Here Be Eagles!!!...... From ‘Emergence’ Magazine….

by Bernie Bell - 09:18 on 22 May 2023

Here Be Eagles!!!

Mike was sitting on an old tractor seat in the corner of the veg patch when he saw a ‘new’ bee browsing on the nearby Woolly Willow - a kind of bee which he hadn’t seen in our garden before.  He looked it up, and it’s  Bombus bohemicus aka The Gypsy!

(Image from 'Bumblebees' by Oliver E. Prys-Jones & Sarah A Corbet)

It’s a ‘cuckoo’ bee, meaning that it doesn’t make a nest of its own, instead it invades the nest of another species – that species being the White-tailed Bumble-bee Bombus lacorum, as previously mentioned in this piece by Mike…


The Gypsy lays its eggs in the nest of its host, and then the host rears the Gypsy’s young – just like a cuckoo.

The young ‘cuckoo’ bees are either male of females that will become Queens – they make no contribution to the life of the nest.

Reminds me of… ‘Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves’  by Cher.


Mike was sitting on the bench at the front of the house – it was a sunny Sunday – just right for sitting.

I’d gone indoors, when he shouted….. “There’s an Eagle!!!!”

I got my binoculars and dashed out to see Mike and neighbour Steve in their respective gardens with their bins, and sure enough, there was an Eagle riding the high thermals, slowly going round and round.

We thought probably a White-tailed Sea-eagle, but couldn’t see the distinctive white rump – then Steve, with his very good bins, said there were pale bits along the ‘fan’ of the tail.

On looking in the bird books, we found that what we were watching was very probably a juvenile White-tailed Sea-eagle. 

Sea-eagles have been spotted over Rousay already this year.  Rousay can be seen from where we live …and it was definitely an eagle – we’re just not entirely sure which kind.  Whatever kind it was - what a thing to see from your own front garden!

We watched it cruising the skies and were very excited.  It circled, wide and slow and disappeared over the hill at the back of our houses.

If, as some folk believe, birds are messengers – what message might seeing an Eagle, on that day, have for us?  An eagle represents strength and far-sight.  At this point in our lives – we both need strength and the ability to see beyond our present difficulties.

And – there’s  a lot to be said for sitting still and looking about you.


From ‘Emergence’ Magazine….

The First Water Is the Body

by Natalie Diaz

“The Colorado River is the most endangered river in the United States—also, it is a part of my body.”

“The 1,450-mile Colorado River brings life-giving water to seven U.S. states, dozens of Native American tribes, and two states in Mexico. In recent years, drought, overconsumption, and mismanagement have drained the river to historic lows, compromising the water supply of the forty million humans and countless nonhuman species who inhabit the river basin, and threatening to alter an already impacted ecosystem beyond recognition. But how does the state of the river reflect something about ourselves?

In a bracing prose poem, Mojave / Akimel O’odham poet Natalie Diaz, who grew up along the banks of the Colorado River, articulates the continuity between her own body and the river’s body, her words edging up against the limits of the English language. Natalie stretches her poem’s temporality to contain a time before bodies, before the birth of the river, and then surges forward to consider the river’s present and future. After so much has been lost, Natalie asks, how can we “go beyond to a place where we have never been the center”?



Here’s one I made earlier… https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/02/19/the-stones-of-the-ancestors-unveiling-the-mystery-of-scotlands-ancient-monuments/



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