Alternative Allegiance Pledge……

I saw Jackie Morris’ alternative allegiance pledge on her Twitter page.  It chimes with me, and probably with many other people, more than the ‘May the King live forever’ non-sense.  Here it is…

I pledge allegiance to the trees,

To the birds who know

the paths in the sky,

To wild folk who dwell

In field and woodland;

Badger, fox, weasel, vole.

I pledge allegiance to butterflies,

Bees, all things wild,

To river, stream, sea and ocean,

Forest, field, moor and mountain.


That's Much better.


Just Because…



The Windhover

I caught this morning morning's minion, king- 

  dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding  
  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding  
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing  
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
  As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding  
  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding  
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!  
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here  
  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!  
  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion  
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,  
  Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion. 


Gerard Manley Hopkins - 1844-1889



Clapping Cattieface….



Nature Notes…

There are Blackbirds in our garden – who sometimes get some of Mike’s breakfast blueberries if they’ve gone a bit squishy.  When I muddle my words, the Bluebirds eat the blackberries.  Bluebirds in an Orkney garden – that would be something to see!

We’ve placed a dish on the terrace in front of our house, ostensibly for the hedgehogs to drink from, but the birds have commandeered it - especially the Robin who thinks it’s HIS DISH! 

I watched a Blackbird arrive, perch on the rim of the dish, have a drink then stand in the, rather shallow, water deciding whether to have a bathe or not.

The Robin arrived and was livid – hopping around the dish, up and down on the nearby stones.

The Blackbird chased it off, then, the Robin returned and staked his claim – splashing and splashing to reclaim HIS dish.

Birds have power-struggles too.


Algal Balls….

On the Orkney Wildlife Facebook page…  https://www.facebook.com/groups/133013273445588/?locale=en_GB , someone asked if the Algal Balls on the Loch of Harray are Aegagrophila linnaei, or another species. 

You’ll need to scroll down quite a bit to see the picture and read the comments about it.

The responses include a link to this article…

A geometrical approach explains Lake Ball (Marimo) formations in the green alga, Aegagropila linnaei - Scientific Reports

Maths – Geometry – the Fibonacci code….  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number - LIFE!


From Kilmorack Gallery…

“Our latest exhibitions, Peter Davis' Kwikn and Janette Kerr's Krotli, are now showing in Kilmorack Gallery. These explore the weather and elements of the north through two very different mediums and we hope you can make it, but if you can't our 360 degree walkaround is the next best thing. This is now online.

We also have new ceramic sculpture by illona Morrice and Allison Weightman and there is a new edition of our Magalogue - in this issue we look at Allison Weightman's latest work and the wonder of Liz Knox paintings. We also explore Shetland's weather-words and Georgina Coburn asks Peter Davis three questions.”


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/08/16/bernie-bell-orkney-walks-with-stories-mid-hillstenness-a-view-from-the-hill-2/


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