Lifting Fog

Adventures-of-Algy-290917.jpg

When the morning sun filtered through the soft white curtain of fog, the beautiful, warm colours of a Highland moorland in autumn started to emerge in patches here and there. Algy leaned back comfortably against a wee ledge on one of the numerous rock outcrops, and watched the colours increase in intensity and begin to glow as the sun gradually lifted the fog from the hillsides.

Sea Fog

Adventures-of-Algy-250917.jpg

When autumn took hold of the wild West Highlands of Scotland, the wind dropped down to just nothing at all, and a dense sea fog crept in from the Atlantic ocean, slipping silently across the moorland and soggy peat bogs as it smothered the mountains in a soft grey blanket.

And as a million or more spiders hung their webs across the gaps between a myriad of tiny plants and looked out at the September morning, they were astonished to see a rather large and surprisingly fluffy bird, perching quietly on a clump of damp grass…

After a long, dreich non-summer of almost endless rain, Algy has finally returned to his old haunts 🙂

The mist was down again. There had been a few clear, sunny days earlier in the week, and Algy had even seen some bright blue sky at times, but such conditions rarely lasted long on the wild west coast of the Scottish Highlands, for the north Atlantic weather systems ensured an almost constant supply of clouds and rain.

Algy found himself a damp perch on a clump of soggy grasses and heather, and gazed into a spontaneous bog pool which was strewn with last year’s grasses, tossed about by the wind. Despite the cold, grey wetness of it all, Algy could detect a change in the air. The rain and the mist and the wind might not stop, but Algy knew that the winter was almost over, and any day now the skylarks would start to sing again, announcing the beginning of a new spring. So Algy peered into the water, wondering whether any frogs were sleeping down below, and murmured one of his favourite silly poems in case they might be listening:

The moon came late to a lonesome bog,
And there sat Goggleky Gluck, the frog.
“My stars!” she cried, and veiled her face,
“What very grand people they have in this place!”

Algy wishes you all a very happy weekend 🙂

[Algy is reciting the short poem The moon came late by the 19th century American writer Mary Mapes Dodge.]

Adventures-of-Algy-221216.jpg

Being a wise and prudent fluffy bird, Algy heeded his friends advice and moved away from the pond covered with a tempting but dangerously thin sheet of ice. Unfortunately, however, the sun also moved away, and the temperature on the moor dropped until it began to get rather more cold than was really quite comfortable…

Giving the matter careful thought, Algy decided to fly over to his assistant’s house for Christmas, where he could be protected from the worst excesses of the West Highland Christmas weather and maybe help pull a Christmas cracker or two 🙂

Algy and his assistant are expecting some exceedingly stormy weather over the next few days, which may lead to their being temporarily cut off from their Tumblr friends over Christmas. In case this happens, Algy and Jenny would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderfully Merry Christmas, and Algy sends you all a lot of especially fluffy Christmas hugs xoxo

And don’t forget – the Kindle edition of Algy’s new book, The Magical Midwinter Star, is FREE to download from any Amazon site on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Have a magical midwinter, everybody 🙂

Being a wise and prudent fluffy bird, Algy heeded his friends advice and moved away from the pond covered with a tempting but dangerously thin sheet of ice. Unfortunately, however, the sun also moved away, and the temperature on the moor dropped until it began to get rather more cold than was really quite comfortable…

Giving the matter careful thought, Algy decided to fly over to his assistant’s house for Christmas, where he could be protected from the worst excesses of the West Highland Christmas weather and maybe help pull a Christmas cracker or two 🙂

Algy and his assistant are expecting some exceedingly stormy weather over the next few days, which may lead to their being temporarily cut off from their Tumblr friends over Christmas. In case this happens, Algy and Jenny would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderfully Merry Christmas, and Algy sends you all a lot of especially fluffy Christmas hugs xoxo

And don’t forget – the Kindle edition of Algy’s new book, The Magical Midwinter Star, is FREE to download from any Amazon site on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Have a magical midwinter, everybody 🙂

Adventures-of-Algy-101216.jpg

Out on the open moor, Algy discovered a fascinating pool, surrounded by a ring of thin ice which was floating in the air, a little way above the level of the water. He stopped to study this unusual phenomenon, and while he was sitting quietly in the winter sunshine, testing the ice gingerly with his feet, a black-faced sheep happened to wander by. Algy greeted the sheep politely, but he was disappointed to find that the sheep was much more interested in studying its own fine reflection in the pool than in talking to him.

A pretty burn ran across the peaty moorland, close by the forest, and in places it had carved deep channels through the underlying rock, creating a series of miniature cliffs around enticing pools. It was far too cold to consider entering the water: despite the sunshine, there were still thin sheets of white ice in the shadier spots near the edges of the stream. But Algy found that it was very pleasant to recline on a flat rock in the sun, and watch the thousands of diamonds sparkling on the surface of the water as it tumbled over the pebbles and rough stone on its way down the hillside towards the sea.

Algy flew up to the edge of the forest and perched on the chilly ground in the sunshine. It was a beautifully bright day, but the air was cold and the mountain top was decorated with a light coating of snow. Every pocket in the boggy ground was covered with its own thin sheet of ice, which crackled from time to time, and in the shadows the frost still lay thick and crisp and white. But the air was calm and the sun still provided a slight hint of warmth, so Algy rested for a while, absorbing the winter sunshine while he could.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a warm and restful weekend 🙂

The gorse was altogether too prickly for his tail feathers, so Algy hopped down to a more comfortable perch on a clump of heather which overhung the burn, and gazed at all the water rushing away to the sea. The local landscape almost always had a plentiful supply of fresh water, as there were only a few days in the year in which it did not fall out of the sky. But it was a different matter for many of the local human residents, whose water supply systems were dependent upon very basic collection facilities which routinely became blocked by storm-swept vegetation, some unfortunate frog, or even, on one occasion, an eel… In fact, it was very often the case that the more water that fell – whether as rain, sleet, or snow – the more likely it was that the humans’ homes would be without a water supply!

Have a happy weekend, everyone, with a plentiful supply of fresh water 🙂

adventures-of-algy-161116

It was mid-November and a gale was blowing up, bringing suddenly blackened skies carrying torrential showers of slushy sleet, or sometimes rain mixed with icy hail. But when Algy stopped to look carefully at the heather bushes growing in the shelter of the rocks on the hill, he was thrilled to see some tiny purple bells still flowering there. Winter was approaching rapidly, but it was not quite here yet 🙂