photosworthseeing:

adventuresofalgy:

Stormy weather in March does have a few wee compensations… and the rainbows which sometimes appear during torrential showers of hail are especially bright. So when Algy saw the massive black clouds sweep in from the sea, with the sun still shining through from the south, he leaned back happily on the waving bed of Marram grass and gazed at the sky. Algy loves rainbows, so he was inevitably reminded of Wordsworth’s famous rainbow poem:

          My heart leaps up when I behold
             A rainbow in the sky:
          So was it when my life began;
          So is it now I am a man;
          So be it when I shall grow old,
             Or let me die!
          The Child is father of the Man;
          And I could wish my days to be
          Bound each to each by natural piety

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Rainbow by the 19th century English poet William Wordsworth. ]

Blog recommendation of the week – reblog 3

You can see more of Algy’s work on the pws-pop up follow-up exhibition today

Algy remembers this rainbow – it was a beauty, in a dramatically stormy sky.  And Algy’s assistant remembers it too, because she had to photograph it in a hailstorm in a howling, freezing wind, while Algy just reclined in the grass!

They both thank @photosworthseeing very much for reblogging this image from Algy’s many adventures 🙂

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.]

Algy was trying to help his assistant finish his book, but his mind kept dozing and drifting and he just couldn’t seem to concentrate. It had been a long, long, weary winter, and all he wanted to do was rest. So he reclined against the tall Marram grasses, lazily watching the grey mist roll in from the sea, and dreamed of this and that. He was reminded of a poem by Longfellow:

          Becalmed upon the sea of Thought,
          Still unattained the land it sought,
          My mind, with loosely-hanging sails,
          Lies waiting the auspicious gales.

          On either side, behind, before,
          The ocean stretches like a floor, –
          A level floor of amethyst,
          Crowned by a golden dome of mist.

          Blow, breath of inspiration, blow!
          Shake and uplift this golden glow!
          And fill the canvas of the mind
          With wafts of thy celestial wind.

          Blow, breath of song! until I feel
          The straining sail, the lifting keel,
          The life of the awakening sea,
          Its motion and its mystery!

[Algy is quoting the poem Becalmed by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

Although a menacing bank of mist and cloud was hovering over the sea, it was a fine spring day for the moment, and almost warm providing you could find a place out of the wind… Algy tucked himself down into the shelter of the Marram grass and gazed at the sky, watching the skylarks as they fluttered up from the dunes into the blue and back down again, singing their beautiful songs. He thought of a haiku by Issa:

lovely –
the sky where a noon lark
is singing

.うつくしや昼の雲雀の鳴し空
utsukushi ya hiru [no] hibari no nakushi sora

Can you see the lark singing? Follow Algy’s gaze to the little black dot just visible in the sky on the right-hand side 🙂

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

Much to everyone’s surprise, Easter Day dawned bright and sunny, with strange white mists swirling low around the hills and islands.

Algy hurried down to the sand dunes, to hear the spring exultation of larks, and was surprised to discover something most unusual hidden among the Marram grass…

Happy Easter everybody! xoxo

Stormy weather in March does have a few wee compensations… and the rainbows which sometimes appear during torrential showers of hail are especially bright. So when Algy saw the massive black clouds sweep in from the sea, with the sun still shining through from the south, he leaned back happily on the waving bed of Marram grass and gazed at the sky. Algy loves rainbows, so he was inevitably reminded of Wordsworth’s famous rainbow poem:

          My heart leaps up when I behold
             A rainbow in the sky:
          So was it when my life began;
          So is it now I am a man;
          So be it when I shall grow old,
             Or let me die!
          The Child is father of the Man;
          And I could wish my days to be
          Bound each to each by natural piety

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Rainbow by the 19th century English poet William Wordsworth. ]

When your feathers are matted with sticky salt water, wet sand, and pieces of broken seaweed, there is only one sensible thing to do – take a very thorough bath in fresh, flowing water, at your earliest possible convenience.

Luckily for Algy, several burns run through the sand dunes and across the beach, carrying the rainwater down from the hills to the sea. So he didn’t have to travel very far before he could wash himself clean – and of course getting one’s feathers blown dry is rarely a problem in the perpetually windy West Highlands…

Algy hopes that this will answer most of his friend heterotopian’s questions :))

Have a lovely weekend, everybody, and try not to get caught by a wave! xoxo

The wind had strengthened during the night, and by mid-morning it had blown the mist away; at times there were even some patches of blue sky visible. It was not yet spring, but on the other hand it no longer felt like winter. Like the other birds, Algy was highly sensitive to the rapidly lengthening days and change of light. He felt a restlessness in the air, and he hurried down to the soothing sea. The wind was bitter, as usual, but it was always possible to find some shelter among the dunes, so he tucked his beak into his book of Poems of the Sea, and this is what he read:

          The people along the sand
          All turn and look one way.
          They turn their back on the land.
          They look at the sea all day.

          As long as it takes to pass
          A ship keeps raising its hull;
          The wetter ground like glass
          Reflects a standing gull.

          The land may vary more;
          But wherever the truth may be –
          The water comes ashore,
          And the people look at the sea.

          They cannot look out far.
          They cannot look in deep.
          But when was that ever a bar
          To any watch they keep?

[ Algy is reading the poem Neither Out Far Nor In Deep by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost. ]

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…

It was a dark, dark day in the West Highlands… but Algy knew that it was a far darker one in Paris, France :{{{

Algy lay back among the wildly waving Marram grass as the wind howled through the sand dunes, and gazed at the stormy sky. And just as the clouds grew blacker and started to pelt him with rain and hail, the low afternoon sun broke through a tiny gap in the clouds behind him, and a glowing rainbow appeared on the horizon, while the great mass of grasses momentarily turned to gold.

Algy has been thinking of all his friends in France today, especially his friends in Paris… and of all those who have so needlessly died or have been injured, and their families and friends… and of the human race in general. He was very greatly distressed by the awful things that had occurred, and by the terrible atrocities that humans seemed to be capable of. But he knew that – just like the grasses – the great masses of humankind could turn to gold in the right light, and he thought of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling:

          If you can keep your head when all about you  
              Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  
          If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
              But make allowance for their doubting too;  
          If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
              Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
          Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
              And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

          If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  
              If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  
          If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
              And treat those two impostors just the same;  
          If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
              Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
          Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
              And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

          If you can make one heap of all your winnings
              And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
          And lose, and start again at your beginnings
              And never breathe a word about your loss;
          If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
              To serve your turn long after they are gone,  
          And so hold on when there is nothing in you
              Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

          If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,  
              Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
          If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
              If all men count with you, but none too much;
          If you can fill the unforgiving minute
              With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,  
          Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  
              And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Algy has been very happy to see so many “Men” (i.e. true humans of any gender) in the light which broke through the darkness on Tumblr today :))

And he sends some very special fluffy hugs to all his friends in France xoxoxo

[ Algy is of course quoting the famous poem If by the late 19th/early 20th century British author Rudyard Kipling ]