Aeolus & Johnathan

...From whiteness to the King of Four Winds. Sometimes it feels only one step away! Aeolus plays among us.

Today have spent most of my day listening to the wind whilst delving into the world of the Albatross, great nomadic spirit as well as in Montesquieu’s Les Lettres Persanes. What a fantastic journey!

My favourite local seabird is a very distant relative of the great wanderer and has only recently colonised the archipelago – its arrival being first noticed in the late 19th century on Foula. Nowadays its kind has spread westwards  and I was told it even reached the cliffledges on St Kilda! Unlike the albatross, it can be found flying & breeding in both hemispheres… On my length of the shore, I never fail to admire its agility in taming the eddies, [the air currents around our cliffs, taings and headlands] and love it as a loyal companion. To me, it seems to fly for fun… 

Its scientific name: Fulmarus glacialis,
its common [english/french] name: Fulmar,
its Shetlan name: Maalie
I call him “Johnathan”.

I look at him as Aeolus’ best friend in all seasons around our shores. 

I also enjoy his loyalty on the deck of the boat as we trek between harbours… He’s always there, gliding in the arms of the King of Four Winds. And when you park at Sumburgh Head (or any other coastal viewpoints), he will come and check you out at close quarter. 
…And if you dare and brave its territory & venture beyond the invisible boundary of its nest during the breeding season, he will gladly regurgitate the fishy content of his stomach on your most expansive jacket! Many intrepid visitors to the sphere of his world may testify…

To my humble spirit, Johnathan is the King of Headlands! 


Noo dan, I’d be curious to know its local name where you live :))


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Filed under earth, seabird, shetland, wind

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