One of Algy’s oldest friends is about to go to hospital to have an operation to help him walk more easily. So Algy found him a beautiful rainbow for good luck, and to brighten up the gloomy days. Algy says that when the rainbow lights up the dark clouds the storm will pass, and soon there will be lovely blue skies once again xx


The West Highland summer had returned to normal, and everything was really very wet, including Algy. He tucked himself in tight against the trunk of his tree and let the rain beat upon his head and sing him a lullaby:

          Let the rain kiss you.
          Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
          Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

          The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
          The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
          The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—

          And I love the rain.

[Algy is quoting the poem April Rain Song by Langston Hughes.]

It was summer holiday time in Algy’s wee corner of the West Highlands, and there were far more humans than usual milling about… and far more vehicles coming and going. Algy was a wee bit uncertain whether all of the visitors liked fluffy birds. (Perhaps some of them were landscape photographers!) So he tucked himself into a secluded corner, and kept a wary eye on what was going on.

If you are going on holiday this summer, Algy hopes that you will have a wonderful time. He says please be kind to the local wildlife 🙂

The weather had turned much cloudier and damper but Algy didn’t mind, because the rain helps the peat bogs to flourish. At this time of year the unique aromatic fragrance of the Bog Myrtle fills the air around Algy’s home, and he loves to get as close to it as possible. The wonderful smell of the fresh leaves in his beak made his hair stand on end in the breeze!

Algy sends you all a cooling waft of the damp, fragrant summer air of his West Highland home, and hopes you have a cool and peaceful weekend xx

It had been a long day and Algy was feeling tired, so he stopped to rest in a flowery meadow, while the last of the sunshine still lit up the hillsides. The misty islands of the Inner Hebrides hovered in the distance, far beyond the deep freshwater loch that was shimmering in the evening light. A cool breeze rustled through the bracken, and Algy thought of a poem by William Cullen Bryant, which he would like to dedicate to everyone who has been suffering from the heat:

          Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou
             That cool’st the twilight of the sultry day,
          Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow:
             Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
          Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
             Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray
          And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
          To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea!

          Nor I alone—a thousand blossoms round
             Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
          And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
             Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
          And, languishing to hear thy grateful sound,
             Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the sight.
          Go forth into the gathering shade; go forth,
          God’s blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!

          Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
             Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
          The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
             Summoning from the innumerable boughs
          The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast:
             Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows.
          The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
          And where the o’ershadowing branches sweep the grass.

[Algy is quoting the first three verses of The Evening Wind by William Cullen Bryant.]

The sun was sinking lower and pale mists were beginning to creep back up the loch from the sea. Algy looked out across the sands to the wee islands where the seals haul out, but they seemed to be deserted for the time being. Evidently the seals were away looking for their dinner. But the sea birds were still calling vigorously to one another in the shallows, their voices rising and falling like the tide.

This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s Tumblr friend mdeanstrauss, who has fallen in love with the lochs of the Scottish Highlands remotely, via the internet 🙂

Listen to the seabirds calling in the shallows of the great sea loch at low tide – the sounds Algy heard on a sunny afternoon in July.

{The sound will be clearest through headphones or external speakers. Algy apologises for the background noise on this track – it was a wee bit windy again!}

As Algy moved further down the loch the tide ebbed, leaving large areas of wet sand and shallow water full of sea birds bathing and squabbling and looking for food in the late afternoon sunshine.

Listen to the sounds of the seabirds calling to each other while Algy watched them from the rocky shore.

On the other side of the loch, Algy found a battered old boat listing against the pebbles of the beach. He perched on the side of the wreck in the sunshine and gazed down the length of the great sea loch, far out towards the ocean, thinking of a poem he had read:

          One road leads to London,
             One road leads to Wales,
          My road leads me seawards
             To the white dipping sails.

          One road leads to the river,
             As it goes singing slow;
          My road leads to shipping,
             Where the bronzed sailors go.

          Leads me, lures me, calls me
             To salt green tossing sea;
          A road without earth’s road-dust
             Is the right road for me.

          A wet road heaving, shining,
             And wild with seagull’s cries,
          A mad salt sea-wind blowing
             The salt spray in my eyes.

          My road calls me, lures me
             West, east, south, and north;
          Most roads lead men homewards,
             My road leads me forth

          To add more miles to the tally
             Of grey miles left behind,
          In quest of that one beauty
             God put me here to find.

[Algy is reciting the poem Roadways from the collection Salt Water Poems and Ballads by John Masefield, first published in 1912.]