Incoming Tide

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Algy hopped over to the rocks, where the incoming tide was surging and gurgling through a narrow channel in a most delightful way. For a short while he perched on a rocky seat in the sunshine, just watching the water rushing backwards and forwards, although he knew that he would not be able to stay there for long…

A Very Fine Day!

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The West Highlands of Scotland had been experiencing a short spell of glorious spring weather, and Algy had made sure that he experienced it too 🙂

He flew out to the lighthouse, his favourite spot in the area, and perched on a dry clump of heather to study the view of the islands. The Isle of Eigg was the most prominent (just left of centre on the horizon) with the mountainous Isle of Rum to its left and the low-lying Isle of Muck hugging the sea in front of that. And in the distance, between Rum and Eigg, he could clearly see the peaks of the famous Cuillin on the Isle of Skye. It was indeed a very fine day!

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy some fine weather and beautiful views this weekend 🙂

Algy flew into the old oak wood and found himself a perch among the leaves of a massive Atlantic Oak. The trees were all dressed in their finest spring green, and the leaves rustled gently in the breeze. Before long a robin started singing from another branch nearby, and so Algy happily joined in the annual song of the ancient woodland…

The weather was fine, the days were lengthening rapidly, and many summer visitors had arrived from other countries; they were dashing about all over the West Highlands, and Algy began to get itchy feathers watching them come and go about the place. So one fine morning he took off in search of new adventures, and it wasn’t long before he found himself on top of a wee hill some distance from home, looking out at the quiet loch and the hills beyond, over the tops of the trees with their beautiful bright new leaves…

Algy perched near the top of a tall spruce tree in the wee wood, and gazed at the moon as she sank down through the spiky branches. He wondered whether – if he flew fast enough – he could catch her before she fell behind the dark hill beyond the trees…

Tucked into the heart of a cherry tree, Algy gazed at the beautiful white blossoms as he listened to the birds singing all around him. He was reminded of a haiku by Issa:

peace to the world
from time immemorial…
cherry blossoms

.天下泰平とうに咲桜哉
tenka taihei tô ni saku sakura kana

Algy hopes you will all have a very happy and peaceful weekend 🙂

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

The air was still very chilly, but the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the wind had dropped for a while at least. Algy could feel that it was growing gradually warmer, and although the hillsides still looked dead and brown, his assistants’ garden had burst into flower, and new leaves were emerging on some of the trees and bushes.

Algy flew into the heart of a cherry tree and buried his beak happily in the blossom, listening to the voices of all the new birds who had just arrived from much warmer countries to spend the summer months on the west coast of Scotland. For two weeks now Algy had been worrying about the cuckoos, who should have been calling all around him since the third week in April, but who had been sadly absent. Then suddenly he heard that familiar sound, somewhere away in the hills: cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo… Algy smiled a big fluffy smile: it was truly spring at last 🙂

Algy flew a few miles further south, following the shoreline of the great sea loch until he reached a different sort of woodland. Here he found a spot where a fast, rushing burn swept tumbling through between the trees at the foot of a steep, wooded hillside. Many of the trees were fresh and young, but some were very old, battered and torn by the wind and the weather over the course of the years. Here and there, pretty clumps of primroses were still in flower, and Algy was pleased to see that there were even a few wild violets. He found himself an excellent perch on a massive fallen branch, and sat there for a while, watching a tiny treecreeper flitting from tree to tree down by the burn, and creeping up the trunk of each one.

(This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s Canadian friend aboyningphotography.)

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.]