Remember Peter Robinson, anyone? He was First Minister of Norneverland only a few months ago, providing much mirth to satirists with his supposedly Machiavellian machinations and madcap schemes of Hokey Cokey Pokey politics and the like. He was a man who enjoyed republicplaying daft games and let’s face it , politics are a very boring affair without the odd daft game or the occasional grotesque. I miss him, if only for that, I have to say.There’s little enough mirth in this land that time forgot and politics have become boring to the point of stagnation.In the imaginary Republic of Oirland, south of this magical kingdom ,they’ve even forgotten how to do politics in any real sense. As I write they are unable to even cobble together a government. There’s talk about having a whole series of elections like seasons of Game of Thrones….just to try out a few possible storylines.That ‘s life in politics and all things of this wild world though. One beast is always either higher or lower on the food chain and is either consuming or being consumed. I miss a bit of that old silliness though.

You never really consider their size until one drops down for a quick scavenge around your garden .There he is in all his beautiful glory, without his mate this time.He’s as big as a chicken up-close but he’s much more delightfully attired and balanced. Mr Magpie with his glossy black and blue plumage , dazzling snow-white breast and his trapeze artist’s long tail, swaying back and forth like a balancing pole.He’s seen the commotion and he wants in on some of the action.

It was only a matter of time before he joined in the game . It’s life in beak and claw out there . The recipients of all this attention are my hives of honeybees.Mr Magpie has joined the gang of marauding birds to set up home around the garden and make merry with the sweet honey -filled flying bonbons issuing from my beehives.Treats on the wing to be snaffled up or ferried back to feed the featherless nest-bound starvelings awaiting with open maws, clamouring but hidden in the bushes .The wind is rising and pollen -loaded bees are having enough trouble negotiating a safe, bumbling landing at the hive front without also having to run another gauntlet of buccaneering birds. Someone asked recently had I trouble at the hives with mice or rats but I can honestly say that it is these little flying dinosaurs that are my bees main nemesis.This year they appear to have discovered , from far and wide, this ready made regular food -source and are visiting the bottom of my garden in increasing numbers. They appear to have nested close-by for the sole purpose of depleting the local bee-population. You can see them stalking from the trees and fences and there is always a flurry of winged activity when I approach the hives.I feel like a fox in the chicken coop at those time
Of course there’s little to be done short of setting up a patrol or installing a scarecrow of some sort but realistically all wildlife must live under the constant threat of a sudden death so there’s not much point in bothering.The birds are stalking the bees and the cats are stalking the birds.It’s a wonder that anything survives at all.
It’s all a bit like politics I suppose.

8 Responses to THE CALL OF THE WILD

  1. billy April 25, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    good ole fashioned punishment bateing them magpies need.
    or a ladder trap if yer feeling generous let them go in somebody elses garden.

  2. Twinbrook Lad April 26, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    Magpies are one of the smartest birds I’ve seen. We have a breeding pair in the tree at the back garden and have recently seen them take on squirrels and a buzzard within the past few days without fear
    It is not only your sweet honey either Harry that is at risk. The pair of magpies work in unison torturing our poor dog, one distracting him at the end of the garden while the other munches on his dogbowl.
    Clever birds indeed but don’t get me started on the jackdaws as these wee feckers peck the windows at all hours of the morning thinking that their patch in being invaded by their reflection……….and to think I love watching Springwatch!

  3. Freddie mallins April 26, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    Nice Harry. A much maligned bird, the Magpie. A poor old one got stuck in our chimney and we put a sheet down to keep soot off the carpet. In the morning, there it lay. It was balsa-light and I imagined it falling backwards through the blackness in slow motion. I burried it in the garden, much to my wife’s mockery. I still know the exact spot.

    • Jude Collins April 26, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

      We had not one but two starlings fall down our chimney. We opened windows and after a few bouts of window-bashing they fluttered off, sooty but unbowed…

  4. paddykool April 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Some great stories fellas…A friend of mine has an old scallywag of a tattered, piratical cat who caught a mouse on his lawn and was playing that old game with his little hostage …letting it go Tom and Jerry style and pretending to look away, only to snag its tail as the wee bugger scampered off. A sly old rook finished his game very quickly for him. It watched for the right moment and swooped down , seizing the mouse as the cat turned away. Pop!…and flew back up… He doesn’t know what happened to that mouse to this day…..

  5. paddykool April 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    Ps Jude whatever happened to the lovely photograph of the wolf?

    • Jude Collins April 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

      Tá bron orm, PK – my laptop was with Dr Apple and I was working from an ipad. I just about could manage as normal but repeated efforts to get your nice wolf into the blog were in vain. Happy to say my little lt has now emerged from the (greedy) hands of Dr Apple and is firing on all cylinders…

      • paddykool April 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

        Okáy ….that’ S alright then….