The Joys of Spring

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It was the last day of March, and after a dismally grey week the sun had finally decided to shine and the sky had turned a brilliant blue… just for one day…

Algy felt full of the joys of spring, even though the temperature in the clear, fresh air was just a few degrees above freezing. He fluttered about excitedly from tree to tree, looking at all the fresh new buds emerging and listening to the other birds chattering happily around him; everything was coming back to life once again… High overhead in the bright blue sky a skylark was singing a glorious song, and very soon Algy started to sing out loud too, albeit not quite so melodiously as his wonderfully tuneful friend above…

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Forsythia…

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It was spring at last. Algy’s home in the wild West Highlands was still being blasted by an icy wind carrying battering showers of rain mixed with hail or sleet, but it was undoubtedly spring at last, and there were times between the showers when the sky turned blue and the bright new flowers revelled in the sunshine.

Algy loved the early spring because there were so many flowers which shared his own sunny colours. Waiting for an auspicious moment when the wind seemed to have dropped to a tolerable level for a wee while and the clouds had dispersed, temporarily at least, he settled himself into a sunny forsythia bush and thought of a poem he had once read… and of you, all his friends around the world…

You said, take a few dry
sticks, cut the ends slantwise
to let in water, stick them
in the old silver cup on the
dresser in the spare room and
wait for the touch of Easter.
But a cold wave protected the
snow, and the sap’s pulse beat
so low underground I felt no
answer in myself except silence.
You said, winter breaks out in
flowers for the faithful and
today when I opened the door
the dry sticks spoke in little
yellow stars and I thought
of you.

[Algy is quoting the poem Forsythia by the 20th century American poet and philosopher, James Hearst.]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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It was St. Patrick’s Day, and although the weather was very rough at times, with heavy showers of sleet and hail racing in across the sea on massive black clouds from the frozen north, there were at least some moments when the sky cleared and the sun decided to shine.

Wating for one of these sunny intervals, Algy managed to settle himself down for a few minutes in the most sheltered spot he could find, with his back pressed firmly against the mossy trunk of an old elder bush. Opening one of his many books of poetry he read the entry for 17th March:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Algy hopes you will follow his example, and dye your hair bright green, as he does every year on this day ☘️

[Algy is reading the poem He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by the late 19th/early 20th centurey Irish poet William Butler Yeats.]

The Middle of March…

Although it was the middle of March, nasty cold wet sleet was falling with a persistence and determination guaranteed to dampen the spirits of even the hardiest inhabitant of the wild west Highlands, and yet Algy was undismayed. In fact, he was feeling positively cheerful, because his assistant, who had been unwell for several months and unable to record his adventures, had at last recovered sufficiently to assist him.

Trying not to shiver, Algy perched in a dripping young larch tree, listening to a song thrush nearby, who was evidently feeling equally happy as he belted out his defiance of the dismal weather at the very top of his voice. As he turned towards his assistant, Algy shook the icy water off his feathers, and smiled his sunniest smile…

Algy hopes to be able to continue his adventures more regularly now, albeit not daily, and would be delighted if you could join him as he shares his experiences in the wild wet Highlands of Scotland once again.

In the meantime, Algy sends you all his very fluffiest hugs, and his warmest thanks to all the kind friends who wished him a Happy Birthday a few days ago. Algy loves you all xoxo

Happy Birthday Algy!

Today, 13th March,  is Algy’s birthday, the 7th anniversary of Algy’s very first adventure on Tumblr, and although he has been away for a while, Algy is still thinking of all his friends around the world and hopes that you are all very well and happy, and have not entirely forgotten him 🙂

On the morning of Algy’s birthday, the west Highlands of Scotland had been battered yet again by wild Atlantic storms, so Algy’s friends had no difficulty in collecting up a nice wee posy of some of the many daffodils that had been broken and laid low by the fierce winds, which they presented to him with their fluffiest birthday wishes, singing:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Algy sends you all his fluffiest hugs on the occasion of his birthday xoxo

Whence these stories?

It had been a long, long, dreary summer, and Algy had often found himself hopelessly lost in the dense Scotch mist which smothered the land and the sea, blown hither and yon by the gales and drenched by the persistent rain, but as the world turned and the wind swung round to the north at last, a bitter squall from the arctic swept down across the ocean and drove all before it as it chased the clinging mists away. And when the wind finally dropped the sun came out and lit up the land in all its autumn glory, and Algy found himself safely at home once more… Tired but happy, he picked a comfortable spot on a bed of drying grasses and fallen leaves, and settled down comfortably in the sunshine to enjoy the unusual luxury of a quiet afternoon’s reading:

Should you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest,
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations,
As of thunder in the mountains?
I should answer, I should tell you,
“From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fenlands
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.

[Algy is reading the famous opening lines from The Song of Hiawatha by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Taigh Solais

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The harbour environment was both fascinating and enjoyable to visit, but Algy was feeling a wee bit homesick, and from the other side of the bay he could hear the strange beeping and clanking sounds the transport vessel made as it approached the land. If he wanted to return home, now was the time to leave… Leaning back against another odd object on the floating platform for just a few moments longer, Algy took a last look at the many different boats and the picturesque harbour, and wondered when he would see them again…