The Bee

The Bee

 

We have a lot to learn from the humble bee
Who works ever so hard for you and me
Their principal role is pollination
Which is vital to the crops that feed our nation

Most of the bees are social creatures
Being together is a quite distinct feature
Up to 50 thousand Honey bees inside a hive
It’s amazing they all manage to stay alive

Bumble bees also like to congregate
But apparently they want a bit more space
So we find about 150 under their roof
Perhaps they prefer to be somewhat aloof

Both types of bees depend on their Queen
Who lays all the eggs, this seems rather obscene
But thanks to the efforts of that sovereign so fertile
All that hard work of the drones is not futile

Indeed I am told that one third of all the food that we eat
Relies on the pollination of bees – that’s surely some feat
One out of every three bites that we munch
Is thanks to the bees – if we lose them, then comes the crunch!

So my message is this, if you hear a bee’s buzz
Don’t be tempted to create undue fuss
For on that bee depends your food supply
Better it lives to ensure you don’t die!

Ken Fisher

Fifteen Miles on the John Muir Way

Fifteen Miles on the John Muir Way
[North Berwick to Dunbar]


Routemarker – the John Muir Way

In the shadow of Berwick Law we set our easterly course
A happy band of ramblers, eyes fixed on the road ahead
Steady is the pace, chat comes easy, spirits high
As we tread this walkway opened to commemorate
The 100th Anniversary of the death of John Muir

Our first objective is to reach East Linton and the Preston Mill
An ancient structure , still preserved, for grinding grain to flour
Powered by a waterwheel fed by the speeding flow in the lade
An energy efficient method – so long as the rainfall does not fail!


Preston Mill

Enlightened and refreshed by our visit to the mill
We continue our rural ramble, encouraged by brightening skies
Through open country our journey takes us inexorably toward the sea
But not before meandering through fields of wheat bordered by woodland

Among the joys of walking with friends is the chance to
Tune in to the natural world around. The birdsong,
The flowers and trees of infinite variety, the differing landscape
And times of animated conversation or moments of silence and solitude
To wonder at creation and breathe it in to our jaded souls

We eventually enter the John Muir Country Park at Belhaven Bay
This extensive sandy inlet changes with the tides’ ebb and flow
And as our eyes are drawn outwards from the shore line
We catch a view of the steep volcanic sides of the Bass Rock
Featured in works of fiction, including Catriona by R L Stevenson


The Bass Rock

And so our steady progress continues, our faces weathered
By the changing conditions, the cobwebs of the city blown away
Our hearts inspired by the heady mixture of fresh air
And recognition of the beauty of life, we press on gratefully

As we near the town of Dunbar we skirt a verdant golf course
Then the coastal path reveals vistas below of the rocky shoreline
Notwithstanding our weariness, we have to descend
And then ascend several stone stairways which brought back childhood memories
Of scenes in some of the adventures of the intrepid Rupert Bear

At last, like pilgrims on a journey, we reach our final destination
Weary but contented. Happy to have completed the distance
Happy to have communed with nature, happy to have been in
Each others’ company. Grateful to share in  John Muir’s legacy

Ken Fisher

 


Dunbar

Drenched

Drenched

Surely it can’t last long. But a few minutes is enough
Cotton T-shirt soaked through, Shoes saturated
I didn’t come prepared. This is meant to be summer
At least it might please the flotilla of ducks

What began as a gentle meander through the park
Suddenly transformed into a battle with the elements
Blue skies overwhelmed by foreboding dark clouds
The galvanizing flash followed by the distant rumble
Where to run for shelter? – definitely not that chestnut tree!

I don’t know what the chances are of being struck
But this is not the time for statistical speculation
I feel I have entered on a game of Russian roulette
Do I run for cover or trust myself to the open ground?

A few more electric pyrotechnics, echoed by muffled roars
The torrential downpour siphoned into a mighty spate
No escape. Grass, flower, trees all inundated
And then a strange calm descended, and the sun peeps coyly through

Leaving the forces of nature to restore my composure
I found myself content to sit on an abandoned bench
And gradually, as steam rises from asphalt paths and verdant grass
Evaporation transforms my soul like the waters of baptism

Ken Fisher

 

Summer Moon

Summer Moon

Summer moon hanging lofty in the sky
Its dappled face almost asking why?
Seeming so near and yet so far
Neither quite a planet nor a star

Constant companion of her mother earth
From whom she may have received her birth
Waxing and waning as the light reflects
But ne’er revealing her dark obverse

On summer days she emits a discreet glow
An unobtrusive presence to us below
At night her modesty is cast aside
As she besports herself with pride

We gaze with wonder at this mysterious sphere
Her facial features to our distant eyes made clear
We marvel at the enormity of endless space
And man’s insignificance in that vast place

Ken Fisher

 

See also:  https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/01/17/moon

Green Energy

Green Energy

The need for energy that is said to be renewable
A utility whose worth is doubtless invaluable
Has prompted the search for this holy grail
Manifest in the breath that moves these sails

As the invisible air-flow traverses the land
The pressure exerts its powerful hand
Forcing these mighty blades to rotate
Driving the dynamo as they twist and gyrate

We are able to steal from the atmosphere
By subtle legerdemain it would appear
And simply by raising up these metal arms
We have beguiled the wind to yield its charms

So thank goodness for this mysterious spell
Green power from this wondrous carousel
And as long as that breeze continues to blow
Such bounty on us it will surely bestow

Ken Fisher

Midges

Midges

 

It’s official, the hot news is newly broken
From the sleep of winter this little beastie’s woken
And there is little doubt it is a bigger menace
Than the eponymous comic kid known to us as Dennis

Apparently there are billions of these tiny little creatures
Which of summer, in our Highlands, is a distinctive feature
Their thirst for our blood is completely unremitting
Which sometimes forced defeated visitors into quickly quitting

Press reports tell us the female midge is the one to blame
As she seeks out her victims and sets their skin aflame
‘Cause midges have decided that we make a tasty meal
Caring little for the itch and lumps, and how they make us feel

These beasts force us to look for methods ourselves to protect
Our face and arms and legs and other parts you wont expect
For they are very persistent in their determined hot pursuit
And to the consequences they simply don’t give a hoot!

There is no simple remedy for this annual intimidating plague
Pundits offer creams and sprays but on success they are quite vague
Perhaps we simply must reconcile ourselves to the midge invasion
Pleading with visitors still to come, by all powers of persuasion

Ken Fisher

Saturn’s Rings

Saturn’s Rings

Bobbing and diving between those multi-coloured rings
The Cassini probe will be playing hide and seek
Sending back more pictures to make NASA sing
Somehow dispelling strange Saturn’s mystique

This intrepid space adventure, extraordinary mission
Initiated as far back as nineteen, ninety-seven
Was for many long years the controllers’ ambition
Tracked at each stage on its endless progression

But now this robotic spacecraft is near the end of the line
Having scored many targets, new knowledge discovered
Moons observed and recorded as in first design
Its all-seeing instruments new secrets uncovered

But the mission has not yet reached final conclusion
In September its flirting with rings will eventually end
Cassini will take one final plunge to its own self-destruction
But its lifetime achievements will all our losses transcend

Ken Fisher

Quote:

Thursday April 27

8.25am BST: NASA tweeted: “The gap between Saturn and its rings is no longer unexplored space – and we’re going back 21 times.”
The spacecraft has survived the first-ever dive between Saturns rings.
The team is now planning 21 more dives before the space probe does a death plunge into the planet.

Near Miss!

Near Miss!

 

On most things in life we don’t want to miss out
But here is one goody we can well do without
For yesterday the earth dodged an asteroid
An alien object we were all glad to avoid

Apparently this detritus was as big as Gibraltar
And on its path towards us it never did falter
But fortunately the closest it actually came to our home
Was about one million miles, four times a trip to the moon

Asteroids are a regular threat to our peace of mind
Space scientists keep warning us from time to time
An asteroid may unleash energy like 1,000 atom bombs
Enough, no doubt, to turn mother earth into a tomb

So let’s hope we might manage to remain asteroid free
Or else to another planet we may all have to flee
But even if we can find refuge elsewhere in space
Some other flying object might to that haven chase!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Spring in The Trossachs

Spring in The Trossachs

Nature’s beauty revealed in all its glory, sensation uninhibited
Delights for the eye and ear and nose, even touching the heart
A whole spectrum of colour, bird-song of every pitch and rhythm
Sweeping panoramas to trigger our emotional response

This tract of Scottish land might be mistaken for Swiss grandeur
Its steep rising hillsides scale the heights above the lochs
Lomond, Katrine, Archray, Ard, and Venachar
And even our home grown lake, Menteith

Here forest tracks and lochside paths meander
Revealing at each turn of the way some secret of the wild
At springtime new life emerges from the gloom of winter
And everywhere the stirrings of rebirth

Ben A’an and Venue rub shoulders with Ben Lomond
To dominate the skyline o’er the glens
Romantic tales surround Rob Roy the outlaw
John Ruskin and Millais captivated by this terrain

The geography and geology yet another source of fascination
And history has added its own insights to the tale
Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scot
All play their part in the allure which is the Trossachs

Ken Fisher

Threats from On High

Threats From On High

Apparently space has become a junk-yard
There is so much up aloft it has become a hazard
Detritus is now measured by some thousands of tons
Far greater than picked up by Steptoe and Son

Apart from threats from comets and asteroids
Space is no longer just an empty void
Old satellites, spent rockets, and defunct devices
Are floating out there in a variety of sizes

The planets of our ancient solar system
Over eons of time have been a victim
Of impacts small and others much greater
Resulting in some quite enormous craters

It is claimed that the dinosaur population
An asteroid impact led to annihilation
So you can see that objects falling from space
Might well do the same for our human race

And the reality is that the risk is increasing
With all the debris that we are releasing
And although these devices are put to good use
We must find a way to stop all this abuse

So technologists are conducting endless research
A method of disposal is part of their search
That after useful life junk might self-destruct
Or enter safe orbits thus humans won’t hurt!

However perhaps we should now all take heart
It’s been reported that a used rocket’s come back to earth
And in future we hope to recycle this kind of device
Which to the environmentalists must bring delight

Ken Fisher

Vernal Equinox

Vernal Equinox

[Monday 20 March 2017]

 

Equinoxes occur twice a year
When the plane of the Earth’s equator
Passes through the centre of the Sun
On this day the Sun shines directly on the equator
And day and night are approximately equal

Today is the Spring Equinox
And our minds look forward to warmer days
And backwards, with gratitude for the receding of winter
We are filled with hope for the months ahead

An Equinox is perhaps an appropriate time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for its many blessings
For health and shelter and for companionship

As the buds form on the trees and plants sprout
Carpeting the land which has lain barren for long
We look forward in anticipation to burgeoning life
In field and tree, in gardens and on hillside

And these days of longer daylight hours
Afford us the chance to escape from our winter burrows
And breathe the more expansive air of the world outside
As our horizons are lifted to a wider vision

Ken Fisher

 

 

This is the Way – Walk in it

This is the Way – Walk in It

(Some advice to all walkers)

[Isaiah 30:21]

Le Chameau Aubrac Walking Boot

Perhaps when meandering in the rural hinterland
Beyond our city’s sprawling network of residential streets
We find some purpose and direction by knowing our intended way
Our leader’s instructions might echo the words of the prophet
“This is the way. Walk in it!”

Of course it can be pleasurable simply to roam without restraint
And indeed there may be occasions when this is by far the better choice
But mostly we feel the need to have some purpose, some aim in mind
Thus a route will have been planned, to provide order and direction
‘This is the Way. Walk in it!”

I wonder if our life can always be so structured?
At the outset, in infancy control is not yet delegated to us
And o’er the early years of childhood our family points out the way
It is not for us to dictate to our elders or our betters
“This is the Way. Walk in it!”

But as the years pass and we gain a measure of maturity
We seek to acquire more autonomy over the choice of the way ahead
And indeed it is expected of us that we will find our own direction
Having in the meantime striven to acquire the skills for self-advancement
“This is the way. Walk in it!”

Thus throughout our life we will seek to follow a meaningful course
But it will not always be possible to see a clear way ahead
We will be assailed by all manner of challenges and problems
And as we are buffeted to and fro we will search for a voice to say
“This is the way. Walk in it!”

And it is then that we will yearn most earnestly for the prophetic call,
The voice in our ear, the steadying hand to seize our own
But in this modern sophisticated age, to whom will we turn
To receive that word to guide, to direct, to reassure?
“This is the way. Walk in it!”

Ken Fisher

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