Sunbathing…

Adventures-of-Algy-050317.jpg

Algy hopped over to a denser patch of Marram grass, and made himself comfortable on a bed of the long, curving stems. It felt almost warm, tucked in there among the dry grasses of the sand dunes, and Algy began to doze happily in the sunshine, while the waves played merrily on the beach in front of him.

Blue!

Adventures-of-Algy-040317b.jpg

Algy put down his book of poetry for a moment and gazed at the scene in front of him, then looked up at the sky. It was BLUE! A beautiful, clear, deep, wonderful blue…

The west coast of the Scottish Highlands experiences more dismal, grey, totally overcast and cloudy skies than most places in the world, but when the clouds do blow away Algy feels an amazing sense of relief, and a delightfully happy experience of blueness. He cannot understand why the colour blue has come to be associated with misery and depression when a clear blue sky and a deep blue sea are among the most beautiful aspects of the world 🙂

Algy hopes you will all have a happily blue weekend xo

World Book Day… in the UK…

Adventures-of-Algy-020317.jpg

World Book Day is celebrated on 23rd April in most countries of the world, but not in the idiosyncratic “UK”, because there the 23rd April is reserved for St. George, the patron saint of England…

However, as Scotland (whose own patron saint is St. Andrew not St. George) is still officially part of the UK at the present time, Algy thought that it provided as good an excuse as any to spend a happy afternoon reading in the sunshine 🙂 So he tucked himself in among the spiky grasses on the warm sand dunes, and opened his book of “Poems of the Sea”. Just a hop and a flutter away in front of him, Algy could see the waves dancing and sparkling on the beach, with the whole expanse of the wide, blue ocean with its mysterious world beneath, and as he turned back to his book he read:

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.

[Algy is reading the poem The World Below the Brine by the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman.]

Sea Fever

adventures-of-algy-050215b

The weather had changed and the day was bright, albeit with masses of grey clouds hurrying across the sky, but the wind was icy and much too strong for comfort, so Algy decided to spend some time looking back through his past adventures… and happened upon this GIF from early February two years ago, when conditions were evidently very similar…

And as the keen wind whistled through his feathers and froze the tip of his beak, Algy thought to himself:

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

[Algy is quoting the second verse of the famous poem Sea Fever by the early 20th century English poet John Masefield.]

adventuresofalgy:

Overnight, most of the remaining snow quietly vanished from the area around Algy’s home, and on the following morning the air felt much less icy. Algy had stayed away from the beach during the recent run of bitterly cold north winds, as it was much too exposed for comfort. But when the wind dropped to a more reasonable level and the temperature rose slightly, he wasted no time in returning to the ocean. He had to admit that it wasn’t exactly warm, but it was cosy enough tucked down among the Marram grass. It was so good to be beside the sea again…

The weather had changed and the day was bright, albeit with masses of grey clouds hurrying across the sky, but the wind was icy and much too strong for comfort, so Algy decided to spend some time looking back through his past adventures… and happened upon this GIF from early February two years ago, when conditions were evidently very similar…

And as the keen wind whistled through his feathers and froze the tip of his beak, Algy thought to himself:

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

[Algy is quoting the second verse of the famous poem Sea Fever by the early 20th century English poet John Masefield.]

adventuresofalgy:

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 tucked himself in between the sharp, spiky clumps of Marram grass and leaned back on the sand, which was still damp in patches from all the rain which had fallen during the gales. He was fascinated by the semicircles that single blades of the pointed grass had drawn in the sand – guided, no doubt, by the wind – and he wondered whether he could use one to make a sand drawing himself, but decided that he was too clumsy.

As he gazed at the beautiful colours of the sky and the sea, Algy reflected that he had almost forgotten what such colours looked like – it had been such an exceptionally grey summer. Although there were no pine trees here, the scene reminded him of a long forgotten poem:

There I know blue, blue water,
 And a waving line of land,
With pines that grow in a wind-swept row
 As set by a dreamer’s hand;
And where the winds will, in hollow or hill,
 Sand and sand and sand.

Sand as soft as a snowfall —
 Drifting, eddying, whirled —
Sweeping into the valleys,
 Over the grasses swirled,
And billowing up to the tree-tops
 That look out on the world.

Sand of romantic patterns
 New for each passer fleet.
Here a flower has lain, there the leaf-like chain
 That was marked by a sea-gull’s feet;
And the pebbled trace as of scalloped lace
 Where the waves and the shore-line meet.

Gleaming sands in the morning
 When the little waves run white,
While gay wings fan the shining span
 And float a song in flight;
And the lupine blue spreads a heaven new
 Where the stars might rest till night.

[Algy is quoting from the poem The Sand Dunes by the 20th century American poet Janet Norris Bangs.]

The gales blew themselves out, the mist slowly lifted, and the air began to clear. By the next day a beautiful wave of dazzling blue had washed all across the sky, and the world was full of colour again. So Algy hurried down to the beach in the sunshine, and found a warm spot at the edge of the sand dunes where he could rest and watch the sea and the shore birds.

Algy had a terrifically exciting birthday, thanks to the kindness of all his wonderful Tumblr friends, but after it was over he felt exceedingly tired. Fortunately, something very odd had happened to the weather: the wind had dropped, the sun was shining, and it felt positively warm! Algy knew that it could only last for a few days, so he hurried down to the sand dunes and laid back against the dry Marram grass, soaking up the sun. The sky was a lovely blue, and the sea was even bluer: it was undoubtedly a beautiful day! As he dozed happily in the sunshine, Algy suddenly heard the lovely voice of a skylark singing high above his head, for the first time this year. It was spring 🙂

It was a grey, grey January day with almost nothing to commend it, other than the fact that it was more or less dry, and not terribly windy.

Algy snuggled down deep in the Marram grass to keep warm, and stared at the sullen sea. Half-awake and half-asleep in the low winter light, he dreamed idly of life in a brighter, warmer climate, remembering a poem he had once read:

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
    And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
    Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
    Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire the shafted grove
    And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
    Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
    And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
    Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
    And ferns that never fade.

[Algy is quoting the poem After the Winter by the early 20th century American poet Claude McKay.]