As he flew home from the oak woods, Algy paused by the wayside to inspect his own wee waterfall. This miniature water feature only appears when there has been plenty of rain; in dry weather it vanishes entirely, so that a casual passer-by could never guess that it existed. Algy loves to tuck himself in to a sheltered hollow among the grasses and ferns that grow beside a tiny cave which the water has carved out of the rocky hillside over the years. Just as in many grander and more famous water features, the water falls down vertically across the mouth of this cave, like a fascinating, ever-changing curtain which partly obscures the mysteries within.

Algy made himself comfortable, and sat there peacefully for some time. While he gazed at the flickering waterfall and listened to the gentle, trickling sounds that it made, Algy thought how lucky he was to be living in a place where there was a never-ending supply of clean, fresh water – and where it took so many beautiful forms! He thought of all his friends in drier parts of the world, and hoped that the rain would continue to fall wherever it was needed.

Listen to the sound of Algy’s waterfall. Algy hopes that for those of you who need it, the sound will help to encourage the rain :))

It was almost spring now. As Algy watched the water tumbling gently down in front of the tiny cave, he was reminded of a haiku by the Japanese master Isha:

          Early spring –
          stream flows
          toward my door

[Algy is quoting a translation of a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa.]

Algy was on his way home, and the weather was deteriorating fast. Dense Scotch mist was sweeping across the moors, and nothing escaped the drenching of its persistent wetness. Algy sought temporary shelter under a rocky bluff, and thought of a haiku by the Japanese master Basho:

          I’m a wanderer
          so let that be my name –
          the first winter rain

[Algy is quoting Sam Hamill’s translation of a classic haiku by Basho.]

Algy found a comfortable perch in the old oak tree, and looked down into the peat bog below. He thought he could see a frog making its way through the sodden grasses of the bog, and he remembered a haiku by Issa:

          while croaking he jumps –
          frog in the rainy
          grass

Algy found his way back down to the river, where he paused to rest on a young beech tree growing out of a niche in the the rock and perilously overhanging the water. He noticed a tiny insect on a leaf in front of him, and thought of a haiku by the Japanese master Kobayashi Issa:

          O flea! whatever you do,
          don’t jump;
          that way is the river.

Algy would like to take this opportunity to thank all his lovely Tumblr friends for your great kindness in welcoming him back, and for your many notes and messages over the past week. He is so happy to be back among you all again xx

Algy was exploring an area which he hadn’t visited before. The trees grew taller and straighter here, and beneath them he found lovely thick carpets of soft green moss to rest on. The clouds were still hanging low over the hills, and everything was dripping wet, but the wind was beginning to change; it was veering round to the north, and Algy knew that colder, brighter autumn weather was on its way. He leaned back against a mossy tree trunk and thought of a haiku by the Japanese master Kobayashi Issa:

           water splashed
           on the stone, on the tree…
           autumn wind

 .水打し石なら木なら秋の風
mizu uchishi ishi nara ki nara aki no kaze

[Algy is quoting a translation from the Japanese by David G. Lanoue, from his extensive online collection of the Haiku of Kobayashi Issa.]

It was a grey, damp morning, but Algy was fascinated by the way the mists were swirling up the hillsides from the burns below. He perched on an old fence post, watching the watery wisps rising like smoke, and thinking of his old friend who was making such an effort to recover from his operation and get fit and strong again. Algy was reminded of a haiku by the 18th century master Kobayashi Issa:

          Little snail
          inch by inch, climb
          Mount Fuji!

(katatsuburi soro-soro nobore fuji no yama)

Many of Algy’s Tumblr friends are fathers, so he wishes you all a very Happy Father’s Day, and sends you all fluffy hugs in case your children should happen to forget 🙂 He hopes you will all have a lovely day.

Most of all he sends a very special Father’s Day hug to his assitant’s father xxx

In the little book of haiku that Algy is reading among the flowers, it says:

          Even these long days
          are not nearly long enough
          for the skylarks to sing

[Algy is reading a classic haiku by the Japanese master Basho, in The Sound of Water, an anthology of haiku translated by the American poet Sam Hamill.]

At this time of year the nights are light, and Algy finds it difficult to sleep. There was a beautiful crescent moon sinking down behind the ridge, so Algy found a perch in his tree and watched the moon set. It reminded him of a haiku by Yosa Buson, the Japanese master:

          The short night –
          Broken, in the shallows,
          A crescent moon.

The very next evening, the sun chose a different place to create special effects, lighting up the same ridge which it had left ignored in deep shadow the day before. The beautiful but fleeting fiery effect lasted only for a few moments and was gone. Algy felt that such an ephemeral effect deserved a haiku, so he chose this one by the 18th century Japanese master Issa, and thought especially of his Japanese Tumblr friends on the other side of the world:

          the mountain sunset
          within my grasp…
          spring butterfly