Algy was thrilled to discover a large and magnificent rhododendron in a shady woodland area of the garden. He found himself a comfortable perch in the handsome bush, and remained there for some time, gazing at the wonderful deep red flowers…

Algy hopes you will all have a happy weekend, filled with beautiful flowers 🙂

The garden was full of beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas, in a dazzling array of colours which glowed in the bright spring sunshine. Algy was entranced, and he moved slowly round from one bush to another, inspecting each lovely flower as though he were a bee…

Algy left the ancient oak wood and flew inland, in search of a beautiful garden that he often visited in the late spring. Arriving in the early evening, he settled down to rest in a warm patch of sunlight under the trees, where bluebells grew wild among the grasses and ferns.

Today Algy is celebrating the fact that the Castle Stalker View Gift Shop and Coffee Shop – Algy’s favourite cafĂ© on the west coast of Scotland and a very popular venue for tourists – will be stocking both the paperback and hardback editions of his book A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird from next week. The cafĂ© commands a fantastic view of Loch Linnhe, and overlooks the castle which is on an island just below it.

So, in the tradition of Throwback Thursday, Algy is taking a moment today to look back a couple of years, to the late spring of 2013, one of the many times he has visited Castle Stalker. As you can see if you look closely, on this occasion Algy flew across the water and perched on the battlements to inspect the ancient castle more closely 🙂

[Apologies for the picture quality – this older photo was taken before Algy’s assistant got a nice new camera in 2014…]

photosworthseeing:

Dear friends at PWS, I found an unusually beautiful setting for my special PWS Sunday Selfie this month, although it was sadly lacking in camouflage potential…

I hope you enjoy it 🙂 Thank you so much for making the Selfie Sunday possible. Sending you all lots of very fluffy hugs, as always xoxoxo

Thank you for your fluffy selfie submission! We love it!

PWS – Photo(grapher)s And Fluffy Birds Worth Seeing

Algy sends his fluffiest thanks to all his good friends at PWS for making the PWS Selfie Sunday such an enjoyable event xoxo

Algy perched on the roof of a wee stone bird table, close to a pretty mauve azalea, and gazed at the garden around him. In the distance, massive, ancient oak trees towered over the rhododendrons, while closer to his perch there were several huge, exotic conifers reaching high into the sky. But at the lower level, close to the ground, there was a bright sea of fresh green and colourful flowers, with no disturbance except the flitting of birds among the bushes. It was so peaceful in the garden; Algy could hear no noise except the trickling of a burn and the sweet sound of birdsong. He was reminded of the opening verses of an old poem:

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress’ name:
Little, alas! they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! wheres’e’er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.

[Algy is quoting the opening verses of the poem Thoughts in a Garden by the 17th century English poet Andrew Marvell.]

The garden was very beautiful, especially in the spring, and it was sheltered from the strong winds that constantly battered his home on the exposed coast. Algy flew around happily, exploring all the different areas. In one peaceful spot he discovered a strange, huge metal urn, and perched on its rim for a while, looking at the flowers and spring leaves, and listening to the smaller birds singing in the trees and bushes around him.

Algy was getting fed up with waiting around while his assistant finished the production work on his book. She was too busy to assist him with his adventures, and the weather was dreadful too: it was cold, wet and windy, and spring still hadn’t fully sprung. It really wasn’t any fun at all.

So Algy decided to go in search of some bright flowers to cheer himself up. He flew over to an old garden that he knew, where – despite the weather – there were many beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom. Perching in a tree beside one of the most fragrant azaleas, he was thrilled when a moment’s sunshine lit up the flowers.

Algy hopes that moments of sunshine will brighten your weekend too, even if the weather is gloomy where you are 🙂 Have a happy, relaxing weekend, everybody xoxo

So Algy took one more look down the loch to the south, where the green island floated on the silvery water, and prepared to set off on his journey home…

Algy is thinking of all his friends who are travelling at this time of year, and wishes each of you a safe and pleasant journey, and a joyful arrival at your destination. Turas math dhuibh! xoxo

When the tide came in, Algy moved back from the water’s edge, onto an area of soft green grass. He gazed out across the great sea loch towards the other shore, with its hills shrouded in low-lying clouds. Some distance beyond those hills lay his home in the far west, and the irises would be flowering there too now. It was surely time to set off homewards… As Algy reclined among the wildflowers in the low light of the long summer evening, he remembered a poem by Rabindranath Tagore:

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said “Here art thou!”

The question and the cry “Oh, where?” melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance “I am!”

[Algy is quoting the poem Journey Home by the late 19th/early 20th century Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.]