The wind was relentless, and it was blowing sand everywhere. It wasn’t long before Algy’s eyes and beak and feathers and hair were all full of sand, so he shook himself off and retreated to the relative shelter of a clump of Marram grass growing in the middle of the beach. As he dug himself into a sand pocket, he watched the wind fill in the footprints of the sandpipers and other seabirds. It only took a few moments to erase their tracks across the beach, and it reminded Algy of a poem:

The wind stops, the wind begins.
The wind says stop, begin.

A sea shovel scrapes the sand floor.
The shovel changes, the floor changes.

The sandpipers, maybe they know.
Maybe a three-pointed foot can tell.
Maybe the fog moon they fly to, guesses.

The sandpipers cheep “Here” and get away.
Five of them fly and keep together flying.

Night hair of some sea woman
Curls on the sand when the sea leaves
The salt tide without a good-by.

Boxes on the beach are empty.
Shake ‘em and the nails loosen.
They have been somewhere.

[Algy is quoting the poem Sand Scribblings by the 20th century American poet Carl Sandburg.]

Severe gale warning… again!

Sometimes Algy wishes he lived somewhere that was maybe just a wee bit less windy – at least some of the time…


Algy moved to the back of the strange little inlet and perched on a rock, wondering how bad tomorrow’s storm would be. As there is already an amber warning for a severe gale on Thursday night (sustained windspeeds up to 50 mph with gusts of 80 mph) it is likely that Algy’s assistants will lose power, and Algy will be cut off from his Tumblr friends for a while. Such is life in the darker months in the wild west Highlands of Scotland 😦 And it gets very dark indeed when the power goes out in a remote area on a wild night in November!

But if that does happen, you can be sure that Algy will be back as soon as he can 🙂 In the meantime he leaves you with this poem by Rita Dove. “Sail, wind, with your cargo of zithers!”

Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.

So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,

a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool. Pour,
rain! Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!

[Algy is quoting the poem November for Beginners by the contemporary American poet Rita Dove.]