Algy flew into the beech woods which lined one side of the river bank, and found a rather less comfortable perch than the one he had just left…

Although he loved his wild and windy home by the ocean shore, and the constant, soothing sounds of the sea, he had to admit that it made a pleasant change to be sheltered by these stately trees, and to be able to observe the autumn colours in the peaceful woodland without being blown around…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a peaceful weekend in a pleasant spot 🙂

The weather was still horribly cold for the time of year: it would soon be June, and there was still no hint of warmth. Some folk were saying that it was the coldest May in the West Highlands that they could ever remember. But Algy was fluffy enough to keep warm, so he felt happy sitting among the bluebells, at least when it wasn’t raining too hard. 

Algy hopes that you will all find a pleasant spot among the flowers this weekend, and he sends fluffy thanks and special fluffy hugs to all the kind friends who commented on his previous post from the bluebell wood xoxo

Close by the river, Algy discovered a large swathe of wild bluebells, just coming into flower. He found a perch in the middle of the fragrant blue carpet and sat there very quietly, just listening to the spring sounds of the woodlands. There were many birds singing in the trees, and he was reminded of a poem by Yeats:

I have heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods
Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees
Hum in the lime-tree flowers; and put away
The unavailing outcries and the old bitterness
That empty the heart.  I have forgot awhile
Tara uprooted, and new commonness
Upon the throne and crying about the streets
And hanging its paper flowers from post to post,
Because it is alone of all things happy.
I am contented, for I know that Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart
Among pigeons and bees, while that Great Archer,
Who but awaits His hour to shoot, still hangs
A cloudy quiver over Pairc-na-lee.

[Algy is quoting the poem In the Seven Woods – the opening verse in the book of the same name – by the late 19th/early 20th century Irish poet William Butler Yeats.]                 

Algy crossed the great sea loch and headed for the woodlands at the foot of the mountains.There was a particular spot by the river where he liked to perch and watch the water flow. The weather was feeling very moody, and Algy was not entirely surprised to see some fresh snow on the mountain tops, even though it was now the third week of May.

So Algy turned to the north, and flew slowly back up towards the head of the great sea loch. The mist was coming down and the light was failing, so he felt that it would be prudent to stop for the night. Turning inland very slightly, he soon found himself at the foot of the most famous glen in all of Scotland, the great Glen of Weeping. There was no weeping now, of course, but somehow it still had a mournful air about it, and Algy always felt slightly ill at ease when he passed through this place. In the true spirit of the glen, he found himself a perch in a dark, prickly hawthorn bush which overlooked the isles of the dead. He took particular care to conceal himself from the well-worn path which ran behind the bush, just in case there were any stray landscape photographers about who might resent the presence of a fluffy bird among the grandeur of such scenery. As Algy gazed up the glen towards the higher peaks, which were currently shrouded in summer mists rather than winter snow, he remembered a poem by Sheena Blackhalll. Massacres are fortunately out of fashion in Scotland nowadays, but these mountains still care “not a whit” for the fate of mortals, and each year there are some who climb these slopes, never to return to the land of the living:

          Mountains, snow-swept mountains of Arctic grandeur
          Where no sweet bird finds rest in Winter’s thrall
          Your streams should run with blood for a thousand aeons
          You watched and did not hinder Clan Donald’s fall

          Glenlyon’s Argyll men, to the glen came trekking
          Like red-backed hounds to seek MacIain’s lair
          Where were your blizzards then, that could have saved him?
          Your corries turned a hiding place to a bier

          Buachaille Etive Mor of the Glen of Weeping
          Were you deaf to your dying children’s cries?
          Why could you not have blocked the Devil’s staircase
          Or opened the Sgur-mam-Fiann where Fingal lies?

          Mountains, snow swept mountains of Arctic grandeur
          Where ghostly wraiths of the murdered families flit
          The wail of the caoineag still keens out a warning
          You care for the fate of mortals not a whit.

[Algy is quoting the poem Glencoe Ghosts by the contemporary Scottish poet Sheena Blackhall.]

There was no denying that the weather left a lot to be desired, but at least it had stopped raining for a wee while and the mist had lifted to the hilltops. So Algy perched on a wet, grey rock by the side of the great sea loch, and gazed at the wet, grey water. Behind him, the mountains overshadowing the Glen of Weeping looked suitably grim, their heads obscured by the endless waves of moody black clouds, but Algy was more interested in the waves of the incoming tide. He idly wondered how soon the spray would reach his toes.

https://www.tumblr.com/audio_file/adventuresofalgy/51466338778/tumblr_mngewxP3uA1rruorh?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

The constant, soothing sound of the wee waterfall tumbling over the rocks just above him lulled Algy to sleep as he sat by the burn in the afternoon sun.

{The sound will be clearest through headphones or external speakers.}

It was a wee bit windy, of course, but the sun was shining brightly for once. Algy found himself a sheltered perch on a warm rock low down by the side of the burn, at a point where it tumbled over some rocks before descending through the woodland towards the sea. He could happily watch the play of shadows on the sparkling water for hours, soothed by the constant sound of the waterfall above.

Listen to the soporific sound of the waterfall which lulled Algy to sleep in the afternoon sun.

Algy flew along the shores of the loch all morning, until he reached the mouth of a glen which was overshadowed by mountains rising up steeply on either side. The afternoon sun was pleasantly warm, so he paused for a rest on the banks of the pretty river which flowed down the glen towards the sea. Most of the trees were covered in spring green now, and Algy thought of a poem written by the famous Chinese poet Li Bai many centuries ago:

          You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest,
          and I smile, and am silent,
          and even my soul remains quiet:
          it lives in the other world
          which no one owns.
          The peach trees blossom,
          The water flows.

{The poem Green Mountain, by the 8th Century poet Li Bai (also known as Li Po), has been translated many times, and the various translations are quite different from one another. Algy is quoting the translation by the contemporary American poet Sam Hamill.}